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UN Watch

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Kathy Gilbeaux mdmcdonald

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un-watch@m.resiliencesystem.org

UN Centre Improving Lives by Linking People and Humanitarian Data

           

Humanitarian aid workers help fight cholera in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: OCHA/J-L. Mbalivoto

unmultimedia.org - 22 December 2017

Access to data is crucial for humanitarians responding to various crises worldwide.

For example, aid workers feeding hungry people in Nigeria use a mobile-based platform to monitor the price of rice and other staples to know when costs increase.

To better assist these professionals, the UN has opened a global humanitarian data centre in the Netherlands that aims to improve lives by connecting people and data.

Veronique Durroux spoke to Javier Terán Castro, a statistician with the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, who explained how it functions.

http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/2017/12/un-centre-aims-to-connect-people-and-humanitarian-data-to-improve-lives/#.Wj0Cma3MzFR

The Centre for Humanitarian Data - https://centre.humdata.org

HDX - https://data.humdata.org

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Global Health Governance - Reform of the World Health Organization

CLICK HERE - Global Health Governance - Reform of the World Health Organization - Spring 2017 - Special Issue (77 page .PDF report)

blogs.shu.edu - by Tine Hanrieder and Adam Kamradt-Scott
May 30, 2017

Introduction (Excerpt)

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After Bringing Cholera to Haiti, U.N. Can’t Raise Money to Fight It

           

A clinic in Rendel, Haiti, was overflowing with cholera patients in October. The disease has killed nearly 10,000 people in Haiti since it was introduced there in 2010 by a United Nations peacekeeping force. Credit Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

nytimes.com - by Rick Gladstone - March 19, 2017

When the leader of the United Nations apologized to Haitians for the cholera epidemic that has ravaged their country for more than six years — caused by infected peacekeepers sent to protect them — he proclaimed a “moral responsibility” to make things right.

The apology, announced in December along with a $400 million strategy to combat the epidemic and “provide material assistance and support” for victims, amounted to a rare public act of contrition by the United Nations. Under its secretary general at the time, Ban Ki-moon, the organization had resisted any acceptance of blame for the epidemic, one of the worst cholera outbreaks in modern times.

Since then, however, the United Nations’ strategy to fight the epidemic, which it calls the “New Approach,” has failed to gain traction.

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UN: World Facing Greatest Humanitarian Crisis Since 1945

           

The world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, the United Nations says, issuing a plea for help to avoid "a catastrophe", BBC News reports.

CLICK HERE - UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS AND EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR, STEPHEN O’BRIEN - STATEMENT TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON MISSIONS TO YEMEN, SOUTH SUDAN, SOMALIA AND KENYA AND AN UPDATE ON THE OSLO CONFERENCE ON NIGERIA AND THE LAKE CHAD REGION - March 10, 2017 (6 page .PDF file)

bbc.com - March 11, 2017

UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien said that more than 20 million people faced the threat of starvation and famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria.

Unicef has already warned 1.4m children could starve to death this year.

Mr O'Brien said $4.4bn (£3.6bn) was needed by July to avert disaster.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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UN Humanitarian Wing OCHA Lays Off 170, Starts Overhaul

           

Stephen O'Brien visits a camp in Saint Saveur, Central African Republic. Nektarios Markogiannis/MINUSCA

CLICK HERE - OCHA Functional Review - Final Report - 29 July 2016 (155 page .PDF report)

irinnews.org - by Samuel Oakford - 16 January 2017

The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will reduce spending by at least $20 million in 2017. The 10-percent cuts, including at least 173 staff layoffs, come along with an internal reform process sparked by a damning independent review.

In notes dated November addressed to OCHA staff and exclusively reported by IRIN, its head – UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien – said donors hadn’t met growing demands.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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UN - Office of Internal Oversight Services - Internal Audit Reports
(click on the link below, and scroll to the bottom . . . click on page 2 for the most recently published .PDFs)
https://oios.un.org/page?slug=report

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A Fighter for Global Health: Who Will Be Next to Lead the WHO?

END OF TERM: Margaret Chan, director general of the WHO since 2007, will step down next year. Chan, here at a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, in 2015, is known for preferring consensus to confrontation. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The World Health Organization is preparing to select a new director general. It needs someone dynamic and politically astute to drive strategic reforms, say global health experts.

reuters.com - by Kate Kelland - September 23, 2016

. . . Chan’s low-key, consensual approach has held sway at the organisation for nearly a decade. . . .

. . . But as her second five-year spell at the top heads towards a close, numerous public health experts say consensus is no longer enough. In May, 10 influential global health specialists wrote to the British Medical Journal (BMJ), saying of the WHO: “Business as usual cannot continue; transformative leadership is called for.” The UN agency requires strategic reform, they said, and needs a bold new director general who can command the world stage. . . .

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UN Suspends All Aid Convoy Movements in Syria After Airstrike

           

Aid is strewn across the floor in Urem al-Kubra, on the western outskirts of Aleppo, after Monday’s strike on a convoy of lorries. Photograph: Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images

Red Cross president says attack on UN and Red Crescent convoy delivering supplies is unacceptable violation of international law

theguardian.com - by Haroon Siddique, Julian Borger and agencies - September 20, 2016

The United Nations has suspended aid convoys in Syria after an airstrike hit a fleet of trucks carrying food to a rebel-held area near Aleppo on Monday.

The UN humanitarian aid spokesman Jens Laerke said: “As an immediate security measure, other convoy movements in Syria have been suspended for the time being, pending further assessment of the security situation.” . . .

. . . The strike on a convoy of Syrian Red Crescent trucks carrying UN-supplied food was described by the International Committee of the Red Cross as a flagrant violation of international law. It took place as a week-old ceasefire brokered by Russia and the US collapsed amid a surge of Syrian government bombing.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

 

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U.N. Admits Role in Cholera Epidemic in Haiti

           

Julener Buisserette sanitizes a tent with cholera patients in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, in November 2010. (Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

nytimes.com - by Jonathan M. Katz - August 17, 2016

For the first time since a cholera epidemic believed to be imported by United Nations peacekeepers began killing thousands of Haitians nearly six years ago, the office of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has acknowledged that the United Nations played a role in the initial outbreak and that a “significant new set of U.N. actions” will be needed to respond to the crisis.

The deputy spokesman for the secretary general, Farhan Haq, said in an email this week that “over the past year, the U.N. has become convinced that it needs to do much more regarding its own involvement in the initial outbreak and the suffering of those affected by cholera.” He added that a “new response will be presented publicly within the next two months, once it has been fully elaborated, agreed with the Haitian authorities and discussed with member states.”

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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Five Key Challenges for New UN Refugee Chief

The UN's new High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.  
Photo: Amanda Voisard/UNHCR

irinnews.org - BY Kristy Siegfried

OXFORD, 5 January 2016 (IRIN) - Getting back to work following the end-of-year break can be tough. But spare a thought for Filippo Grandi, who arrived in Geneva this week to begin his five-year term as head of the UN’s refugee agency.

Not only is he replacing António Guterres, who held the office of High Commissioner for the past 10 years and was widely revered, but he is doing so at a time when record numbers of people around the world are fleeing persecution and conflict and in need of UNHCR’s protection and support. . . .

. . . Here are five of the greatest challenges likely to preoccupy him in the coming months:

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

 

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Secretary-General Appoints David Nabarro of United Kingdom Special Adviser on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

                                                                 

un.org - December 3, 2015

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of David Nabarro of the United Kingdom as Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  The Special Adviser will work with Member States and other relevant stakeholders to galvanize action on implementation of the Agenda, while also overseeing the Secretary-General’s special initiatives, for example, “Every Woman Every Child”.

Dr. Nabarro has more than 30 years experience in public health, nutrition and development work at the national, regional and global levels, and has held positions in non-governmental organizations, universities, national Governments and the United Nations system.

Since September 2014, he has served as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Ebola, providing strategic and policy direction for the international response.  From 2005 to 2014 he was Senior Coordinator for Avian and Pandemic Influenza.  From 2011 to 2015, he served as Coordinator of the Movement to Scale Up Nutrition, and since 2009 he has been the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Food Security and Nutrition, a position he will continue to hold.

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