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- 09/07/16--00:40: _Sierra Leone: UNHRD...
- 09/07/16--16:17: _Sierra Leone: Emerg...
- 09/08/16--04:34: _Sierra Leone: WFP a...
- 09/08/16--08:28: _Chad: Food security...
- 09/09/16--01:20: _World: Global Weath...
- 09/09/16--03:10: _World: Crop Prospec...
- 09/09/16--08:29: _Uganda: Japan Steps...
- 09/09/16--14:37: _Côte d'Ivoire: Ivor...
- 09/12/16--07:16: _Nigeria: The (Not S...
- 09/12/16--12:19: _Kenya: Kenya: Kakum...
- 09/13/16--22:07: _Sierra Leone: Ebola...
- 09/14/16--01:10: _World: Lives on the...
- 09/16/16--01:25: _World: Global Weath...
- 09/16/16--07:46: _Mali: Analyse régio...
- 09/17/16--01:35: _World: Food Assista...
- 09/17/16--15:14: _Sierra Leone: Women...
- 09/18/16--15:33: _World: A gendered h...
- 09/18/16--20:52: _Italy: North Africa...
- 09/20/16--07:47: _World: Mixed Migrat...
- 09/20/16--10:57: _World: EU Annual Re...
UNHRD continues to dispatch operational equipment for its Partners, most recently supporting WFP by sending ICT equipment to Freetown in Sierra Leone.
During the worst of the crisis, UNHRD facilities in Accra and Las Palmas served as regional staging areas and the Accra depot hosted UNMEER headquarters.
On behalf of WFP, UNHRD procured and dispatched construction material and equipment for remote logistics hubs, Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) and Community Care Centres. In collaboration with WHO, UNHRD also procured and dispatched equipment to establish camps for teams tracing EVD. Members of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) set-up supply hubs, an ambulance decontamination bay and ETUs.
Alarming food situation among IDPs in Maiduguri in Borno State - Nigeria.
Progressive and near-final installation of the 2016-2017 crop year.
The FAO food price index continues to rise since five months.
- 09/09/16--01:20: World: Global Weather Hazards Summary, September 9 - 15, 2016
Persistent, aboveaverage rainfall since July has led to excessive rainfall surpluses and floods that have damaged infrastructure, displaced populations and caused fatalities in parts of Sudan, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.
There is a potential for increased number of locusts migrating from the Arabian Peninsula which may negatively impact cropping activities.
Below-average seasonal rainfall and persistent moisture deficits in the region have negatively impacted developing crops across parts of eastern Oromia and SNNPR in Ethiopia.
Low and poorly distributed seasonal rainfall across parts of central Senegal have led to strengthening moisture deficits and deteriorating ground conditions.
Heavy and frequent rain over the past several weeks has led to substantial rainfall surpluses and flooding along the Niger and Benue Rivers in Nigeria. Enhanced rainfall is forecast across central Nigeria, sustaining the risk for flooding through early September.
- Below-average rainfall over the past several weeks has led to growing rainfall deficits and abnormal dryness throughout much of Haiti and neighboring western Dominican Republic.
- 09/09/16--03:10: World: Crop Prospects and Food Situation No. 3, September 2016
- 09/16/16--01:25: World: Global Weather Hazards Summary, September 16-22, 2016
A prolonged period of heavy rainfall has triggered flooding and inundation along the Niger River in Nigeria and Niger. As the river slowly drains, stream flow should remain high through early September.
Low and poorly distributed seasonal rainfall across parts of central Senegal have led to strengthening moisture deficits.
Below-average seasonal rainfall and persistent moisture deficits in the region have negatively impacted developing crops across parts of the eastern Oromia and SNNP provinces of Ethiopia. Similar conditions have also begun to negatively impact ground conditions in many parts of Uganda,
South Sudan, and eastern DRC.
There is a potential for increased number of locusts migrating from the Arabian Peninsula which may negatively impact cropping activities.
- 09/17/16--01:35: World: Food Assistance Outlook Brief September 2016
- MHub is undertaking field surveys with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers along key migratory routes to build up a body of data over time and to map country and regional level mixed migration trends.
- This snapshot presents early survey findings of the profiles, intentions and experiences of those moving in mixed migration flows who have recently arrived in Italy in the last year.
- Though these findings cannot be considered statistically representative of the migration population, they do provide key insights into the migration process.
- 68% of respondents reported witnessing the death of another during the course of their journey, the majority in Libya (42% of occurrences), followed by the Sahara Desert (38%) and the Mediterranean Sea (16%). The remaining 4% took place in other transit countries.
- 98.5% of respondents said that they would not encourage others to embark on the journey from Sub-Saharan Africa to Italy. Based on interviews, the most recurrent word associated with the journey is ‘death’, while the most common adjectives used are ‘deadly’, ‘horrible’, ‘painful’, ‘terrible’, ‘stressful’, ‘inhuman’, ‘unreasonable’, and ‘dangerous’.
- 48% of the respondents reported having experienced or witnessed human trafficking, 80% occurring in Libya. Those responsible are smugglers (41% - starts as smuggling and turns into a situation of trafficking), organized criminal groups or local bandits (30%), alleged “friends”, employers and other people facilitating the migrant journey (22%), local police (3%), rebel groups (2%) and not specified (2%).
- 95% of respondents suffered or witnessed some kind of abuse during his/her migration journey.
- With the exclusion of respondents that arrived by plane, 86% reported having suffered or witnessed physical abuse or torture, followed by detention (71%), robbery (61%), forced labour (55%), sexual abuse (50%), and destruction of documents (32%).
- Based on survey responses, the most common routes taken to Libya were through Niger (64%), Algeria (13%), and Sudan (12%).
- The Niger route was used by those originating from Central and Western Africa. Those who traveled through Algeria were from Mali (40%), and Cameroon (24%), Gambia (2%), Guinea, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Senegal (34%). 22% transited through Burkina Faso and/or Mali before arriving in Niger or Algeria.
- The average length of the journey through Niger and Libya to Italy was 13 months.
- 100% of respondents originating from the Horn of Africa transited through Sudan.
- 39% of respondents indicated they had not willingly chosen to cross the Mediterranean – of these, 15% reported having been coerced/forced by local bandits or soldiers and 24% reported being forced by traffickers/smugglers. 49% reported having been taken to the boat by a “friend”, employer, colleague, etc. without being adequately informed about what was going to happen.
- Based on respondent accounts, rubber boats can carry anywhere between 15 and 750 people, despite having an average capacity of 180.
- 45% of respondents did not directly pay for their boat journeys. 12% did not remember the sum paid for the journey. Amongst those who directly paid for the crossing (43% of respondents), 18% paid between 50 - 450 USD, 40% between 500 - 1000 USD, 30% between 1000 - 2000 USD, and the remaining 12% paid more than 2000 USD.
- One in four respondents declared that they had arrived in Libya after being persuaded by an assumed “friend”, sponsored by an alleged future employer, or taken by a trafficker against their will. Those sponsored by a “friend” or future employer were consistently told that Libya was a safe country with plenty of job opportunities. Once in Libya, specifically in Gatron – typically the first city of arrival– or in Benualit or Tripoli, migrants are frequently apprehended by local bandits.
- 99% left from Libya. Of these, 72% left from Tripoli and 8% from Zuwara.
- 09/20/16--07:47: World: Mixed Migration in West Africa, July 2016
Combined Monthly Ebola Operations Update
30 August 2016
Current epidemiological situation, country-specific information + Post-Ebola systems strengthening
The Ebola disease which started in March 2014 claimed a total of 28,616 lives in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and also resulted in significant losses. Two years after the largest ever outbreak of Ebola, the affected West African countries are moving towards recovery efforts to rebuild their livelihoods. Guinea declared an end to Ebola virus transmission on 1 June. On 9 June the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the end of the most recent outbreak of EVD in Liberia.
Sierra Leone was severely afflicted by the epidemic along with the neighbouring countries of Guinea and previously Liberia. Having contained the last Ebola virus outbreak in March 2016, Sierra Leone has maintained heightened surveillance with testing of all reported deaths and prompt investigation and testing of all suspected cases.
The biggest outbreak of Ebola in human history is over, but a lot of work is still needed in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for these countries to be able to fully recover. The ultimate goal of post-EVD recovery plans remains to re-establish the conditions for a quick return to a healthy society, with viable livelihoods, psychosocial well-being, economic growth, and overall human development. At the same time, the immediate priority is to end the epidemic, and address the adverse conditions that enabled a localized epidemic to escalate into a national crisis with regional and global ramifications.
IFRC continues to closely monitor the Ebola response key performance indicators of the phase 3 Ebola response framework. The objectives of these indicators are to interrupt all chains of transmission, prevent new infections, detect timely and respond rapidly.
FREETOWN - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a contribution of US$3.1 million from the Government of Sierra Leone and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria - enabling WFP to scale up nutritional support for more than 20,000 Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) and tuberculosis (TB) patients.
People living with HIV have weakened immune systems and increased nutritional needs. Proper nutritional support is essential to ensure that their treatments work. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health & Sanitation, WFP is providing nutrition support to ART clients & TB patients through community health centres in Sierra Leone.
With the contribution from the Global Fund, WFP will be able to purchase staple foods, including rice, pulses and fortified vegetable oil. A food basket containing these items will be provided to undernourished ART/TB patients and their families to ensure an effective treatment. Additional fortified blended food like Super Cereal, a highly nutritious corn-soya blend, is provided to ART and TB patients for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition.
"WFP has partnered with the Ministry of Health & Sanitation to enhance service delivery to undernourished ART and TB patients, and to ensure that they adhere to treatment. With the support of the Government and the Global Fund, WFP’s food assistance will help maintain effective treatment for people living with HIV and TB in Sierra Leone,” said Peter Scott-Bowden, WFP Representative in Sierra Leone.
During the Ebola outbreak, WFP was able to continue to provide nutritional support to ART and TB patients. In 2015, the programme supported about 5,900 ART patients. The contribution will allow WFP to continue this vital nutritional support programme, scaling up to reach 20,000 more people affected by HIV and TB across the country.
“Treatment, counselling, food and supplement deserve equal status in our priority setting in combating HIV & AIDS,” said Dr. Momodu Sesay, the Director of the National AIDS Secretariat.
Proper nutrition is an essential means of protecting the lives and livelihoods of people living with HIV and TB. Improved food security also plays a critical role in helping to stop the spread of the epidemics.
For more information please contact: Francis Boima, WFP/Sierra Leone, +232 76750587 Fortune Madumo, WFP/Sierra leone +232 76344064
The 2016 crop year had a relatively early start, especially in the Sudano-Sahelian zone though with pockets of deficit in west-central Senegal, the coast of Liberia, the center of Ghana, southern Togo and south western Nigeria.
The updated seasonal forecast in July indicates that the probability of having higher than average rainfall over most of central and eastern Sahel and below average on the extreme western regions remains high.
The general average breeding conditions is beginning to improve with pasture regeneration following favorable rains.
The food and nutrition situation in the Lake Chad Basin continues to be precarious, especially among internally displaced persons (IDPs). In Maiduguri, in Borno State - Nigeria, 67.5 percent of IDPs are food insecure and 32 percent use emergency coping strategies (begging).
In early June 2016, a number of attacks were perpetrated by Boko Haram in the Bosso department in Diffa (Niger), triggering population movements. Faced with this crisis, 59 percent of households reported that they faced food shortages in the past seven days (mVAM Bulletin / Niger - June 2016).
Flooding risks remain in East and West Africa, while rainfall deficits increase in Ethiopia and Uganda
About Weather Hazards
The Global Weather Hazards report anticipates severe weather or climate events in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Central Asia. This product provides maps with current weather and climate information; short and medium range weather forecasts (up to one week); and the potential impact on crop and pasture conditions. It does not reflect long range forecasts or food security conditions.
Africa Weather Hazards
Central America and the Caribbean Weather Hazards
Prospects for global cereal production in 2016 continued to improve in recent months with significant upward revisions for maize and wheat, reflecting particularly favourable weather conditions in some of the large producing countries.
COUNTRIES IN NEED OF EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE: FAO estimates that 36 countries, including 28 in Africa, are in need of external assistance for food. Persisting conflicts and drought induced production declines are the main causes that have stressed food security in 2016.
AFRICA: Despite expected cereal production increases in East and West Africa, drought-reduced harvests in North and Southern Africa are forecast to pull down the aggregate 2016 cereal output to a below-average level. The impact of the El Niño-induced drought resulted in a significant increase in food insecurity in Southern Africa. Persisting conflicts, notably in Nigeria and in South Sudan, continue to severely impair agricultural production and food security in affected countries.
ASIA: In the Far East, cereal production is forecast to rebound strongly in 2016, after a reduced output in 2015 due to dry weather. Similarly, the output of the Asian CIS subregion is anticipated to increase, benefitting from improved weather conditions, while 2016 production in the Near East is forecast to fall from the bumper level of 2015. Several countries in the Near East continue to be affected by the negative impact of conflicts on agricultural production, livelihoods and food security.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: Despite a record maize crop forecast in Argentina in 2016, drought-reduced outputs in Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay have resulted in a large year-on-year decrease for the aggregate South American cereal output. Moderate production recoveries from last year’s drought reduced outputs are expected in most Central American countries, while Mexico is anticipated to harvest a bumper cereal crop in 2016.
YOKOHAMA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a US$21.6 million cash contribution from the Government of Japan to provide vital food and nutrition assistance to the most vulnerable people in 11 countries, with 90 percent of the contribution going to 10 African nations.
A large portion of the contribution will be used to purchase foodstuffs such as cereals and pulses to provide nutritious meals to school children and specialized nutritional products to infants under two, as well as to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
At the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), held in Nairobi in August, Japan reaffirmed the importance of nutrition as “the very foundation of health,” and is stepping up its support for the alleviation of hunger and malnutrition on the continent. WFP is an active partner of the “Initiative for Food and Nutrition Security in Africa (IFNA),” which was launched at TICAD VI by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and is ready to accelerate collaboration with Japan in the area of nutrition.
“WFP is grateful for Japan’s strong commitment to investing in food and nutrition security,” said Stephen Anderson, Director of the WFP Japan Relations Office. “Ending malnutrition is the best and smartest investment. Studies have found that for every dollar invested in proven nutrition interventions, the return is US$16. This contribution will help establish the healthy growth of children, who will, in turn, contribute to the robust development of nations.”
In Guinea, where the deadly Ebola outbreak exacerbated the already severe food insecurity, nearly 150,000 school children across the country will be provided with nutritious hot meals to boost nutrition and education.
In Uganda, the fund will be used to provide 30,000 children under two as well as 20,000 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers with fortified blended food. Mothers will also receive education in health, nutrition and growth monitoring, when food is distributed.
Beyond Africa, US$2.2 million will be granted to Sri Lanka to provide school meals to 160,000 food-insecure school children.
The breakdown of the contribution is as follows:
Africa: Guinea (US$3.8 million), Uganda (US$2.5 million), Liberia (US$2.3 million), Madagascar (US$2.3 million), Sierra Leone (US$1.9 million), Djibouti (US$1.4 million), Rwanda (US$1.4 million), Gambia (US$1.3 million), Guinea Bissau (US$1.3 million), Republic of Congo (US$1.2 million)
Asia: Sri Lanka (US$2.2 million)
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media
For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Silke Buhr, WFP/Bangkok, Tel. +66 (0)2 659 8616, Mob. +66 817 019 208
Adel Sarkozi, WFP/Dakar, Tel. +221 338 496 500, Mob +221 776 375 964
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi, Tel. +254 207 622 179, Mob. +254 707 722 104
David Orr, WFP/Johannesburg, Tel. +27 115 171 577, Mob. +27 829 081 417
Around 29,000 people contracted the haemorrhagic fever during the more than two-year long outbreak, the worst on record
ABIDJAN, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast has re-opened its western borders with Liberia and Guinea two years after they were closed to prevent the spread of an Ebola epidemic that killed thousands across West Africa, an Ivorian government spokesman said on Friday.
Read the full article here
Reading the excellent article by Bernardo Arévalo de León and Ana Glenda Tager on armed social violence felt like a long walk in the mountains: challenging, invigorating – and definitely worth the effort. The three strands entwined in their rigorous discourse assert that armed social violence (including criminal and inter-communal violence) is a phenomenon distinct from conventional armed violence and different again from individual and terrorist violence – although they choose not to say much about these latter spheres. The second strand in their argument is that our developing field of peacebuilding has relevant experiences to offer to complement traditional criminal justice responses.
Then they move to a call for a different strategic, systemic and operational response, one that fundamentally engages with the complex natures of social and conventional armed conflicts. As an old timer with over twenty years of experience in the relatively new professional field of peacebuilding, I commend the authors for helping to bring to our sector more considered attention of such innovative practice. I agree with their main arguments; however, I question the premise of the relative “newness” of such engagement for the field. Both endogenous and international organisations focusing on preventing, ending and resolving violent conflicts have always been faced with complexities. The multiple and overlapping domains of violent conflict have long posed response and mandate challenges. How to better meet these challenges is indeed the prime operational task ahead. In the next section of this response paper, I look back and test the assumption that the field did not engage with (or even actively avoided) these other overlapping spheres of violence, including the intercommunal and criminal. Then, in Section 3, I look forward and explore the outstanding challenges of working across our sectoral and professional boundaries. This involves, firstly, bridging security and peacebuilding actions as well as aligning international and domestic approaches into more coherent and deliberate responses to conflict. I will touch on just how overlapping the various types of armed violence – and the responses to them – are, cautioning against oversimplified distinctions and tactics. I will explore, thirdly, how we need to counter the inadvertent criminalisation of engaging with both criminal and conventional armed groups to prevent violence. I conclude with some reflections on how we can rise to the challenge of more inter-sectoral collaboration, learning and exchange in practice.
Maternal deaths were on the decline in Sierra Leone until 2013 - having halved since 1990 - then Ebola struck
By Kieran Guilbert
FREETOWN, Sept 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Rushing from one pregnant woman to another in the antenatal ward of Sierra Leone's main maternity hospital, Josephine Powells, a midwifery student, is all too aware of the danger facing the dozens of expecting mothers under her care.
Read the story on the Thomson Reuters Foundation
Access Campaign: As UN General Assembly starts, MSF urges governments to set medical research policies that align with people’s health needs
New MSF report exposes pharma industry failings and highlights new ways of researching and developing medicines that address public health needs
Geneva – Governments must do more to promote the development of desperately needed new medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics at affordable prices, urges Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), in a new report. As the 193 Member States of the United Nations meet at the General Assembly in New York this week, countries must prioritize urgent action to address some of the failures of research and development (R&D) into essential new drugs – such as antibiotics – and their often sky-high prices.
MSF’s report, Lives on the Edge: Time to Align Medical Research and Development with People’s Health Needs, diagnoses the failure of the current R&D system, and outlines new ways of developing tools to better address the medical needs of people, at prices they can afford. Governments must seize the opportunity to take action now, particularly in light of a forthcoming report on these issues commissioned by the UN Secretary General, and as world leaders gather at a UN summit to agree to collective action to address the crisis of drug-resistant infections, or antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
“People in poor and wealthy countries alike are now finding that the medicines they need either don’t exist, or are priced so high they can’t afford them, and governments need to solve these problems,” said Katy Athersuch, Medical Access and Innovation Policy Advisor of MSF’s Access Campaign. “At this year’s UN General Assembly, governments must seize the opportunity to support measures that will ensure new, affordable medicines are developed to meet urgent health needs – they cannot afford to simply prescribe the same old failed policies.”
Pharmaceutical corporations woefully under-invest in research for diseases that aren’t lucrative, while governments have failed to ensure that taxpayer-funded research addresses priority health needs. A lack of diagnostic tools, vaccines and medicines for Ebola and drug-resistant infections, for example, illustrate that the industry’s focus is on how the financial bottom line looks for companies and their shareholders, rather than on meeting pressing medical needs. With new hepatitis C medicines priced at US$1,000 per pill in places, the exorbitant prices pharmaceutical corporations charge people for lifesaving medicines is under intense scrutiny across many of the 193 UN member countries.
“The needs of people in the poorest countries are going unnoticed by pharmaceutical corporations. In the last half century, we’ve had just two new drugs developed to treat tuberculosis (TB), the world’s top infectious disease killer responsible for 1.5 million deaths a year,” said Dr Jennifer Hughes, TB doctor for MSF South Africa. “The people who MSF treats for drug-resistant TB need treatments that don’t leave them deaf or suicidal, and that give them better odds of being cured than just one in two. But the current way new drugs get developed means that pharmaceutical corporations aren’t interested in delivering better treatments for TB – as there’s not enough profit in it for them.”
Governments must introduce new approaches to R&D for medical tools to better diagnose and treat the health needs of people in all countries – and at affordable prices. These approaches need to break the links that tie medical research to high prices through monopoly-based market protections. One example of this new approach to R&D is the 3P Project, an initiative between MSF and other organizations involved in TB that aims to conduct collaborative research to develop new treatment regimens for TB by sharing data and intellectual property, and by paying for research using a novel combination of grants and prizes.
“The old ways of conducting R&D for new medicines clearly no longer work – not for the poorest countries, and increasingly not for the wealthiest countries either,” said Ms Athersuch. “We need to completely re-write the rule-book for medical R&D: it is time to try something new. With the UN Secretary General spearheading an effort to improve innovation of, and access to, health technologies, and a high-level global summit taking place on the global crisis of drug-resistant infections, this year’s UN General Assembly offers critical opportunities for governments to chart a new course for medical R&D.”
Abnormal dryness within East Africa and elevated river levels along the Niger River in Nigeria
Africa Weather Hazards
PROJECTED FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS FOR MARCH 2017
This brief summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food assistance needs in FEWS NET coverage countries. The projected size of each country’s acutely food insecure population is compared to last year and the recent five-year average. Countries where external emergency food assistance needs are anticipated are identified. Projected lean season months highlighted in red indicate either an early start or an extension to the typical lean season. Additional information is provided for countries with large food insecure populations, an expectation of high severity, or where other key issues warrant additional discussion.
Touching became forbidden; the scent of chlorine permeated the air. Whether directly or indirectly, Ebola, with its pervasive sense of abjection, affected every Sierra Leonean.
The concept of human dignity was central to how development partners, government, and the world responded to this emergency, which devastated the lives of many on a daily basis, as Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea weathered the worst health epidemic ever to hit West Africa.
It is often in the midst of desperate situations that we redefine our place in the world and give birth to the innovative solutions that make us whole again. This was precisely the case with the Survivor Dream Project (SDP). SDP came to be at a time when the outbreak and its responses were oscillating between devastation and progress. Its ambition was to produce impactful, community-based change, especially in the lives of women and girls who had survived a disease that disproportionately affected them.
For the past year at the Survivor Dream Project, we’ve made use of holistic psychosocial, educational, and entrepreneurial spaces to support the reintegration of Ebola survivors and build the capacity of the women in our program. The nucleus of our work has been about using healing as a sustainable approach to rebuilding communities torn apart by Ebola.
The idea that one has to continuously work on the heart and mind to deal with trauma is central to our community-based support model, in which women and girls are empowered through practical skill-building. This is how we believe that communities can become and remain resilient—through productivity and self-sufficiency.
Over the past 14 months, we’ve provided all 20 women in our program the chance to reunite in safe spaces on a biweekly basis, and organized 24 community-based healing and narrative therapy sessions. These sessions have been led by nutritionists, farmers, medical professionals, and even guest journalists from the BBC, some of whom covered the women’s stories in a program titled Women Who Survived Ebola. Still others held a dialogue event that was streamed through the BBC website. These opportunities provided the women at SDP a chance to tell their stories and to narrate their visions for the future.
The social workers at SDP never envisioned that their roles would include personally advocating for the women in the program. They have been called on to mediate family conflicts at the community level and sometimes in the workplace. Each time, they have had to recreate spaces for dialogue, education, reconciliation, and healing.
Over the past year, we’ve cried and laughed with these survivors, and celebrated their successes, like the student nurse who completed her nursing degree, and the senior nurse who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Service by the president of Sierra Leone. We’ve also been present during the difficult times—the survivors of SDP have struggled with homelessness, depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder.
SDP’s community-based interventions are rooted in the belief that each woman who enters the program should leave knowing that she has the capacity to realize her dreams. So far, we’ve achieved this by supporting five girls as they returned to school and thrived in their education. We’ve held workshops providing basic business skills and opportunities to tap into seed funding. And we’ve invested in each woman by helping her develop a business plan during her training. A photography exhibition, Through Her Eyes, was curated entirely by the women at SDP; the proceeds from the entry fees were then used to fund seed grants for each of their business ideas, ensuring that each woman remained central to her own progress.
A year later, SDP is still expanding, with dreams to open our program to 50 more underprivileged women survivors of Ebola. This next iteration will introduce a mental health assessment to track the efficacy of our community-based interventions and the overall well-being of each woman. Today, SDP has a more nuanced understanding of the barriers and the efforts required to drive investment in the psychosocial welfare of vulnerable groups of people in Sierra Leone.
The Survivor Dream Project is a grantee of the Open Society Foundations.
Globally gender remains a key factor in differing health outcomes for men and women. This article analyses the particular relevance of gender for debates about global health and the role for international human rights law in supporting improved health outcomes during public health emergencies.
Looking specifically at the recent Ebola and Zika outbreaks, what we find particularly troubling in both cases is the paucity of engagement with human rights language and the diverse backgrounds of women in these locations of crisis, when women-specific advice was being issued. We find the lessons that should have been learnt from the Ebola experience have not been applied in the Zika outbreak and there remains a disconnect between the international public health advice being issued and the experience of pervasive structural gender inequalities among those experiencing the crises. In both cases we find that responses at the outbreak of the crisis presume that women have economic, social or regulatory options to exercise the autonomy contained in international advice. The problem in the case of both Ebola and Zika has been that leaving structural gender inequalities out of the crisis response has further compounded those inequalities. The article argues for a contextual human rights analysis that takes into account gender as a social and economic determinant of health.
These findings are based on 211 interviews conducted between 3 March and 25 August in reception and transit centres in Turin, Asti, Milan, Bologna, Modena, Rome, Palermo, Trapani and Castellammare del Golfo.
ABUSES AND RISKS
I. Candidate countries and potential candidates
The values on which the EU is founded, as set out in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union, are reflected in the accession criteria. These essential conditions, which all candidate countries must satisfy to become a Member State, include the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, respect for the rule of law, human rights and the protection of minorities. The current enlargement agenda covers the countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey. The progress towards meeting these criteria is covered in depth in the European Commission's 2015 Enlargement Package1 . This year the Commission introduced a strengthened approach to its assessments in the annual reports on enlargement countries, which not only covered progress but also reported on the state of play and the countries' level of preparedness to take on the obligations of membership. The reports also provide clearer guidance on what the countries are expected to do.
The EU's enlargement policy remains focused on the 'fundamentals first' principle. Reflecting the core EU values and policy priorities, the enlargement process continues to prioritise reforms in the areas of the rule of law, fundamental rights, the strengthening of democratic institutions, including public administration reform, and economic development and competitiveness.
The 2015 EU Enlargement Strategy highlights the main challenges for candidate countries and potential candidates. Regarding fundamental rights, in the Western Balkans and Turkey the Commission continues to underline that while these are often largely enshrined in law, further efforts are needed to ensure implementation in practice. Freedom of expression presents a particular challenge, with ongoing negative developments in a number of countries. The Commission continues to prioritise work on freedom of expression and the media in the EU accession process.
There continues to be a need to better protect minorities, in particular Roma, who continue to suffer from discrimination and difficult living conditions. Discrimination and hostility towards other vulnerable groups, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons, is a serious concern. Additional work is also required to promote equality between women and men, fight domestic violence, ensure respect for the rights of the child and support persons with disabilities.
The functioning of democratic institutions also requires attention. The role of national parliaments in the reform process to ensure democratic accountability still needs to be strengthened.
Enlargement countries need to ensure the effective functioning of the institutional framework for the protection of fundamental rights and a much more supportive and enabling environment to foster the development of civil society as it will contribute to enhancing political accountability and a better understanding of accession-related reforms. The Commission continues to promote and support candidate countries' participation, and that of countries with which a Stabilisation and Association Agreement has been concluded, as observers in the work of the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency. Positive developments were registered in 2015 regarding The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania and Serbia.