Lancet Journal and LSHTM launch new series on health in humanitarian crises

The Lancet and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have released a series of four papers that highlight gaps in the understanding of the health impacts of humanitarian crises.

The papers call for aligning humanitarian interventions with development programs, for more timely and robust health-information distribution, and for improvement in leadership and coordination to ensure that interventions are more efficient, effective, and sustainable. In addition, the papers call for action to ensure the protection of humanitarian workers. The series brings together lessons learned from "recent failures in humanitarian crises" and "to provide recommendations to improve a broken system".

Website – The Lancet

UN mourns sudden passing of population agency director

On June 4, 2017, Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), passed away suddenly in his home at the age of 68. UNFPA management spoke of their "devastating" loss, describing Dr. Osotimehin as a bold, strong leader who helped keep the health and rights of women and girls high on the global agenda. Dr Margaret Chan, outgoing Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), remembered Dr. Osotimehin as "a champion of health for all, but especially for women and adolescent girls". Dr Osotimehin was appointed as UNFPA’s fourth Executive Director on January 1, 2011, after serving as Nigeria’s Minister of Health. 

The UNFPA states that it remains dedicated continuing Dr Osotimehin’s grand vision for women and young people, which includes three major goals: 1) zero preventable maternal deaths, 2) zero unmet demand for family planning, and 3) the elimination of harmful practices against women and girls.

Press release - UNFPA


iCARE and ChildFund Australia consolidate

In a move to save costs and increase efficiency, the International Christian Aid Relief (iCARE) has joined forces with ChildFund Australia, giving up its operations to the larger organization. A joint statement released on June 5, 2017, announced that iCARE will be a subsidiary of ChildFund as of July 1, 2017. The move is intended to help maximize impact, funding, and donor outcomes.

News article - Pro-Bono Australia 

Australia Global

US increases assistance to South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen

The United States (US) has announced more than US$329 million in humanitarian assistance for urgently-needed support to address food insecurity and violence in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen. The funding brings the total of US humanitarian assistance to the four countries to nearly US$1.2 billion since the beginning of FY2017, and will cover emergency food and nutrition assistance, protection to civilians, safe drinking water, life-saving medical care, and shelter for those displaced. US support has previously also gone to health programming, sanitation, and hygiene services to prevent the spread of diseases.

Press release - USAID

Global Global health

German health minister emphasizes importance of funding to WHO during WHA

During his visit to the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA), German health minister, Hermann Gröhe, emphasized the importance of WHO for emergencies and disease outbreaks. Germany is a major supporter of the organization.

During his time in Geneva, Gröhe also attended a side-event of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), which Germany jointly hosted with Norway, and Rwanda, and spoke at the “Alliance of Champions”, a group of countries committed to develop national action plans to fight anti-microbial resistance (AMR).

Press release – BMG (in German)

Canada’s health minister announces CAD1.5 million for WHO and health services in Ukraine

On May 19-20, 2017, Canada’s Minister of Health, Jane Philpott, participated in the G20 Health Ministers’ meeting held in Berlin, Germany, to discuss global health priorities. As part of Canada’s commitment to global health needs, Minister Philpott announced that the Government of Canada will contribute CAD1 million (US$782,000) to support the World Health Organization's (WHO) Contingency Fund for Emergencies, and another CAD500,000 (US$391,000) for “life-saving health services to assist conflict-affected people in Ukraine”.  G20 Ministers committed to continue engaging on issues of global health, and reaffirmed their commitment to achieving health-related targets as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

News release - CNW

Canada Global Global health

G20 health ministers affirm collaboration to tackle AMR

G20 health ministers have agreed to work together to tackle emerging health challenges such as growing resistance to antibiotics (AMR). Germany, which holds the 2017 G20 presidency, said it was an "important breakthrough" that all nations had committed to address this issue and work towards mandatory prescriptions for antibiotics. The group also discussed how to foster research for new antibiotics, regional leadership of AMR, and improved communication about emerging health crises. 

After the conference, which was attended by German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan, the Argentinian health minister announced that global health would continue to be on the agenda when Argentina takes over the G20 presidency next year.

Press release - German government

Berlin Declaration of the G20 Health Ministers

Germany Global

UNITAID and ISGlobal call for innovative tools to address vector-borne diseases

On May 11, 2017, on the occasion of a scientific conference, Unitaid, a global health initiative hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) working to end the world's tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria epidemics, launched a joint press release with the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal). In it, they call for intensified efforts to support research and development of new tools to tackle vector-borne diseases such as malaria and the Zika virus.

The conference itself convened key stakeholders from the public health community as well as development officials from the Spanish government. The director of Spain's development agency (AECID),  Luis Tejada, attended.

Unitaid also launched a call for research grant proposals aimed at preventing malaria at the time.

Press release - ISGlobal (in Spanish)

European leaders call for more funding to fight drug-resistant TB

Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports and French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development hosted a high-level meeting in Brussels to discuss the threat of tuberculosis (TB) in Europe and encourage more financing for research and development (R&D). At the meeting, which was entitled “TB and European Health Security: The critical role of TB R&D in the context of AMR”, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), Vytenis Andriukaitis, along with government officials from France and the Netherlands underlined the urgent need to develop new tools to tackle multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and improve health security across Europe.

The meeting was jointly organized by the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance), the Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI), and the German health NGO, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW).

Press release - TB Alliance

Japan’s ministry of finance pledges US$40 million to ADB’s new trust fund for infrastructure development

Japan’s Finance Minister, Mr. Taro Aso, pledged US$40 million to Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) new trust fund for infrastructure development at the ADB 50th annual meeting from May 4-7, 2017. According to the ADB, US$26 trillion will be necessary to improve and develop infrastructure in Asian developing countries by 2032. Japan's pledge will be used to fill this funding gap over the next two years.

News article - Sankei News (in Japanese)

Global Japan