UK contributes £50 million to tackle ongoing Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

Source: Department for International Development
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The outbreak in the DRC is the second largest Ebola outbreak ever and the first in a conflict zone, killing more than 1,600 people since it started in the region in August 2018.
The UK has announced fresh support to help deal with the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Speaking at an event about the crisis in Geneva yesterday (Monday 15 July), the International Development Secretary, Rory Stewart, announced funding of up to £50 million to aid the ongoing response in North Kivu and Ituri, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as well as helping neighbouring countries to prepare.

UK aid has already supported vaccines, surveillance and the construction of treatment centres in response to the outbreak, as well screening on the borders of countries next to eastern DRC. This new funding will enable this life-saving work to continue in the affected areas.

From the start of this outbreak, the UK government has consistently supported the government of the DRC, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the wider UN and NGOs to stop the spread of this disease, providing financial, technical and political backing.

However, more is still needed and the International Development Secretary has warned there must be a truly international response to this global crisis.

The meeting in Geneva, led by the WHO and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, convened key participants including the UK, other international donors, the UN, the government of the DRC and heads of NGOs, to take stock of the response. The DRC’s Minister of Health, Dr Olly Ilunga, said the meeting in Geneva yesterday had been of key importance.

At the event, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock thanked the UK for its generosity and for taking a leading role in tackling the spread of Ebola.

The outbreak in the DRC is the most complex public health emergency in recent history. It is the second largest Ebola outbreak ever and the first in a conflict zone, with high levels of community mistrust around the response. Ebola has killed more than 1,600 people since it started in the region in August last year and the situation is far from under control. More must be done if the response is to be successful.

At the event yesterday, the International Development Secretary expressed his deepest condolences following the death of two Congolese Ebola health workers over the weekend. Response efforts have been continually hampered by violent attacks on health workers and health centres by armed groups. The UK continues to condemn these attacks and commends the extraordinary bravery of Congolese and international responders who are striving tirelessly to end the outbreak.

Drawing on what he saw in the DRC during a visit in early July, the Secretary of State gave a stark account of the crisis and once again called on other countries to play a bigger role in supporting the response as a matter of urgency, specifically warning that they need to step up their funding.

International Development Secretary, Rory Stewart said:

There are still a lot of things to be very, very worried about. This is not a moment for complacency – we are literally on a knife edge. We are going to have to put a lot more money into this on a no regrets basis. It is smart to spend money now, so we don’t have to spend much more later.

To put it very bluntly the money is simply not coming through. I raised this at the G7 meeting in Paris with development ministers earlier this month. The United States has done an enormous amount. We would be hugely grateful if other G7 countries really stepped up.

I want to say a huge thank you to the enormous number of actors who are on the ground, from the Congolese teams on the front line, to the Ministry of Health in the DRC to the WHO to NGOs. They are all doing an extraordinary job.


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La Agencia para los refugiados preocupada por las nuevas restricciones al asilo de Estados Unidos

Source: UN News Service
Country: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, United States of America, World

La medida restringe excesivamente el derecho a solicitar asilo y pondrá en riesgo a las personas vulnerables que necesitan protección internacional y que huyen de sus países por la violencia o la persecución.
La medida restringe excesivamente el derecho a solicitar asilo y pondrá en riesgo a las personas vulnerables que necesitan protección internacional y que huyen de sus países por la violencia o la persecución. “Es una medida severa y no es la mejor manera de avanzar”, ha asegurado el responsable de la agencia.

La Agencia de la ONU para los Refugiados está profundamente preocupada por la nueva normativa que restringe el acceso al asilo a la mayoría de las personas que cruzan la frontera terrestre sur de los Estados Unidos.

Para ACNUR, la medida pondrá en riesgo a las personas vulnerables que necesitan protección internacional y que huyen de sus países por la violencia o la persecución.

“Comprendemos que el sistema de asilo de Estados Unidos se encuentra bajo mucha presión y estamos listos para jugar un rol constructivo, y poder ayudar a aliviar esta presión”, ha dicho en un comunicado el Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados.

Filippo Grandi añadió que, sin embargo, la normativa estadounidense pondrá a familias vulnerables en riesgo, lo que menoscabará los esfuerzos de los países de toda la región para identificar las respuestas colectivas y coherentes que se necesitan.

“Es una medida severa y no es la mejor manera de avanzar”, aseguró.

Migrantes y refugiados han estado abandonando partes de Centroamérica en números cada vez mayores en los últimos años por razones que van desde las carencias económicas extremas hasta la persecución. Muchos de ellos huyen de la horrenda violencia de pandillas brutales y necesitan protección internacional.

Una restricción excesiva

De acuerdo con el texto de la disposición, las personas que ingresan a los Estados Unidos a través de la frontera terrestre sur se considerarán no elegibles para el proceso de asilo, si antes de trasladarse a la frontera de los Estados Unidos pasaron por otro país, y no intentaron solicitar asilo.

ACNUR cree que esta disposición restringe excesivamente el derecho a solicitar asilo, amenaza el derecho a la protección contra la devolución, aumenta significativamente la carga de la prueba para los solicitantes de asilo, más allá de los estándares legales internacionales, restringe drásticamente los derechos y libertades básicos de quienes logran satisfacerla, y no está en línea con las obligaciones internacionales.

El mes pasado, ACNUR hizo un llamado a los Gobiernos de los países de las Américas a reunirse con urgencia para desarrollar e implementar de inmediato una respuesta regional coordinada ante el creciente número de personas que salen de Centroamérica.

HLA inaugurates new Advisory Group

HLA announces the creation of a new Advisory Group to support the delivery of its core mission.

The group is composed of distinguished professionals with deep knowledge of the humanitarian logistics sector, including many who have been closely involved with the work of HLA over the years. They are:

Andrew Parkes, Global Operations Manager, Malaria Consortium

Nick Murdoch, Independent Logistics & Supply Chain Consultant

Will Holden, Managing Director Emergency Logistics Team, CMILT

Martijn Blansjaar, Head of Supply and Logistics, OXFAM GB

Jane Tikhwi Muyundo, Castelbarco Capacity Building Consultants

Stuart Smith, Global Director, Humanitarian, Volga Dnepr Group

Neil Rodrigues, Director Global Supply Chain, International Medical Corps

Jarrod Goentzel, Director, MIT Humanitarian Supply Chain Lab

Michael C. Whiting, independent humanitarian logistics consultant

Ilse Larkin, independent humanitarian logistics professional and guest lecturer at University of Cranfield

John Cropper, Lead, Program Management and Humanitarian, Humentum

Frank Clary, VP Sustainability, Agility Logistics

The first meeting of the newly-constituted board took place on May 30, 2019 where they discussed among other things the draft HLA strategy, and the new ‘HLA Connect’ – which is an enhanced web platform which aims to make it less challenging for stakeholders to engage with the humanitarian logistics (HL) sector, and other related humanitarian initiatives / activities.

The group will meet remotely every two months, with the next call scheduled for the end of July.

“I am immensely pleased that HLA has now been able to launch a new advisory group to help steer the organisation through the implementation of its latest three-year strategy. HLA is extremely grateful to the members that have joined the group; they bring a broad range of expertise and wealth of experience. Their commitment to supporting the aims of the HLA and to building humanitarian logistics as a recognised sector is hugely important.” George Fenton, Chief Executive, HLA

HLA joined NCVO

HLA joined UK National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in November 2018 as a member organization. NCVO acts as the major connector in the volunteer sector. NCVO promotes volunteerism and serves the organizations that recruit volunteers, as well as volunteers themselves. Since HLA’s team consists of some volunteers at different levels of expertise, joining NCVO will help the organization in volunteer performance assessment and management. Apart from being a platform for volunteers and non-profit organizations to connect and network with one another, NCVO provides a wealth of learning materials for professional development of volunteers and their associated organizations on its website. Its wide range of training courses covers topics tailor made for trustees, board of directors, volunteers’ supervisors, fundraisers, advocacy officers, campaigners and financiers. For more details on what NCVO has to offer, you can visit their website: