UNMEER [UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response] [to 18 October 2014]

UNMEER [UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response] @UNMEER #EbolaResponse
UNMEER’s website is aggregating and presenting content from various sources including its own External Situation Reports, press releases, statements and what it titles “developments.” We present a composite below from the week ending 18 October 2014.

UNMEER External Situation Reports
UNMEER External Situation Reports are issued daily (excepting Saturday) with content organized under these headings:
– Highlights
– Key Political and Economic Developments
– Human Rights
– Medical
– Logistics
– Outreach and Education
– Resource Mobilisation
– Essential Services
– Upcoming Events
Beginning with this issue of “Week in Review” we will present selected elements of interest from these reports. The full report is available as a pdf using the link provided by the report date.

17 October 2014 Excerpts
:: Key Political and Economic Developments
1. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon made a strong call to turn pledges into action, appealing to the international community to provide the $1 billion that will enable the crisis response to get ahead of the curve and meet its target of reducing the rate of transmission by December 1st…
2. The UN Ebola Response Operational Planning Conference, arranged by UNMEER in Accra, Ghana (15-18 October) has led inter-agency discussions on putting together a credible operational plan to combat EVD…
:: Human Rights
5. UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, stated that respect for the rights of survivors and affected communities are at risk of being sacrificed. He also stressed that a disregard for human rights to things like health, education, sanitation and good governance had allowed Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to become fertile ground for the outbreak in the first place.
6. Human Rights Watch has said some EVD quarantines had been ineffective and did not meet human rights standards as they disproportionately impact people unable to evade the restrictions, including the elderly, the poor, and people with chronic illness or disability.
:: Outreach and Education
20. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)’s report on disasters stated that the current EVD epidemic has shown that culture and beliefs are vital when tackling emergency situations. IFRC Deputy Secretary General Matthias Schmale said that the population should feel we understand their practices and in the case of EVD, funerals are an opportunity to make a community realize no one is against their culture.
26. London Mining, which owns an iron ore mine in Sierra Leone and has built an Ebola treatment centre, has reportedly gone bankrupt. The collapse of the company raises concerns about international efforts to combat Ebola.
:: Essential Services
28. UNFPA reported that EVD is wiping out gains in safe motherhood made in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. An estimated 800,000 women in these three countries should give birth in the next 12 months but many pregnant women are afraid to visit or have been turned away from overstretched health facilities. UNFPA says that USD 64.5 million is needed to provide reproductive and maternal health services in the next three months.
29. Some 108,000 children due to sit their secondary school exams have missed them, says the UNICEF education head in Sierra Leone. Teachers are still being paid and the government has just launched a radio education programme aired over a 12-hour period to four different age groups.
:: OCHA financial tracking of overall contributions to the Ebola response

16 October 2014 Excerpts
:: Human Rights
7. A standard operating procedure (SOP) for enforcing roadblocks and quarantines, drafted with the help of UNDP, has been approved by the Government of Sierra Leone. UNDP will work to scale-up the implementation of the SOP and support the training of 4,000 – 5,000 officers nationwide.
:: Medical
14. Fiji will stop sending peacekeeping police officers to Liberia due to the Ebola crisis. The Fiji Police Force will phase out the 27 officers currently stationed in UNMIL after the completion of their one-year tour of duty.
15. Firestone Tire and Rubber Company’s production facility in Liberia, which employs more than 8,000 workers, has seen approximately 71 employees, family members, retirees, and people living in the surrounding communities contract EVD. Firestone’s Ebola Treatment Center (ETC) has helped 17 people survive and become a model ETC in the process.
:: Logistics
23. Director of operations for Medecins Sans Frontieres, Brice de le Vingne, reports that it is reaching its limit and called on all partners step up efforts against EVD.
:: Outreach and Education
24. Social media users in Sierra Leone are turning to chat apps to disseminate information about EVD. Private groups are being set up on WhatsApp, a smartphone instant messaging service, so that information about Ebola can be shared in a space where conversations can take place more freely than on Facebook.

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UNMEER site: Press Releases
:: Ebola wiping out gains in safe motherhood (16 October 2014)
:: WFP Operational Update (15 October 2014)
:: Community Mobilization, Local Investment Needed to Win Fight Against Ebola, says UN (14 October 2014)

UNMEER site: Statements
:: WHO declares Ebola outbreak over in Senegal (17 October 2014)
:: Security Council Press Statement — Ebola (15 October 2014)
:: Briefing by Mr. Anthony Banbury Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response

UNMEER site: Developments
:: Aid for Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia
15 October 2014 – New York A German aircraft arrived Wednesday morning at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, where it was to be loaded with UN humanitarian supplies and equipment for delivery this week to Sierra Leone and Guinea, said Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General.

:: Sierra Leone’s contact tracers work to curtail Ebola outbreak
14 October 2014 – Kailahun/New YorkAs Ebola infections continue to escalate at an alarming rate in West Africa, UNFPA-trained contact tracers in Sierra Leone are playing a vital role in mitigating the public health crisis.

:: Nabarro: Ebola outbreak could begin to be brought under control by year’s end
13 October 2014 – New York The Ebola outbreak that has struck Western Africa could begin to be brought under control by the end of 2104 if international donors act quickly and generously, according to the United Nations Special Envoy on Ebola.