Center for Humanitarian Health Weekly Newsletter
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The Humanitarian Health Weekly Newsletter

Center for Humanitarian Health Upcoming Events & Courses

Humanitarian Health Seminar

Careers in Humanitarian Health
Thursday, March 30, 2017 | Noon - 1:20PM
Watch via webcast (day of the event) | Please RSVP for in-person tickets

Paul Perrin, Director, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL), Catholic Relief Services
Patricia McIlreary, Vice President, Humanitarian Policy and Practice, InterAction
Lara Ho, Senior Technical Advisory for Health Research, International Rescue Committee
Jolene Nakao, Public Health and Medical Technical Advisor, Medical Epidemiologist Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA/USAID)

Dr. Gilbert Burnham, Professor, Dept of International Health, Center for Humanitarian Health

H.E.L.P Course

The H.E.L.P Course is offered by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in joint collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. For more than 20 years, the HELP course has offered humanitarian workers an intensive training experience in public health principles and disaster epidemiology.

Register for the course today!

For more information, please email the HELP Coordinator.

Recent Webcasts

Refugee Resettlement in the United States

February 23 seminar Refugee Resettlement in the United States. 
Watch full video

Recent Publications

Rubenstein, L., Spiegel, P. The revised US refugee ban, health, and security (2017) The Lancet.

Humanitarian Emergency News, Special Reports and Updates

Humanitarian Emergency News

Week of March 20th - March 26th, 2017

Hungry and desperate, thousands of Somalis trek to Ethiopia

DOLLO ADO, Ethiopia - Some 4,300 Somali refugees have fled Al Shabab violence and a worsening drought for Ethiopia this year – a growing number of them reaching safety pinched and gaunt through lack of food. At the Dollo Ado reception centre, refugees are registered and screened for medical problems. Nearly three-quarters of the children under five arriving are malnourished. While some flee, most Somalis are seeking relief inside of the country. In the last four months, some 256,700 Somalis have been internally displaced because of the drought. Somalia is the fourth-largest refugee crisis in the world. More than 1.4 million Somalis are living in exile, many for decades. The majority are hosted by countries in the region. Ethiopia alone hosts over 245,000 Somali refugees. With the emergence of another potential crisis in Somalia, regional leaders are calling for a more comprehensive international response for Somali refugees. With the drought now spreading into Ethiopia’s southern Somali region, hosting over 245,000 Somali refugees today, urgent funding is needed to deliver immediate aid, save lives and boost development. Read more.

Forty tons of humanitarian aid arrive in Peru to support the action of the Peruvian Red Cross

More than 40 tons of relief items sent by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) arrived in Lima March 26. The aid consists of kitchen kits, water and sanitation kits, jerrycans, rain-resistant protective films and water treatment equipment; which will be delivered to people affected by the emergency as part of the response actions of the Peruvian Red Cross. The IFRC and the Peruvian Red Cross launched an emergency appeal for 3.9 million Swiss francs ($ 4 million) to support 50,000 people in the most affected departments of Piura, Tumbes, Lambayeque and La Libertad. Peruvian Red Cross has been working since January in the most affected areas. So far almost 2,000 volunteers have been mobilized at national level, and IFRC technicians are on the ground carrying out relief work. Health and hygiene kits have been delivered to 817 families in the provinces of Chiclayo, Ferrenafe and Lambayeque. Read more.

Iraq: Thousands of wounded and sick coming from western Mosul

ERBIL, Iraq - Risking their lives, tens of thousands have fled Mosul since the offensive on the western part of the city started on 19 February. Thousands of wounded have been rushed from the conflict area by ambulance. In and around Mosul, there is a lack of medical resources to treat the high number of patients. Ambulances referring medical emergencies to hospitals outside the city are unable to cope with the numbers of trauma victims and to travel long distances to transfer patients in need of further treatment. MSF teams in and around Mosul have received more than 1,800 patients in need of urgent or lifesaving care in the last two months. Of those, 1,500 needed treatment for conflict-related trauma. In early March, MSF started to see children from western Mosul with severe malnutrition. Rapid malnutrition assessments were conducted in two camps for the most recently displaced people. According to people MSF met who are fleeing western Mosul, there is no infant formula milk left, there is a lack of food and clean water, and conditions are expected to worsen now that supply routes have been cut off. This has led MSF to set up a therapeutic feeding centre at its hospital in Qayyarah. Read more.

Special Reports

Kenya: Gripped by drought, 14,000 Kilifi residents get ‘e-water’ access

A biting drought for the last six months has led to the deaths of over 20,000 livestock and left little water for domestic use. The last rainy season in November brought little water, accelerating the crisis. In response, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) recently commissioned a joint project to address this problem in Jaribuni, a small village in the county. Water has been tapped from the main pipeline serving Kilifi and neighboring Mombasa County, which get its water from River Sabaki, the second-largest river in Kenya. Using solar power that complements the national grid, the water is then pumped to collection points in the villages. The solar panels -- introduced to boost the reliability of the water distribution and lower its cost -- have helped overcome the power cuts that hobbled the previous water distribution system. The project has also adopted an innovative system for revenue collection, which community leaders refer to as the first ''e-water'' service in the county. Users buy prepaid tokens from various suppliers and swipe them at the automated tap stands, which then dispense the requested amount of water. The water company that oversees the supply in the area can monitor the consumption and operations of the system remotely. The project will see 14,000 residents in Jaribuni and neighboring villages get access to reliable water at a reduced cost. Read more.

Mobile Learning Week: Education and technology converge to provide solutions for displaced people 

PARIS, France - Mobile Learning Week, UNESCO’s yearly flagship ICT in education conference, opened on Monday 20 March 2017 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. Mobile Learning Week 2017 is designed to help global knowledge sharing and develop solutions that can be scaled to strengthen inclusion in education and keep the cycle of learning in emergencies. It will look specifically at how innovative mobile learning can effectively support learners, teachers and systems. The five-day event will feature a symposium with 76 breakout sessions, exhibitions, and a mix of panel discussions and plenary addresses. It will highlight solutions that leverage technology to reach displaced learners, protect and maintain education in emergency settings and facilitate integration efforts. A Policy Forum held in collaboration with UNHCR and ITU will bring together ministers of education, ministers of ICT and leaders from private sector companies to examine how governments can foster innovation in the education sector and facilitate the acquisition of e-skills, particularly for disadvantaged or displaced learners. Read more.

Focusing on inclusive digital solutions for low-skilled and low-literate displaced people

PARIS, France - While digital services become increasingly important for migrant and refugee support, the trends analysis has found there are insufficient services targeted at low-skilled and low-literate users. Some of the opportunities that inclusive digital solutions can bring to migrants and refugees are vital communication and information sharing, access to learning, making payments and receiving financial support, and getting health information and psychosocial support. However, the lack of literacy skills constrains refugee communities. Along with cost, low literacy levels comprise the second-biggest barrier to connectivity for refugees. Project Literacy brings together a diverse and global cross-section of people and organizations to help unlock the potential of individuals, families and communities everywhere with the vision that by 2030, no child will be born at risk of poor literacy. Read more.

Humanitarian Health Updates

In Yemen, UNHCR reaches embattled Mokha with emergency aid

After weeks of intense negotiations, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has reached the embattled district of Mokha in Yemen’s western governorate of Taizz, where hostilities between the warring parties have escalated since January. Intensified fighting has led to more than 48,000 people being displaced from Taizz in the past six weeks alone. Humanitarian access to Mokha, a flashpoint of hostilities and one of the worst affected areas within the governorate, has been particularly challenging owing to ongoing clashes and movement restrictions imposed by parties to the conflict. UNHCR teams went on mission to Mokha this week and started distributions on Monday in an area close to the frontlines. More than 3,416 individuals affected by the conflict received non-food assistance from UNHCR, which included mattresses, sleeping mats, blankets, kitchen sets and wash buckets. This latest distribution supplements UNHCR’s previous distributions to those freshly displaced from intensified violence in Taizz. More than 18,151 individuals recently displaced from the Red Sea governorate were also reached by UNHCR assistance in nearby governorates of Al Hudaydah and Ibb. Read more.

Living a life of uncertainty

Bangladesh - On 20 March 2016, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched a 3.2 million Swiss Francs emergency appeal in support of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society’s efforts to address the most urgent humanitarian needs of the newly arrived migrants in Cox’s Bazar. The appeal will focus on providing food aid and other emergency relief items including shelter materials, clean water, sanitation and health care for 25,000 people over a nine-month period. Since October 2016 approximately 74,550 people have arrived in Cox’s Bazar. Most are living in poor conditions in overcrowded settlements and are largely dependent on humanitarian aid. The shortage of food, clean water and medical services is taking a toll on the displaced communities. The majority of the newly displaced are women and children – and there are reports of both gender based violence and child protection concerns. The Bangladesh Red Crescent will provide psychosocial support and child-friendly, safe spaces for children like Rameda. Red Crescent volunteers and medical teams are also working with other humanitarian agencies on creating awareness amongst the migrant population on Gender Based Violence referral services. Read more.

Stronger cooperation crucial to ensure sustainable refugee response in Greece

Joint efforts and strengthened cooperation are crucial to improving the situation for asylum-seekers and refugees in Greece with issued eight recommendations to help ensure a sustainable refugee response in the country. Improving reception conditions is a priority. This would require as agreed with the Greek Government providing more accommodation opportunities in urban areas such as additional apartments, the upgrade of some government-run refugee sites, and ensuring that all unsuitable sites are quickly closed. Progress in reception conditions will also help prevent and fight sexual and gender based violence, to which many vulnerable asylum-seekers, including women and children, are exposed in the sites. UNHCR continues to support the establishment of proper identification, referral and support systems for victims, including legal, medical and psychosocial care and safe houses. Over the past months, UNHCR has supported the Greek government in finding alternatives for several sites that were unsuitable. UNHCR stands ready to build on its accommodation scheme with municipalities, which has so far benefitted over 27,000 asylum-seekers, helping to restore normalcy to their lives and paving the way for the social integration of those refugees who will remain in Greece. Read more.

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