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Obama Asks for $1.8 Billion in Emergency Zika Funding

           

Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease and Anne Schuchat of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speak with reporters during a press briefing about the Zika virus at the White House in Washington February 8, 2016  REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE

CLICK HERE - The White House - FACT SHEET: Preparing for and Responding to the Zika Virus at Home and Abroad

CLICK HERE - CDC Emergency Operations Center moves to highest level of activation for Zika response

reuters.com - by Roberta Rampton and Ben Hirschler - February 8, 2016

President Barack Obama will ask the U.S. Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funds to fight Zika at home and abroad and pursue a vaccine, the White House said on Monday, but he added there is no reason to panic over the mosquito-borne virus.

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Bharat Biotech Says Working on Two Possible Zika Vaccines

           

A municipal health worker shows off a test tube with larvae of Zika virus vector, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, as part of the city's efforts to prevent the spread of the Zika, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, February 2, 2016.  REUTERS/JOSUE DECAVELE

in.reuters.com - by ZEBA SIDDIQUI - February 3, 2016

Indian biotechnology company Bharat Biotech said on Wednesday it was working on two possible vaccines to fight the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects in thousands of babies in Brazil.

The virus is spreading rapidly in the Americas, and WHO officials on Tuesday expressed concern that it could hit Africa and Asia as well. No vaccine has been developed so far.

One of the possible vaccines is "recombinant", which means it is created by genetic engineering, while the other was "inactivated", and will enter pre-clinical trials in animals in two weeks, Bharat Biotech managing director Krishna Ella told Reuters.

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The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics

submitted by Albert Gomez

ellenmacarthurfoundation.org - January 19, 2016

Applying circular economy principles to global plastic packaging flows could transform the plastics economy and drastically reduce negative externalities such as leakage into oceans, according to this new report.

The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics provides, for the first time, a vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste, and outlines concrete steps towards achieving the systemic shift needed.

The report was produced by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with analytical support from McKinsey & Company, as part of Project MainStream, a global, multi-industry initiative that aims to accelerate business-driven innovations to help scale the circular economy. It was financially supported by the MAVA Foundation.

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How Could Paris Climate Talks Change Africa’s Future?

          

Pilanesburg National Park, three hours from Johannesburg in South Africa, has been ravaged by drought. Zebras roam the game reserve on November 12, 2015.  PHOTOGRAPH BY WENDY KOCH, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

The UN meeting will focus on developed countries’ plans to curb global warming, but it could give Africa money to embrace clean energy.

nationalgeographic.com - by Wendy Koch - November 23, 2015

A landmark UN report says rising temperatures will “amplify existing stress on water availability” in Africa—a continent that’s contributed little to climate change but is reeling from its impacts. . . .

. . . Countries have pledged to cut their planet-warming emissions of greenhouse gases. Richer nations have also pledged $100 billion a year to help poorer ones adapt to climate change and adopt clean sources of energy.

“Africa could be one of the biggest beneficiaries of COP21,” UN’s Vincent Kitio said at National Geographic’s Great Energy Challenge forum this month in Johannesburg on sub-Saharan Africa’s future.

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At Davos, U.N. Appeals For Final $1 Billion To Fight Ebola

             

Fabrice Coffrini via Getty Images

huffingtonpost.com - by Ben Hirschler

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 21 (Reuters) - United Nations agencies need a final $1 billion to fight West Africa's deadly Ebola epidemic as experts move to a new phase involving a massive detective operation to trace remaining cases, the U.N. Ebola chief said on Wednesday.

David Nabarro estimated that an overall total of $4 billion in new money, equivalent to all the aid committed so far, was needed by relief agencies and the worst affected countries themselves to end the epidemic and "help these countries to get back to the economic trajectory they had." 

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Community Resilience Center - Sri Lanka

communityresiliencecenter.org

Community Resilience Center is a community-based organization in Sri Lanka with the aim of promoting community level resilience to disasters.

Vision

A safe world where people will live in love, dignity and opportunities for growth.

Mission

To engage, enlighten and empower communities to promote resilience.

Objectives

1.To promote continuous professional development of membership towards enhancing resilience.

2.To engage communities and all relevant stakeholders in an inclusive manner towards promotion of community resilience.

3.To promote the understanding and application of community resilience.

4.To develop, disseminate and evaluate tools and techniques to assess and enhance community resilience.

5.To innovate, implement and evaluate methods to improve community resilience.

(SEE ATTACHMENT BELOW FOR A REPORT ON COMMUNITY RESILIENCE CENTER ACTIVITIES)

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A Billion in Pandemic Prevention Is Worth a Trillion in Cure

          

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers /Bloomberg

The world is warned to prepare now for health crises such as the Ebola outbreak, or pay a lot more later.

CLICK HERE - LINK TO REPORT AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION - The Neglected Dimension of Global Security - A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises 

bloomberg.com - by John Tozzi - January 13, 2016

The world needs a . . . transformation to prevent outbreaks of infectious disease that threaten security and economic stability, according to a report sponsored by several major foundations. Pandemics—epidemics that spread across the globe—could cost humanity $6 trillion in the 21st century, or $60 billion a year, the authors estimate. They argued for investing $4.5 billion a year—or 65 cents for every resident of the planet—to prepare.

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The Neglected Dimension of Global Security - A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises

nam.edu - January 13, 2016

CLICK HERE - National Academy of Medicine - Global Health Risk Framework - The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises

CLICK HERE - REPORT - The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises (144 page .PDF report)

The Global Health Risk Framework (GHRF) initiative will build on lessons from the current Ebola outbreak and other major outbreaks to develop a comprehensive framework for improving our response to future global public health threats. The Commission will rigorously analyze options for improving governance, finance, health system resilience, and research and development for global health security. To foster trust internationally with various levels of government, civil society, academia, and industry, the Commission intends to keep the framework from being influenced by politics or the interests of any one country or organization.

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Aid Convoys Reach 3 Syria Communities Besieged for Months

         

Madaya Syria: Aid convoy reaches besieged town - bbc.com

nytimes.com - Associated Press - January 11, 2016

Aid convoys delivered long-awaited food, medicine and other supplies to three besieged communities Monday, part of a U.N.-supported operation to help tens of thousands of civilians cut off for months by the war in Syria.

Reports of starvation and images of emaciated children have raised global concerns and underscored the urgency for new peace talks that the U.N. is hoping to host in Geneva on Jan. 25.

The U.N. Security Council took up the issue Monday. The U.N. says 4.5 million Syrians are living in besieged or hard-to-reach areas and desperately need humanitarian aid, with civilians prevented from leaving and aid workers blocked from bringing in food, medicine, fuel and other supplies.

It will take several days to distribute the aid in the town of Madaya, near Damascus, and the Shiite villages of Foua and Kfarya in northern Syria, and the supplies are probably enough to last for a month, aid agencies said.

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Madaya: Syria Allows Aid to Reach City Facing Starvation, Says U.N.

PHOTO: A boy in Madaya is heard saying he has not eaten properly for seven days during the video.  ABC News

U.N. to send food to Syria's town facing starvation

CLICK HERE - UNOCHA - Joint Statement on hard-to-reach and besieged communities in Syria

CLICK HERE - MSF - Syria: Siege and starvation in Madaya; immediate medical evacuations and medical resupply essential to save lives

cnn.com - Khushbu Shah, Nick Paton Walsh and Peter Wilkinson
January 7, 2016

Children and skeletal old men drinking soup made from leaves and grass. A kilo of rice costing more than $100. People said to be dying from starvation. The accounts could be of a World War II death camp, but they are not. This is Syria in 2016.

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