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Company calls on FDA to issue permit for genetically modified mosquitoes


  A company with a swarm of genetically modified mosquitoes wants   the Food and Drug Administrationto grant emergency approval for   the controversial insects' use in the fight against the Zika virus.

 Oxitec changed the DNA of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that    spread the virus so their offspring die before adulthood, Hadyn  Parry, the British company's CEO, told the House of    Representatives' Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in Washington on Wednesday. The company deploys only male mosquitoes, which cannot bite, to halt transmission of the disease, he added.

"I don’t think time is on our side with Zika," Parry said.

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Inside the World Bank's Pandemic Emergency Facility

On Saturday, the World Bank Group officially launched its much anticipated Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility — a financing mechanism designed to quickly mobilize funds to tackle global disease outbreaks and create a new insurance market for pandemic risk. Questions linger about how effective the new mechanism will be, how much money it can leverage, and whether it can stand the test of time against pandemics that are growing more frequent and more costly.

The international community struggled to effectively mobilize funds to bring an end to the Ebola virus outbreak that ravaged West Africa in 2014, killing thousands. The latest global health emergency to grip the world’s attention — the Zika virus — is highlighting again just how ill-prepared the international community is to fund cross-border outbreak response. Three months after the U.S. White House requested $1.9 billion for Zika, the U.S. Congress is still arguing over the sum.

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World Bank Launches $500 Million Insurance Fund to Fight Pandemics


World Bank President Jim Yong Kim speaks during a panel discussion at the Anti-Corruption Summit in London, Thursday, May 12, 2016.  REUTERS/FRANK AUGSTEIN/POOL - by David Lawder - May 20, 2016

The World Bank on Saturday said it was launching a $500 million, fast-disbursing insurance fund to combat deadly pandemics in poor countries, creating the world's first insurance market for pandemic risk. . . . 

. . . In the event of a pandemic outbreak, the facility will release funds quickly to affected poor countries and qualified international first-responder agencies. . . . 

. . . The so-called Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility will initially provide up to $500 million that can be disbursed quickly to fight a pandemic, with funds released once parametric triggers are met, based on the size, severity and spread of an outbreak.



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Ecuador Earthquake - Information Resources

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A 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred on the central coast of Ecuador on 16 April 2016 at 23:58:37 (UTC), 6:58pm ECT.
The epicenter was 16 miles SSE of the town of Muisne.

Another earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 struck Ecuador early Wednesday, 18 May 2016 at 2016-05-18 07:57:05 (UTC).  The epicenter was 36 miles south of Esmeraldas at a depth of about seven miles, the USGS said.

Also, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 struck Ecuador on Wednesday 2016-05-18 at 16:46:44 (UTC).  The epicenter was 24km NW of Rosa Zarate, at a depth of 31.0 km.

Alberta Wildfire Growing, May Reach Saskatchewan


Sara MacKinnon of Westville took this picture as she fled Fort McMurray. - by Ralph Ellis, Steve Almasy and Ray Sanchez - May 8, 2016

The massive wildfire that forced almost 90,000 people to evacuate in Alberta is growing and approaching the neighboring province of Saskatchewan, Canadian officials said Saturday.

Dry and extremely windy conditions are fueling the blaze, which has already scorched more than 1,560 square kilometers (602 square miles) and ravaged the city of Fort McMurray, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Saturday.

"The situation remains unpredictable and dangerous," he told reporters.




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World Humanitarian Summit


The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, set to take place in Istanbul on 23-24 May 2016, is a global call to action by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The Summit has three main goals:

  1. To re-inspire and reinvigorate a commitment to humanity and to the universality of humanitarian principles.
  2. To initiate a set of concrete actions and commitments aimed at enabling countries and communities to better prepare for and respond to crises, and be resilient to shocks.
  3. To share best practices which can help save lives around the world, put affected people at the center of humanitarian action, and alleviate suffering.



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Chernobyl's legacy 30 years on

Image: Dr Rachel Furley (centre) with members of the Kartuzovi family, one of the many families her charity helps. - April 26th 2016 - Tom Burridge

Children are still being born with severe birth defects and rare types of cancer in areas near to Chernobyl, according to a British charity, three decades on from the world's worst civil nuclear disaster.

The accident on 26 April 1986 contributed to the downfall of the Soviet Union, changed the way the world thinks about nuclear energy and has affected an unquantifiable number of people in the region.

For British paediatrician Dr Rachel Furley, the "desperately sad" reality is that women who have spent their entire lives exposed to high levels of radiation are now having children. 


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SLRS Reaching the Community People

The SLRS team working hard to get information from the local communities and see ways how it report their problems and links them with solution.

The community people where very happy for the initiative and welcome the team in the community and promise to help with what ever asistance they would need to proceed with their job. The councilor on the far left, Mike in the middle, Mcdonald on the right where very happy to work with each other see how best the Resilience System works. The councilor said'' I hope this would not be like any other type of project that uses the people and make no changes, but will try help sovle problems of help in the community''. Mr. Mcdonalds the project lead makes it clear that the project would be from the people, and would work with the people and try to see how they would link the people with the possible solution available as Magazine community was one of the most affected community in the capital city of Sierra Leone with the last cases to come from.

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How to Survive a Global Disaster: a Handy Guide


Ubisoft’s role-playing shooter The Division wouldn’t be as much fun if players followed Nafeez Ahmed’s advice and stayed rural.  Photograph: Ubisoft

Whether it’s a natural disaster, bioterrorist attack or pandemic, experts reckon society as we know it will collapse within 13 days of a catastrophic event. So what do you do next? - by Keith Stuart - February 10, 2016

On 22 June, 2001, Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies, organised a war game like no other. The two researchers, working with an array of bodies such as the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security, set out to simulate the effects of a biological attack on the US. The project was called Operation Dark Winter.

What they discovered was that the country was ill prepared to cope.



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NGOs Speak: Their Most Pressing Humanitarian Priorities for 2016


South Sudan tops many aid agencies' humanitarian priority lists. as a three-year civil war exacts a heavy toll on the citizens of the country.  (Nichole Sobecki, AFP)

Following a call from the UN for a record $20.1 billion, 15 of the world's leading aid agencies were polled on their top humanitarian concerns. - by Tom Esslemont - December 28, 2015

There’s one prediction for 2016 that most aid workers can make with confidence – that the new year will usher in rising humanitarian needs.

Besides displacement caused by long-term conflicts in places like Syria and South Sudan, there is also the threat of more violence in Central African Republic and hunger caused by El Nino, which is expected to bring more drought to already-parched southern regions in Africa and potential flooding in the east. . . .

. . . A Thomson Reuters Foundation poll asked 15 of the world’s leading aid agencies to name their top three humanitarian priorities for 2016. Not surprisingly, Syria topped the list of concerns. But what were the others?



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