News in the Humanosphere: Money for Ebola response finally making its way to UN coffers

Credit: Doug888/Flickr

Last week, it was revealed that only $100,000 was committed against a $1 billion U.N. trust fund to provide rapid and flexible funding to combat the outbreak in West Africa. Quite a bit more has been pledged in the past few days, including $50 million to the trust fund and many millions to other funding mechanisms. Still not enough, but at least things are moving in the right direction. “The United Nations Financial Tracking Service showed on Tuesday that more than $410 million had been committed to Ebola response efforts, while another $225 million in non-binding pledges had been made. These figures include payments and pledges to the U.N. trust fund. Dujarric said Ban established the fund “to provide a flexible, accountable, strategic and transparent platform to finance critical unfunded priorities and help reduce the rate of Ebola transmission.” (Reuters http://bit.ly/10oNYFh)

Latest on the Canadian Parliament attack via the CBC http://bit.ly/1FEmxHm

Ebola--The Good News

A top Red Cross official said Wednesday that he is confident the Ebola epidemic that has killed thousands of people in West Africa can be contained within four to six months. (AP http://yhoo.it/12deyBZ)

A U.S. photojournalist has joined a Spanish nurse in being declared free of Ebola, as the United States tightened restrictions on travelers from the West African countries at the epicenter of the outbreak. (AFP http://yhoo.it/10oDbef)

Dozens of Ebola survivors have been discharged from a treatment center near Sierra Leone’s capital and told they were virus-free. (AFP http://yhoo.it/10oMtaa)

Johnson & Johnson will start safety testing in early January on a vaccine combination that could protect people from a strain of the deadly Ebola virus, to the tune of $200 million. (AP http://yhoo.it/1rhuZCH)

Ebola--The Bad News

Tensions surrounding the Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa sparked a deadly riot in Sierra Leone as the World Health Organization prepared Wednesday to coordinate clinical trials of an experimental vaccine against the killer virus. (AFP http://yhoo.it/10oIzxR)

Ebola is now believed to have killed 4,877 people globally and that the spread of the lethal virus remains “persistent and widespread” in West Africa, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/10oNcYJ)

Africa

Hundreds of Rwandan rebels in eastern Congo are defying a six-month ultimatum to disarm, ratcheting up pressure on regional powers and U.N. peacekeepers to eliminate, once and for all, a force at the heart of two decades of conflict. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/12de0vC)

A Ugandan judge dismissed the case Wednesday of two men accused of having homosexual sex, the first since tough laws were repealed, their lawyer said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1rhtmF3)

East African leaders met South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Wednesday in the latest push to end over 10 months of a civil war that has devastated the young nation. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1rhtAw7)

Military observers from up to nine countries will be deployed across Mozambique later this month, to ensure post-election tensions do not spell a return to violence. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1rhuvwn)

Nearly a week after Nigeria announced a cease-fire deal with Boko Haram, which it said would include the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist group, there is still no sign of the girls being freed. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/10oNiQi)

Two Somali journalists from a major radio station have been released on bail after two months in jail but two others remain behind bars accused of inciting violence, colleagues said Wednesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/10oM9Z2)

Tanzania will hold a referendum in April on a new constitution, its attorney-general said on Wednesday, angering opposition parties which boycotted the drafting process and reject the draft charter. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1rhAgKH)

MENA

Around 1,000 people took to the streets in Iran on Wednesday to demand action after four women were maimed in acid attacks reportedly linked to them not wearing veils. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1rhztt6)

Officials in Iraq are diverting and delaying payments earmarked for displaced families, leaving some families unable to afford food. (IRIN http://bit.ly/10oOsev)

Asia

Special Report: Testimonies from Bangladeshi and Rohingya survivors provide evidence of a shift in tactics in one of Asia’s busiest human-trafficking routes. In the past, evidence showed most people boarded smuggling boats voluntarily. Now people are being abducted or tricked and then taken to larger ships anchored in international waters just outside Bangladesh’s maritime boundary. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/12ddiPg)

Indonesian President Joko Widodo failed to finalize his cabinet on Wednesday after the country’s anti-corruption agency rejected eight candidates, underlining the challenge he faces in fulfilling election promises of a government free from graft. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1woZuKv)

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said he expects Malaysia’s top court will dismiss his final appeal against a sodomy conviction next week and that he will be sent to prison for the second time in a decade. (AP http://yhoo.it/12d2i4b)

About 200 Hong Kong protesters marched to the home of the city’s Beijing-backed leader on Wednesday to push their case for greater democracy a day after talks between student leaders and senior officials failed to break the deadlock. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/12dd4aT)

Asia-Pacific economies need to recalibrate financial policies in the face of slowing global growth, U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin said Wednesday, following a meeting of regional financial officials to prepare for next month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (AP http://yhoo.it/1rhwbpG)

The Americas

Cuba’s contribution of hundreds of doctors and nurses to fight Ebola puts the island at the forefront of the international response and is even thawing relations with a sworn enemy, the United States. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1woSSvE)

A Mexican human rights body accuses eight soldiers of killing 12 suspects in cold blood and tampering with the evidence to make it look like a shoot-out. (BBC http://bbc.in/1rhIvGq)

Opinion/Blogs

Let’s Talk About Sex: why sexual satisfaction and pleasure should be on the international development agenda (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/10p2ooN)

Twenty years of making microfinance, or whatever you want to call it, work (Humanopshere http://bit.ly/10p2Bsb)

Analysis: The state of state-building in Somalia (IRIN http://bit.ly/1rhGA4V)

The global trade in deforestation and associated emissions  (CGD http://bit.ly/10oV9NE)

In Swaziland, “the path to freedom goes through prison” (A View From the Cave http://bit.ly/10oVsbj)

Zero poverty? The Sustainable Development Goals aren’t quite there yet (ODI http://bit.ly/1s9DEGI)

Which countries are driving global growth? (The Interpreter http://bit.ly/1s9DJdr)

Forcing nonprofits to lie about data (Markets for Good http://bit.ly/1s9DQpe)

Coverage of the Ottawa shooting, in one very revealing screenshot (Vox http://bit.ly/1s9DRK3)

The World Bank’s 100 percent citizen feedback agenda: a daunting challenge and an amazing opportunity (Feedback Labs http://bit.ly/10p1zMW)

Research/Reports
The United Nations is unable to effectively assess the state of violations in detention centres around the world due to a lack of resources, said Malcolm Evans, Chairperson of the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture. (IPS http://bit.ly/1rhKwm1)

Latest on the Canadian Parliament attack via the CBC http://bit.ly/1FEmxHm

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About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]humanosphere.org.