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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY FARHAN HAQ,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

THURSDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2014

EBOLA: HEALTH REGULATIONS EMERGENCY COMMITTEE REITERATES NO TRAVEL BAN RECOMMENDATION

  • On Ebola, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee presented its conclusions in Geneva.
  • It said the primary emphasis must continue to be stopping the transmission of Ebola within the three affected countries with intense transmission.
  • The Committee reiterated its recommendation that there should be no general ban on international travel or trade. A general travel ban is likely to cause economic hardship, and could consequently increase the uncontrolled migration of people from affected countries and raise the risk of international spread of Ebola.
  • The Committee stressed that exit screening in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone remains critical for reducing the exportation of Ebola cases.
  • It also noted that a number of States without Ebola transmission have decided to or are considering cancelling international meetings and mass gatherings.
  • Although the Committee does not recommend such cancellations, it recognizes that these are complex decisions that must be decided on a case-by-case basis.

W.H.O. UPDATE: 9,936 EBOLA CASES, 4,877 DEATHS

  • The latest figures from the World Health Organization report a total of 9,936 Ebola cases and 4,877 deaths.
  • Of the countries with localized transmission, both Spain and the United States continue to monitor potential contacts.
  • On 21 October, the single patient with Ebola in Spain tested negative for the disease for a second time.  Spain will be declared free of Ebola virus disease 42 days after that date of the second negative test, unless a new case arises during that period.
  • In the three most affected countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, capacity for case management has been increased substantially but remains far short of requirements.
  • Guinea has 61% of the required bed capacity in Ebola treatment units, while Liberia stands at only 23%, and Sierra Leone 29%.

$2.2 BILLION NEEDED FOR HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO IRAQ

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) launched a $2.2 billion appeal in Baghdad today to address the protection and humanitarian needs of 5.2 million people in Iraq.  Neill Wright, the acting Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, said that the needs of the Iraqi people are immense.
  • The appeal includes the needs, among others, of 1.8 million Iraqis who have been displaced since January 2014, 1.5 million people within communities hosting many of the displaced, and 1.7 million others living in conflict areas outside Iraqi Government control.
  • An estimated 2.8 million people are in need of food assistance and approximately 800,000 people are in urgent need of emergency shelter assistance.
  • Throughout Iraq, 1.26 million people are in need of some form of winterisation assistance. The provision of winterisation packages, warm clothes, shoes, health services and food are all critical requirements.

D.R. CONGO: SITUATION REMAINS TENSE AROUND BENI

  • The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) says today that the situation in Beni and the surrounding areas remains tense. 
  • On Wednesday, elements of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) reportedly killed a woman and abducted a man in the village of Kokola.
  • Violent anti-MONUSCO demonstrations over the past days have reportedly resulted in the death of two civilians in Mbau.
  • Two to three peacekeepers and six Congolese soldiers have also been injured. The Mission is ascertaining the facts about the incidents.

 

* The guest at the noon briefing was Gyan Chandra Acharya, the Under-Secretary-General for the Least Development Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.