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EU announces €106 million support package for people affected by crises in #Sudan

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The European Commission has announced a €106 million support package - €46 million in humanitarian assistance and €60 million for development - to directly assist people in Sudan affected by forced displacement, undernutrition, disease outbreaks and recurrent extreme climatic conditions.

Some 4.8 million people in Sudan currently need urgent assistance. The announcement comes as Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides is currently in Sudan, visiting EU humanitarian aid projects in South Darfur.

"Here in Sudan the humanitarian situation continues to be critical. Millions have been displaced for many years in Darfur. Our new EU funding is crucial to respond to the needs of the increasing numbers of refugees, notably from South Sudan, and internally displaced people, as well as of the hosting communities. The humanitarian aid I am announcing today will help bring life-saving relief to the most vulnerable populations. Full humanitarian access throughout the country is crucial so that humanitarian workers can deliver aid safely to those in need," said Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Commissioner Christos Stylianides.

"The European Union is committed to directly support the people of Sudan. Our new development aid will boost our ongoing efforts through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. It addresses the needs of the most vulnerable Sudanese communities and offer livelihood opportunities, by better linking the EU's humanitarian and development work in Sudan," said International Cooperation and Development Commissioner Neven Mimica.

  • €46 million of the support package will help respond to the most pressing humanitarian needs in the fields of food, nutrition, health, protection, shelter, education, water and sanitation. €13 million of which is part of an emergency assistance package announced earlier this year.
  • €60 million of development funds will be channelled through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, to support displaced persons, migrants and host communities. The package is an opportunity to implement pilot projects within this humanitarian-development framework. These would focus for example delivering basic services such as food, water, sanitation and education in the Abyei locality, tackling under-nutrition in eastern Sudan and addressing forced displacement in urban settings in Darfur.

All EU assistance in Sudan is provided to humanitarian and development organizations with no funding going through the government.

Background

Since 2011, the EU has mobilised €422 million in humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict, natural disasters, outbreaks, food insecurity and undernutrition in Sudan.

As Sudan has not ratified the revised version of the Cotonou Agreement, the core instrument for providing development support to the people of Sudan is through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF). The country is moreover part of the EU response to the food security and El Niño crises and of the Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDPP) for the Horn of Africa, while also benefitting from EUTF programmes implemented at regional level. EU development support for projects benefitting directly the people of Sudan currently totals €275 million.

Sudan currently hosts the second largest number of internally displaced people (3.3 million) and the third largest number of refugees in Africa (more than 965.000).

Thirteen years since the start of the Darfur crisis, 2.7 million people continue to be uprooted in this region alone, while conflict also affects South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The number of refugees has been steadily increasing over the last years as well, in particular since the South Sudanese conflict started in 2013. More than 180.000 South Sudanese have sought refuge in Sudan since the beginning of this year alone, the large majority of them being children.

In addition, acute undernutrition rates in Sudan are among the highest in Africa: 1 in 6 children suffers from acute undernutrition, 1 in 20 from its most severe form which is likely to cause death unless treated. In 2017, 3.4 million people are facing severe food insecurity. In recent months, considerable new humanitarian needs have emerged, linked to the spread of epidemics, a mass influx of South Sudanese refugees and high undernutrition in newly accessible areas of Jebel Marra, Darfur.

More information

EU humanitarian aid in Sudan

EU development aid in Sudan

Factsheet - EU Actions on Migration in Sudan

coronavirus

Update: Co-operation under the microscope in COVID-19 crisis – EAPM EU Presidency Conference report available

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As coronavirus infections soar across the planet, and the death toll rises everywhere, not least in Europe, many are asking why European Union member states were so disconnected from each other strategy-wise, and what the EU can do about improving co-ordination this second time round, writes European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) Executive Director Denis Horgan. 

Well, given that health care is a jealously guarded member state competence, locking-down the answer isn’t easy, and never has been. But that doesn’t help Europe’s citizenry, given that COVID-19 is no respecter of borders and national sovereignty. 

This was one of a myriad discussion items discussed in our recent virtual Presidency Conference entitled ‘Ensuring access to innovation and data-rich biomarker space to speed better quality of care for citizens’. You can read the report here.

As highlighted during the Presidency Conference, there is potential future promise in the European policy context, with the legislative and policy initiatives currently on the EU agenda – most recently – the declaration of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in favour of European Health Union which was discussed during the conference. 

EAPM has always argued for more EU-wide co-operation and coordination in health care, and the current crisis has only made that need more obvious. 

Indeed, for the best part of a decade,  the Alliance has been calling for policies to tackle diseases of many different types - not least cancer - through new science and personalised healthcare, with the backing of many MEPs.

It is apt that throughout the topic-specific discussions of the Presidency Conference, the broader themes that emerged most insistently were collaboration and communication, since these have been the hallmarks of EAPM’s activity since its initiation. 

EAPM is by definition a collaborative exercise, bringing together the broadest range of stakeholders – as this conference again demonstrated. And communication has been at the heart of EAPM’s activity, since its role is not just as a thinktank for refining ideas, but as a vehicle for transmitting those ideas from the world of healthcare to the broader world of policy, where the decisions are made that ultimately shape the way health is delivered. 

Principal recommendations 

Although there was no formal process of agreeing recommendations at the meeting, the following are among the recurring recommendations from the discussions. 

  • Inequalities in access to testing and treatment across Europe must be addressed

  • Adequate data infrastructure and processing capacity must be available.

  • Real-world evidence must be developed and acceptance criteria agreed with regulators, HTA agencies and payers.

  • Greater flexibility in regulatory requirements is needed to accommodate evaluation of products destined for small populations.

  • Multi-stakeholder collaboration must be developed to agree research priorities, standards and quality assurance of testing, and evaluation criteria for testing and treatments.

  • Trust must be developed among citizens about the security and possible  use of their data.

  • Communication must be developed by healthcare stakeholders to persuade policymakers to effect constructive change.  

The link to the report is available here.

1 million genome meeting on 21 October

Registration is still very much open for the B1MG meeting on 21 October. The aim of the the 1 million Genome Project is to support the connection of national genomics and data infrastructures, co-ordinate the harmonization of the ethical and legal framework for sharing data of high privacy sensitivity, and give practical guidance for the pan-European coordination of implementing genomic technologies in national and European health-care systems. 

Thus, the B1MG is a means to bring the different stakeholders together on Oct 21st so as to act as a catalyst to provide a benchmark approach for alignment of complex, fractionated health-care provisions into health-care systems.

Register here and read the full agenda here.

Have the best week possible, and keep safe.

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Brexit

We’re disappointed by EU but a deal can be done, says Raab

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Britain is disappointed by the European Union’s demand that London give more concessions to secure a trade deal but a deal is close and can be done, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Friday (16 October), write Guy Faulconbridge and Paul Sandle.

“We are disappointed and surprised by the outcome of the European Council,” Raab told Sky News.

“We’ve been told that it must be the UK that makes all of the compromises in the days ahead, that can’t be right in a negotiation, so we’re surprised by that but the prime minister will be saying more on this later today.”

“Having said that, we are close,” Raab said of a deal. “With goodwill on both sides we can get there.”

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coronavirus

France reports more than 25,000 new coronavirus infections in past 24 hours

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A doctor, wearing a protective mask and a protective suit, works in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated at the Bethune-Beuvry hospital in Beuvry, France. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

The French health ministry reported 25,086 new confirmed coronavirus cases in 24 hours on Friday (16 October), after reporting a record 30,621 on Thursday (15 October), writes Geert De Clercq in Paris.

It also reported that 122 people had died from coronavirus infection in hospitals in the past 24 hours, compared with 88 on Thursday. Including deaths in retirement homes - which are often reported in multi-day batches - the death toll increased by 178 on Friday.

The total number of infections since the start of the year now stands at 834,770, the cumulative number of dead at 33,303.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 rose by 437 to 10,042, exceeding 10,000 for the first time since mid-June, and the number of people in intensive care rose by 50 to 1,800, a level last seen in mid-May.

In the past seven days, France has registered nearly 14,800 new coronavirus infections, which is more than the 132,430 registered during the entire two-month lockdown from mid-March to mid-May.

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