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Humanitarian Stakes No.1: Humanitarian Borders

Humanitarian Stakes No.1 is a compilation of articles prepared by the panellists who participated in a day of conferences debates on “Humanitarian Borders” in Geneva on 13 December 2007. The articles are organized by topic to reflect the original program of the day. MSF Switzerland also has also produced a DVD of the day containing panelists’ presentations and the debate portion of the sessions, in addition to the electronic versions of the articles published.

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La sécurité alimentaire en Palestine: acteurs locaux et internationaux pendant la seconde Intifâda

From the Oslo process to the second Intifada, answers from the International Community regarding the Palestinian situation have changed from development projects planned over several years to food security emergency interventions. These interventions have an impact on natural resources, commercial agreements, land rights, agricultural national policy, etc. The aim of this contribution is to give an overview of the food security sector in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), through an analysis of the actors in charge and policies adopted.

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Myanmar: la situation sanitaire est catastrophique

Myanmar is a particularly difficult context for MSF’s humanitarian action: access to those in need is possible "at the cost of a permanent contortion exercise between the respect of our principles as humanitarian actors (...) and the willingness to effectively implement our solidarity". Access to health services remains extremely difficult: In district hospitals and health centers, administrative, logistical and financial barriers, as well as discrimination, make access to health care "almost virtual" for the Burmese....

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ONG et Autorité Palestinienne: "la bonne gouvernance" dans un contexte de lutte nationale

Palestinian NGOs have been inundated with international assistance beginning with the September 1993 declaration of principle and yet, have managed to benefit from it without passively accepting the ideologies underlying such aid. The Palestinians have understood, integrated and re-used to their advantage the concepts of transparency, responsibility and legitimacy, all qualities which the NGOs rightly or wrongly demand in exchange. As a means of avoiding state interference, some large aid recipients use their international benefactors to relay criticisms of the Palestinian Authority.

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From the field side of the binoculars: a different view on global public health surveillance

It is generally assumed by the donor community that the targeted funding of global, regional or cross-border surveillance programmes is an efficient way to support resource-poor countries in developing their own national public health surveillance infrastructure, to encourage national authorities to share outbreak intelligence, and ultimately to ensure compliance of World Health Organization (WHO) Member States with the revised (2005) International Health Regulations. At country level, a number of factors and constraints appear to contradict this view.

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Exploring the international arena of global public health surveillance

Threats posed by new, emerging or re-emerging communicable diseases are taking a global dimension, to which the World Health Organization (WHO) Secretariat has been responding with determination since 1995. Key to the global strategy for tackling epidemics across borders is the concept of global public health surveillance, which has been expanded and formalized by WHO and its technical partners through a number of recently developed instruments and initiatives.

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XDR Tuberculosis, the New International Health Regulations, and Human Rights

Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) is the latest emerging disease recognized as a global health threat. It has so far been identified in at least 27 countries covering all regions of the world except Oceania. A cohort of patients was investigated in 2005-2006 in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, revealing an exceedingly high mortality rate and a rapidly fatal evolution among identified XDR-TB cases. Such alarming features of this new form of tuberculosis seem to relate at least partly to HIV co-infection.

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High mortality in an internally displaced population in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2005: Results of a rapid assessment under difficult conditions

The ongoing conflict in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has led to more than 50,000 deaths, more than 500,000 displaced civilians and continuing, unacceptably high, mortality since 1999. In February 2005, after a resurgence of violence and further displacements, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) launched an emergency response in three internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Ituri. We performed a rapid health assessment in April 2005 in one of the IDP camps to evaluate mortality (due to violence or disease) and camp living conditions.

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