A selection of UN TV programmes, webcasts and video clips on issues in the news

Monday, 15 June 2015

World Refugee Day 2015, June 20

World Refugee Day, June 20
Día Mundial de los Refugiados, 20 de junio.
Всемирный день беженцев, 20 июня.
Journée mondiale des réfugiés, 20 juin.

Theme 2015 : Ordinary people living through extraordinary times.
On June 20, the world commemorates the strength, courage, and resilience of millions of refugees.

Around the world, conflict has forced a record number of people to flee their homes. More than 50 million people are currently displaced by war and violence,so me 33.3 million in their own country and some 16.7 million as refugees, mostly in neighbouring countries. Last year alone, more than 10 million people were newly displaced; every 15 minutes,one family was forced into flight.

On this World Refugee Day, let us remember the plight of the millions of people worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict and persecution. At the end of 2014, 59.5 million persons - the highest number on record - were forcibly displaced around the globe. This means that one in every 122 human beings today is either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum.

The ongoing conflict in Syria, as well as crises in Iraq, Ukraine, South Sudan, Central African Republic, northeastern Nigeria and parts of Pakistan, have led to a staggering growth and acceleration of global forced displacement. In 2014, 42,500 people became refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced every single day - a rate that has quadrupled in only four years. At the same time, many long-standing conflicts remained unresolved, and the number of refugees who were able to return home last year was the lowest in over three decades. Protracted asylum situations now last for an average of 25 years.

A growing tide of uprooted people is seeking protection from persecution and violence. Many of them have no choice but to try and reach safety using dangerous means, such as has been demonstrated by the sharp increase in irregular boat movements in the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia and elsewhere. At times like these, it is essential that governments and societies around the world recommit to providing refuge and safety to those who have lost everything to conflict or persecution. With 86 per cent of all refugees living in the developing world, and with the humanitarian response system increasingly overstretched, international solidarity and burden-sharing are crucial in meeting the needs of displaced communities as well as their hosts.

Refugees are people like anyone else, like you and me. They led ordinary lives before becoming displaced, and their biggest dream is to be able to live normally again. On this World Refugee Day, let us recall our common humanity, celebrate tolerance and diversity and open our hearts to refugees everywhere.

Ban Ki-moon

About World Refugee Day, June 20 2015

On World Refugee Day, June 20, UNHCR commemorates the strength and resilience of the more than 50 million people around the world forced to flee their homes due to war or human rights abuses.

Ordinary people living through extraordinary times: In 2015 our World Refugee Day Campaign aims to bring the public closer to the human side of the refugee story by sharing stories of hope and resilience from displaced people. These stories will highlight the common links between we all share with refugees, returnees, IDPs and resettled refugees.

 Forum : World Refugee Day - JUNE 20

Over 40 Million individuals received life-saving support in 2014

 Our Campaign microsite features stories from refugees who describe in their own words their own passions and interests; cooking, music, poetry, or sports. Through their testimonials we aim to show that these are ordinary people living through extraordinary times. We are asking our audiences to share the stories with their friends and family.

Events : World Refugee Day celebrations around the World.

UNHCR provides essential services to refugees in 125+ countries


The UN refugee agency UNHCR will launch its annual World Refugee Day Campaign on Tuesday with the release of several films featuring celebrity supporters that tell the human side of the refugee plight. This years' campaign aims to bring the public closer to the story, showing refugees as ordinary people living in extraordinary circumstances.

The films feature UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and best-selling author, Khaled Hosseini, photographer and supermodel Helena Christensen, singer/songwriter Maher Zain and actor Jung Woo-Sung . The films were recorded during recent field visits. Each supporter introduces an individual refugee and their story. These films and other refugee stories can be found on UNHCR's Campaign website:

Remarking on her experience in Colombia, Helena Christensen said,
"Getting to know these remarkable families made me realize that, even though they had to leave everything behind when they were forced to flee their homes, they still share so many of the same hope and dreams that we all do. They haven't lost their identity, their skills or their passions. They just long to resume a normal life."

In addition to these new films from the field, author Neil Gaiman, actor David Morrissey and actress Emma Thompson will share personal stories of refugees they have met or are in their own families. On World Refugee Day, 20 June, other UNHCR supporters including actor, model and refugee, Ger Duany, and actresses Kristin Davis and Kat Graham, will be spending time with refugees and displaced families.
This high profile support is part of a worldwide public outreach campaign for World Refugee Day 2015. UNHCR offices in some 120 countries are planning various events including the film premiere of Salam Neighbor in Washington D.C.

UNHCR will mark World Refugee Day 2015 against a backdrop of multiple conflicts, growing numbers of forcibly displaced people and a rising tide of intolerance and xenophobia in many parts of the world.

As UNHCR prepares to launch its campaign, High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said:
"All around the world we are seeing families fleeing violence. The numbers are massive but we must not forget that these are mothers and fathers, daughters and sons. People who led ordinary lives before war forced them to flee. On this World Refugee Day, everyone should remember the things that connect all of us our common humanity."

51.2 million - Statistic  Men, women and children displaced by unthinkable crises around the world

Notes to editor

For information on the World Refugee Day Campaign and Call to Action please contact:
Leigh Foster, Chief, Events. Campaigns and Goodwill Ambassadors:
Simone Regge, External Relations Officer:
For more information and photos of UNHCR high profile supporters and Goodwill Ambassadors please contact:
Coco Campbell, Global Goodwill Ambassador programme:

World Refugee Day Campaign: 30 second Public Service Announcements:
Religious leaders break with tradition, letting women and girls rejoin the Yazidi community after surviving abduction, forced conversion and rape.


World Day to Combat Desertification 2015, June 17

Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación,17 de junio.
Всемирный день борьбы с опустыниванием и засухой,17 июня.
Journée mondiale de la lutte contre la désertification et la sécheresse, 17 juin.
防治荒漠化和干旱世界日, 6月17日.
World Day to Combat Desertification , 17 June.

World Day to Combat Desertification 2015 - June 17

Theme 2015 :'' No such thing as a free lunch. Invest in healthy soils''

United Nations Secretary-General's Message for the World Day to combat Desertification 2015  “Invest in healthy soils”.

 Land degradation and desertification undercut human rights, starting with the right to food.  Nearly 1 billion people lack adequate nutrition, and those living off degraded areas are among the most affected.  Their situation could worsen if land degradation, as projected, reduces global food production by 12 per cent by 2035. 

Food security is also impacted by the decline in water resources.  Due to land degradation there is less water and snow being stored in the ground.  In 10 years, two out of every three people in the world could be living under stressed water conditions. We degrade 12 million hectares of productive land every year – an area the size of Benin or Honduras.  More than half our farmland is degraded, and only 10 per cent is improving.  About 500 million hectares could be restored cost-effectively, rather than being abandoned.  If we do not change how we use our land, we will have to convert an area the size of Norway into new farmland every year to meet future needs for food, freshwater, biofuels and urban growth.  This would cause deforestation and other negative environmental impact.  

The threat does not stop there.  Through land degradation and other inappropriate land use, we release about a quarter of the greenhouse gases warming the planet.  Climate change and unsustainable land use, particularly by agriculture, are contributing to the decline of freshwater resources in all regions of the world.  As a consequence, global food production is projected to fall by 2 per cent every decade. 

A world where all rights to food, water and human security are guaranteed is possible.  But we need to change course and start securing every hectare of land that can provide food or freshwater.  Land is a renewable resource, but only if we invest in land degradation neutrality, which has been proposed by United Nations Member States for the post-2015 development agenda. We must avoid degrading more land and, at the same time, rehabilitate all the degraded land that we can.  Then, we will also be able to make rapid steps towards controlling climate change. 

Our lives and civilizations depend on the land.  Let us invest in healthy soils to secure our rights to food and freshwater.

Ban Ki-moon
No such thing as a free lunch. Invest in healthy soils

Other Statements :


  Message from President Tarja Halonen, UNCCD Drylands Ambassador on the occasion of the WORLD DAY TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION, 17 JUNE 2015.

 Message from Michel Jarraud, World Meteorrological Organization's  Secretary-General on the occasion of the WORLD DAY TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION, 17 june 2015.

 Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification, 17 June 2015.

 Message of Monique Barbut Executive Secretary, UN Convention to Combat Desertification On the occasion of World Day to Combat Desertification, 17 june 2015.

The World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) is observed worldwide on 17 June every year.  The focus this year is “attainment of food security for all through sustainable food systems.”

With the slogan, ‘No such thing as a free lunch. Invest in healthy soil’, the 2015 observance calls for:
(1) A change in our land use practices through smart agriculture and adaptation to changing climate, especially in the dry fragile parts of the world where food shortages are becoming more and more severe
(2) Access to technology and land rights for small holder farmers who safeguard the environment and meet the food needs of millions of households, especially among the poorest households
(3) A balance in the land use for ecology and consumption, drawing on the best practices
(4) More investments in sustainable land practices so that sustainable food systems become the normal practice and
(5) More effective action on desertification whose effects on security, peace and stability are invisible yet real for the affected countries due especially to food and water scarcity and environmentally forced migration. 
The Day will feature a global observance event in Milan, Italy, during the 2015 UN Expo as well as National and local observances.
To start the preparations, the concept note and logo  are now available. All campaign materials will be posted on this page.
If you are planning to host an event, send us a short paragraph with information about the date, venue and planned activity. It will be posted on our website.
All countries use the land for food and water. Make sure your country celebrates the land by joining us to share the message that we need to preserve and improve its fruitfulness.
                WDCD around the world


The UNCCD National Focal Point of Mali (Ingénieur des Eaux et Forêts et Chef de Section Etudes et Recherche, Agence de l'Environnement et du Développement Durable) organizes the national observance of the Day which starts from the World Environment Day on 5 June until the World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June.  The observance involves all sector partners: agriculture, livestock, fisheries, transport, planning, local authorities, technical and financial partners. The observance ceremonial opening is chaired by the President or the Prime Minister, along with the Minister of the Environment.  During the observance period, various activities are organized on global challenges such as desertification, climate change, loss of biodiversity, food security, poverty communities, etc.  Radio and TV stations organize debates on food security, land degradation, promoting best practices, climate change and biodiversity.

To commemorate the World Day to Combat Desertification this coming June 17th, the Journalist Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET) will conduct a forum to bring together government officials, community representatives of degraded and quickly decertifying lands, women’s groups and journalists. The aim of the event is to highlight the situation of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) and to commemorate this year’s slogan, “No such thing as a free lunch. Invest in healthy soils.”JET will launch the guidelines for mainstreaming the National Action Programme to Combat Desertification into sectorial policies, plans and programmes. Additionally, the Compendium of Best practices for sustainable land management in Tanzania and the National Action Program to Combat Desertification will be introduced.
Key speakers will be “land witnesses,” men and women from various villages who will give their testimonies of how they have personally been deprived of their lands. Many will discuss the ways water scarcity and drought affected themselves and their families.
JET will also publish articles, be featured in radio programs and print its own Kasuku Kiswahili newspaper containing the WDCD messages and slogan.
African Union
On the ocassion of the WDCD 2015 the African Union issued an opinion pice on desertification . More  


Bhutan plans to celebrate World Day to Combat Desertification in Trashigang District, Thongrong village. The village has 60 households. The activity comprises of grass hedgerows establishment along contour line and stone  bunding in sloppy dry land  covering approx. 60 acres. The construction of stone check-dams in gullies, bio engineering and plantation in degraded land are other activity. The program starts from 20 May and ends on the Day, 17 June 2015. The Programme will be organized by National Soil Service Center under Department Of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture & Forest, Bhutan in collaboration with Trashigang Dzongkhag with financial support from UNDP and GEF- Small Grant Programme.

The research centre Crops For the Future (CFF) the the world’s first centre dedicated to research on underutilised crops for food and non-food uses focusing on the uses of agricultural biodiversity to diversity crop and agricultural systems is organising the following at their Field Research Centre on 17 June 2015:
1. Launch of T-100 days to the Official Opening Ceremony of CFF new headquarters – Our HQ is scheduled to be officially opened in September 2015. It will house world class plant biotechnology laboratories, controlled-environment rooms, processing and sensory suites

2.  A talk entitled “Combating Desertification with Underutilised Crops” by Dr Ibraheem AlShareef, CFF Field Research Centre Coordinator

3. Tree planting : Azadirachta indica, Moringa oleifera and Anarcardium occidentale – known best for combating desertification

Sri Lanka
The Saviya Development Foundation (Sri Lanka) celebrates the WDCD 2015 through various events, including a tree planting event, awareness raising activities for kids and a national poster/art exhibition.


Under the motto "Essen ist keine Selbstverstaendlichkeit. Investiere in gesunde Boeden" Germany organize an art exhibition and evening event at Bonn's botanical garden. The exhebition entitled "Boden.Grund zum Leben" highlights the important role of the world's soils for food security.


Desertif'actions 2015 - 10 - 13 June 2015 - Montpellier France
Climate change and the preservation of drylands : time to act !
Desertif'actions 2015 is the Civil society International Forum dedicated to land degradation and combating desertification. The forum will bring together over 300 stakeholders  from over 100 countries from june 10th to june 13th in Montpellier (France).

Civil society organizations, scientists, local government, farmer organizations, private and public institutions… will meet in Montpellier in order to share their concerns and built common positions on desertification and land degradation under a changing climate and its consequences in northern and southern countries!

The Desertif'actions 2015 Program includes:
  - Preparatory meetings in southern countries,
  - One preparatory e-forum, 
  - 3 days collaborative work with panel and group work in Montpellier among international stakeholders,
  - One special day downtown devoted to the general public awareness and cultural and scientific events open to the public.
Three lines of work :
- Desertification and Land Degradation: Integrating climatic evolutions into decision making and action taking
- Development Sustainability in Drylands: Creating greater synergy between the three Rio Conventions
- A Pluralistic and Organized Civil Society: Having a true impact and doing what needs to be done
Desertif'actions 2015 is a project certified Paris 2015, COP 21.

More information on our website :
Pre-registration is open :
Follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (
The Desertification Research Center, University of Sassari Nucleo Ricerc (NRD-UNISS) celebrates the 2015 World Day to Combat Desertification
This year, the Desertification Research Centre (NRD-UNISS) will celebrate 2015 World Day to Combat Desertification with two events:
The first event with the title "(Musical) variations on desertification",  will be held on 12th June 2015 at The Conservatory on Music “Luigi Canepa” of the city of Sassari, Italy where the Youth Orchestra of Sardinia will play a variety of songs with water as central focus. Event poster
The second event, with the title “Experiences of integrated water management to combat desertification” will be held on 18th June 2015 and it will be a full day Conference at the Department of Agricultural Science of the University of Sassari. The Conference will see the partecipation of various researchers and scientists  from the University of Sassari, the University of Cagliari, the University of Barcelona and the University of Medenine in Tunisia. Concept paper and Agenda
For more information visit the website
Follow us on facebook and Twitter
On the occation of the WDCD 2015, the renowned Serbian newspaper Politika reported on the issue of land degradation and how sustainable landmanagemet could increase the resilience of land and soil in the view of climate change. (Serbian)  (English unoffical)

This year, Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) in cooperation with Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) and Agroscope will hold a public event, ""Flavours from our soils" – Dialogue and exhibition to mark World Day to Combat Desertification" at University of Bern on 17 June. The event will focus on farmers, their knowledge about soils and its use in agriculture.
See the event flyer
For more information and registration, visit:

Respective governmental bodies and scientific organizations have been preparing relevant activities and WDCD observance events. For instance, the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of the Ukraine (NAASU) has organized 13 events for WDCD including:
May 22
A validation workshop for the developed draft NAP to combat land degradation and desertification in Ukraine, as well as a training session concerning NAP indicators were held. Government agencies, scientific institutions and CSOs participated in the events.
June 11
International Conference: “Agriculture in XXI Century. Problems and Solutions”. Organized by the National Scientific Centre “Institute of Agriculture of NAASU”
June 12
Scientific and Practical Conference: “Measures on Combating Desertification and Droughts”. Organized by the Institute of Agriculture in the Black Sea Region of NAASU.

June 16
A Round Table discussing outcomes of the 3-rd UNCCD Scientific Conference organized by the Institute of Irrigation Farming of  NAASU
June 17
Information regarding the following projects will be published on MENR’s official Web-site.
With the support of the GEF/UNEP project “Development and Alignment of National Action Programme to the UNCCD 10 Years Strategy and Preparation of the Fifth Reporting and Review process,” the Institute of Agro ecology and Natural Resource Use of NAASU and MENR prepared and published a special edition of the scientific journal “Agro ecological Journal” devoted to DLDD.
A competition of schoolchildren’s drawings on the theme: “Protection of Land and Soil” was also organized. Pictures of the winners were used for preparing a poster devoted to 17 June - WDCD. The poster and the “Agro ecological Journal” have been distributed among the Regional (Oblast) State Administrations of the Ukraine and other stakeholders to be used for the observance of WDCD 2015. See drawings 1/ 23/  and the event poster
June 19
International Conference: “Diversity of Soils: Stretch and Time” organized by the National Scientific Center “O.N. Sokolovsky Institute for Soil Science and Agro chemistry Research of NAASU”

Latin American and the Caribbean

Brazil will celebrate this year's WDCD  with an entertaining and colorful   program, including the presentation of the Dryland Champions   certificates, showcase of various projects and early warning systems to combat desertification.

As part of the World Day to Combat Desertification, on 17 June, the National Forestry Commission of Mexico with the National Commission of Arid Zones will conduct a conference in Museo del Desierto in Saltillo (Coahuilla). This conference will analyze the importance of the Global Soil Partnership. In addition, 32 federal entities will organize other activities to celebrate this important day. Students, government representatives and all citizens will take part in the National Day of Soil Conservation.

The slogan for this year was crowdsourced. We thank those who sent their suggestions and acknowledge Jihed Ghannem, Sahara and Sahel Observatory, whose proposal was chosen from the submissions.
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
For further information, contact:
External Relations, Policy and Advocacy Unit

Saturday, 13 June 2015

World Blood Donor Day 2015, June 14

Всемирный день донора крови, 14 июня.
 Theme 2015 : " Thank for saving my Life. "
Theme 2015 : « Merci de me sauver la vie.»

WHO calls for increase in voluntary blood donors to save millions of lives
News release

On World Blood Donor Day, 14 June, the WHO is calling for increased regular blood donations from voluntary, unpaid donors in order to save millions of lives globally each year.
The theme of this year’s campaign is “Thank you for saving my life”. It encourages donors all over the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly with the slogan “Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters.”
“The best way to guarantee a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood products for transfusion is to have a good supply of regular donations by voluntary unpaid blood donors,” says Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. “WHO encourages all Member States to obtain all their blood supplies from such donors.”
Transfusion of blood and blood products help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions to live longer and maintain a higher quality of life, and it supports complex medical and surgical procedures. Transfusion has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during man-made and natural disasters, such as the recent earthquakes in Nepal.
Severe bleeding during pregnancy, delivery or after childbirth is the single biggest cause of maternal death. Of the 289 000 women who died in childbirth in 2013 due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth, 27% were due to severe bleeding.

An increase in blood donations needed

The need for blood and blood products is increasing every year and in many countries - particularly low and middle income countries - demand exceeds supply, and blood services find it hard to make sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.
In 2012, nearly 108 million blood donations were collected worldwide. Almost half of these were collected in high-income countries, home to just 15% of the world’s population.
WHO estimates that a minimum of 10 donations of blood per 1000 population indicates there is general availability of blood in a country for transfusion. Yet, in the Organization’s most recent survey on blood safety and availability, 75 countries reported collecting fewer donations than this.
The percentage of blood donations from voluntary unpaid donors has been increasing over the last decade and 73 of the world’s countries now collect over 90% of their blood supply from such donors. However, more progress is needed, with 72 countries (8 high-income countries, 48 middle-income countries and 16 low-income countries) still collecting more than 50% of their blood supply from paid donors or replacement donors, which affects safety and adequate supply of blood and blood products. Replacement donors are often family members or friends who replenish blood used from a blood bank by a particular patient. 

Regular voluntary unpaid donors the safest source

“Blood collection from voluntary, unpaid donors, whose blood is screened for infections, is the cornerstone of a safe and sufficient blood supply in all countries,” says Dr Hernan Montenegro, Coordinator for Services Organization and Clinical Interventions Unit in the Department of Service Delivery and Safety at WHO. “More voluntary blood donors are needed to meet the increasing needs and to improve access to this life-saving therapy.”
A World Health Assembly resolution adopted in 2010 highlights that a secure supply of safe blood components, based on voluntary, unpaid blood donation, is an important national goal to prevent blood shortages.

Improving safety and accessibility of blood and blood products 

“Safe blood transfusion is one of the key life-saving interventions that should be available for patients in need,” says Dr Edward Kelley, Director of Service Delivery and Safety at WHO. “Yet, equitable access to safe blood still remains a major challenge in many countries. Providing safe and adequate supplies of blood and blood products should be an essential part of every country’s national health care policy and infrastructure.”
The Organization provides policy guidance and technical assistance to support countries in developing national blood systems based on voluntary unpaid blood donations, and implementing quality systems to ensure that safe and quality blood and blood products are available and used appropriately for all people who need them.

Global event in Shanghai

This year, the host country for World Blood Donor Day global event is China. The global event will take place on 14 June at the Shanghai Blood Centre, which is also the WHO Collaborating Centre for Blood Transfusion Services in China. 

Key facts
  • Of the 108 million blood donations collected globally, approximately half of these are collected in the high-income countries, home to 18% of the world’s population. This shows an increase of almost 25% from 80 million donations collected in 2004.
  • In low-income countries, up to 65% of blood transfusions are given to children under 5 years of age; whereas in high-income countries, the most frequently transfused patient group is over 65 years of age, accounting for up to 76% of all transfusions.
  • Blood donation rate in high-income countries is 36.8 donations per 1000 population; 11.7 donations in middle-income and 3.9 donations in low-income countries.
  • An increase of 8.6 million blood donations from voluntary unpaid donors has been reported from 2004 to 2012. In total, 73 countries collect over 90% of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donors; however, 72 countries collect more than 50% of their blood supply from family/replacement or paid donors.
  • Only 43 of 156 reporting countries produce plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMP) through the fractionation of plasma collected in the country, whereas the majority of the other 113 countries import PDMP from abroad.

National blood policy and organization

Blood transfusion saves lives and improves health, but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood. Providing safe and adequate blood should be an integral part of every country’s national health care policy and infrastructure.
WHO recommends that all activities related to blood collection, testing, processing, storage and distribution be coordinated at the national level through effective organization and integrated blood supply networks. The national blood system should be governed by national blood policy and legislative framework to promote uniform implementation of standards and consistency in the quality and safety of blood and blood products.
In 2012, 70% countries had a national blood policy, compared with 60% countries in 2004. Overall, 62% countries have specific legislation covering the safety and quality of blood transfusion:
  • 81% high-income countries ;
  • 60% middle-income countries; and
  • 44% low-income countries.
Blood supply

About 108 million blood donations are collected worldwide. More than half of these are collected in high-income countries, home to 18% of the world’s population.
About 10 000 blood centres in 168 countries report collecting a total of 83 million donations. Collections at blood centres vary according to income group. The median annual donations per blood centre is 3100 in the low- and middle-income countries, as compared to 15 000 in the high-income countries.
There is a marked difference in the level of access to blood between low- and high-income countries. The whole blood donation rate is an indicator for the general availability of blood in a country. The median blood donation rate in high-income countries is 36.8 donations per 1000 population. This compares with 11.7 donations in middle-income countries and 3.9 donations in low-income countries.
75 countries report collecting fewer than 10 donations per 1 000 population. Of these, 40 countries are in WHO’s African Region, 8 in the Americas, 7 in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 6 in Europe, 6 in South-Eastern Asian and 8 in the Western Pacific. All are low- or middle-income countries.

Blood donors

Age and gender of blood donors

Data about the gender profile of blood donors show that globally 30% of blood donations are given by women, although this ranges widely. In 20 of the 111 reporting countries, less than 10% donations are given by female donors.
The age profile of blood donors shows that more young people donate blood in low- and middle-income countries, proportionally than in high-income countries (see Figure 1). Demographic information of blood donors is important for formulating and monitoring recruitment strategies. 

Age distribution of blood donors

Types of blood donors
There are 3 types of blood donors:
  • voluntary unpaid;
  • family/replacement; and
  • paid.
An adequate and reliable supply of safe blood can be assured by a stable base of regular, voluntary, unpaid blood donors. These donors are also the safest group of donors as the prevalence of bloodborne infections is lowest among this group. World Health Assembly resolution (WHA63.12) urges all Member States to develop national blood systems based on voluntary unpaid donation and work towards the goal of self-sufficiency.
Data reported to WHO shows significant increases of voluntary unpaid blood donations in low- and middle-income countries:
  • An increase of 8.6 million blood donations from voluntary unpaid donors from 2004 to 2012 has been reported by 162 countries. The highest increase of voluntary unpaid blood donations is in the South-East Asia (78%) and African (51%) Regions. The maximum increase in absolute numbers was reported in the Western Pacific Region.
  • 73 countries collect more than 90% of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donations (38 high-income countries, 26 middle-income countries and 9 low-income countries). This includes 60 countries with 100% (or more than 99%) of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donors.
  • In 72 countries, more than 50% of the blood supply is still dependent on family/replacement and paid blood donors (8 high-income countries, 48 middle-income countries and 16 low-income countries).
  • 25 countries still report collecting paid donations in 2012, around 1 500 000 donations in total.

Blood screening

WHO recommends that all blood donations should be screened for infections prior to use. Screening should be mandatory for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis. Blood screening should be performed according to the quality system requirements.
  • 25 countries are not able to screen all donated blood for 1 or more of the above infections.
  • Irregular supply of test kits is one of the most commonly reported barriers to screening.
  • 97% blood screening laboratories in high-income countries are monitored through external quality assessment schemes, as compared to 33% in middle-income countries and 16% in low-income countries.
  • The prevalence of transfusion-transmissible infections (TTI) in blood donations in high-income countries is considerably lower than in low- and middle-income countries (Table 1).
Table 1. Prevalence of TTIs in blood donations (Median, Interquartile range (IQR)), by income groups

High-income countries 0.002% 0.02% 0.02%
(0.0004%-0.02%) (0.008% - 0.24%) (0.004% - 0.22%)
Middle-income countries 0.12% 0.64% 0.37%
(0.03% - 0.2%) (0.19% - 2.33%) (0.13% - 0.71%)
Low-income countries 0.85% 3.59% 1.07%
(0.48% - 2.0%) (2.01% - 6.08%) (0.63% - 1.96%)
These differences reflects the variation in prevalence among population who are eligible to donate blood, the type of donors (such as voluntary unpaid blood donors from lower risk populations ) and the effectiveness of the system of educating and selecting donors. 

Blood processing

Blood collected in an anticoagulant can be stored and transfused to a patient in an unmodified state. This is known as ‘whole blood’ transfusion. However, blood can be used more effectively if it is processed into components, such as red cell concentrates, platelet concentrates, plasma and cryoprecipitate. In this way, it can meet the needs of more than one patient.
The capacity to provide patients with the different blood components they require is still limited in low-income countries: 45% of the blood collected in low-income countries is separated into components, 80% in middle-income countries and 95% in high-income countries.

Supply of plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMP)

World Health Assembly resolution (WHA63.12) urges Member States to establish, implement and support nationally-coordinated, efficiently-managed and sustainable blood and plasma programmes according to the availability of resources, with the aim of achieving self-sufficiency. It is the responsibility of individual governments to ensure sufficient and equitable supply of plasma-derived medicinal products namely immunoglobulins and coagulation factors, which are needed to prevent and treat a variety of serious conditions that occur worldwide.
43 countries (23 high-income, 18 middle-income, 2 low-income) of the 156 reporting countries, reported producing all or part of the PDMP through the fractionation (e.g. domestic or/and contract fractionation) of plasma collected in the country.
  • 35 of the 43 countries report plasma fractionation carried out within the country.
  • 8 of the 43 countries report plasma sent for contract fractionation in another country.
95 countries report that all PDMP are imported: 15 countries report that no PDMP were used during the reporting period; 3 countries report that plasma collected in the country was sold to the manufacturers of plasma-derived medicinal products and products purchased from PMDP suppliers in the market.
Around 10 million litres plasma from 35 reporting countries (22 high-income countries, 12 middle-income countries and 1 low-income countries, covering a population of 2.76 billion) was fractionated for the production of PDMP during the year. This includes around 50% plasma recovered from the whole blood donations. 

Clinical use of blood

Unnecessary transfusions and unsafe transfusion practices expose patients to the risk of serious adverse transfusion reactions and TTI. Unnecessary transfusions also reduce the availability of blood products for patients who are in need.
WHO recommends the development of systems to monitor and improve the safety of the transfusion process such as hospitals transfusion committees and haemovigilance.
  • 111 countries have national guidelines on the appropriate clinical use of blood.
  • Transfusion committees are present in 70% of the hospitals performing transfusions in high-income countries and in about half of the hospitals in middle- and low- income countries.
  • Clinical audits are conducted in 89% of hospitals performing transfusion in the high-income countries and in 52% of hospitals in the middle- and low- income countries.
  • Systems for reporting adverse transfusion events are present in 93% of hospitals performing transfusion in high-income countries and 63% in middle- and low- income countries.
  • 77% high-income countries have a national haemovigilance system, compared to only 30% of middle- and low- income countries.
Blood transfusions

There are great variations between countries in the age distribution of transfused patients. For example, in the high-income countries, the most frequently transfused patient group is over 65 years, which accounts for up to 76% of all transfusions. In the low-income countries, up to 65% of transfusions are for children under the age of 5 years.
In high-income countries, transfusion is most commonly used for supportive care in cardiovascular surgery, transplant surgery, massive trauma, and therapy for solid and haematological malignancies. In low- and middle-income countries it is used more often to manage pregnancy-related complications and severe childhood anaemia.

WHO response
The risk of transmission of serious infections, including HIV and hepatitis, through unsafe blood and chronic blood shortages brought global attention to the importance of blood safety and availability. With the goal of ensuring universal access to safe blood and blood products, WHO has been at the forefront to improve blood safety and availability, and recommends the following integrated strategy for blood safety and availability:
  • Establishment of a national blood system with well-organized and coordinated blood transfusion services, effective evidence-based and ethical national blood policies with the goal of achieving self-sufficiency, and legislation and regulation, that can provide sufficient and timely supplies of safe blood and blood products to meet the transfusion needs of all patients.
  • Collection of blood, plasma and other blood components from low-risk, regular, voluntary unpaid donors through the strengthening of donation systems, the phasing out of family/replacement donation, the elimination of paid donation, and effective donor management, including care and counselling.
  • Quality-assured screening of all donated blood for transfusion-transmissible infections (TTI), including HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis, confirmatory testing of the results of all donors screen-reactive for infection markers, blood grouping and compatibility testing, and systems for processing blood into blood products (blood components for transfusion and plasma derived-medicinal products), as appropriate, to meet health care needs.
  • Rational use of blood and blood products to reduce unnecessary transfusions and minimize the risks associated with transfusion, the use of alternatives to transfusion, where possible, and safe and good clinical transfusion practices, including patient blood management.
  • Step-wise implementation of effective quality systems, including quality management, standards, good manufacturing practices, documentation, training of all staff and quality assessment.
Through its Blood and Transfusion Safety programme, WHO supports countries in developing national blood systems to ensure timely access to safe and sufficient supplies of blood and blood products and good transfusion practices to meet the patients’ needs. The programme provides policy guidance and technical assistance to countries for ensuring universal access to safe blood and blood products and work towards self-sufficiency in safe blood and blood products based on voluntary unpaid blood donation to achieve universal health coverage.

Data source: This fact sheet is based on the data obtained through the WHO Global Database on Blood Safety (GDBS) for the year 2012 which were reported by 100 countries. To give a more complete overview of the global situation, data for the year 2011 have been used from 68 countries and data for the year 2010 have been used from 11 countries, where current data are not available. Overall, responses received from 179 countries cover 98.6% of the world’s population.

" Thank you for saving my life " is the theme of the World Blood Door Day 2015


Thursday, 11 June 2015

World Day Against Child Labour 2015, June 12

Theme 2015 : Non, au travail des enfants- Oui, à une éducation de qualité!
2015 الموضوع: لا، لعمل الأطفال - نعم، لجودة التعليم

 Statement by Mr. Guy Ryder, Director-General International Labour Organization on the occasion of World Day against Child Labour 2015.

 The unacceptable reality is that today millions of children around the world, some as young as five, are still working for their survival and that of their families. Yet progress has been made and should spur us all to re-commit to action to end child labour. On this World Day we highlight the link between education and child labour.

Making this link is key to developing effective strategies that can break the cycle of poverty which is a key factor, if not the sole factor, in producing child labour.

As things stand, the aspirations of many parents for their children and of children themselves for a decent education will remain unfulfilled dreams. Many girls and boys have no chance to attend school. Some try to combine school and work, but all too often must drop out of school well before reaching the legal age of employment and become child labourers.

The situation today is further aggravated by the impact of conflicts and crises. In conflict zones, students and sometimes their teachers have been the victims of violent attacks and kidnapping. Reports of schools being destroyed are not uncommon. The infrastructure of stability and prosperity is being undermined. In a range of circumstances families are fleeing physical and economic insecurity, crossing borders and hoping for a better life. Children make up a large share of these migration flows, at times travelling without their parents. Such journeys are frequently paths to child labour and exploitation.

Without adequate education, former child labourers are more likely than others to end up in poorly paid and insecure work as adults or to be unemployed. And there is a high probability that they will live in poverty and that their children will share the same fate.

A collective challenge and responsibility is to enable all children, girls and boys, to have access to education, quality education. Second-class education perpetuates second-class citizens. We all know that a solid education and good teachers can make a world of difference to the lives and futures of children and young people.

In 2014, the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded jointly to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai powerfully symbolized the close connection between the right to freedom from child labour and the right of all girls and boys to education. Their courage, their persistence and their vision should inspire us all to step up our action.

Ultimately, a future without child labour calls for inclusive development policies integrating decent work for adults, social protection floors and sound education systems. With political will and determination at all levels of development, priorities can be set, policy choices can be made and integrated action can be taken. A key challenge for the post-2015 development agenda and for action at global, regional and national levels is to secure sustainable and significant change.

The International Labour Organization and its government, employer and worker constituents have been in the forefront of the fight against child labour for nearly a century. We remain committed to working nationally, internationally and with the multilateral system to ensure children’s right to education and freedom from child labour as well as its corollary, the dignity of decent work for adults.

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-general.

 FORUM World Day Against Child Labour - June 12
World Report on Child Labour 2015: Paving the way to decent work for young people 
On this year’s World Day Against Child Labour we call for:
  • free, compulsory and quality education for all children at least to the minimum age for admission to employment and action to reach those presently in child labour;
  • new efforts to ensure that national policies on child labour and education are consistent and effective;
  • policies that ensure access to quality education and investment in the teaching profession.

EVENTS :  In 2015 the World Day Against Child Labour will focus particularly on the importance of quality education as a key step in tackling child labour. 

High Level Pannel Discussion - World Day Against Child Labour 2015

It is very timely to do so, as in 2015 the international community will be reviewing reasons for the failure to reach development targets on education and will be setting new goals and strategies.
  1. Jordan marks World Day Against Child Labour  - 13 June 2015
    This year’s events highlight the importance of education as a key step in tackling child labour.
  2. High-Level Panel Discussion on the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour 2015 - 12 June 2015
    On the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour, you are invited to join an interactive discussion on the theme of “No to child labour - Yes to quality education”.
  3. World Day Against Child Labour - 12 June 
    The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the first World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 as a way to highlight the plight of working children. Observed on June 12th, the day is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour.
  4. Combating child labour through skills and livelihoods training for older children in some Arab States - (8 - 11 June 2015)
    The four-day regional workshop will examine ways in which participants from various Arab States can prepare and deliver skills and livelihoods training to older children who are at risk or removed from child labour.
  5. Commemoration of World Day Against Child Labour 2015 - 22 May 2015
    The annual World Day Against Child Labour has been observed on 12th June 2015 since 2002. The theme for this year is Say No to child labour, Yes to Quality Education. Education is a human right and a key factor in reducing poverty and child labour.
  6. Jordan trains new partners on ways to combat child labour - (15 - 19 May 2015)
    ILO and its partners train inspectors from the Greater Amman Municipality on ways to better identify and report on child labour cases.
  7. Jordan expands rollout of its National Framework to Combat Child Labour - (13 May - 2 June 2015)
    Jordanian ministries, supported by the ILO, meet with inspectors from across the country to review their implementation of the National Framework, in efforts to expand rollout activities
  8. Pilar Jurado will dedicate her concert at the LaborArte Festival 2015 to the Music against Child Labour Initiative - 11 May 2015
    At the Centro Cultural Conde Duque, in Madrid, Pilar Jurado, ILO Special Contributor, will dedicate her concert at the LaborArte Festival 2015.
  9. “Raise Our Voices”, new song against child labour - 16 March 2015
    “Raise Our Voices” is a new song by DEYSofficial, a group composed of four Canadian siblings who have been singing professionally since they were children.
  10. Pilar Jurado will perform her song for the eradication of child labour  -20 February 2015
    At Auditorio Municipal Maestro Padilla en Almería, Pilar Jurado, ILO Special Contributor, will perform her new song "Lullaby to sing to sleep a child who never rests"
  11. "Today Festival - Say NO to Child Labour" concert  -20 February 2015
    Music event organised by the Soroptimist International Club of Sassari (Sardinia, Italy) in collaboration with the ILO on the occasion of the World Day of Social Justice
  12. Ministry of Labour, ILO, UNICEF, Save the Children launch study on plight of working children on streets in Lebanon  -16 February 2015
    ILO, UNICEF, Save the Children International and Ministry of Labour in Lebanon jointly launch new study.

World Report on Child Labour 2015: Paving the way to decent work for young people 

Resources :
- World Report on Child Labour 2015: Paving the way to decent work for young people 
- "Work in Progress", the ILO's Blog 
- Fighting Child Labour with quality education 

-Combating child labour through education  - brochure

Campaign :