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D+C Vol.42.2015:2 7 $ 7.6 billion pledged for immunisation The Vaccine Alliance Gavi held an international donor confer- ence in Berlin in January. Gov- ernments, philanthropic foun- dations and private-sector companies committed $ 7.6 billion. That was more than initially expected. Accordingly, Gavi is now in a better position to immunise millions of chil- dren against life-threatening diseases including yellow fever, measles and polio in least- developed countries. Gavi is a public-private partnership. Its mission is to ensure that all children on earth get the vac- cinations recommended by the World Health Organization. Gavi was started as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immu- nisation in the year 2000 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gavi has since funded immuni­ sation for almost 500 million children in 73 developing ­countries. In Berlin, Gerd Müller, Germany’s federal minister for economic co- operation and development, said the confernce was a good start for Germany’s presidency of the G7 this year. Bill Gates pledged $ 1.5 billion, Britain about $ 1,4 billion and the USA $ 1billion. German Chancellor Angela Mer- kel raised the German contribu- tion from $ 500 million to $ 600 million. In spite of the Millen­ nium Development Goal to re- duce child mortality, the situa- tion remains difficult in many countries. Gavi reckons that pre- ventable diseases kill 1,5 million children annually. (kri) Lasting impact of global financial crisis According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the world economy is growing “at rates well below the trends that preceded the advent of the global crisis in 2008”. The inter- national agency’s most recent World Employment and Social Outlook finds that it is a huge challenge to bring “unemploy- ment and underemployment back to pre-crisis levels”. The authors expect the employment situation to get worse in the next five years, with global unemploy- ment growing by 3 million this year and by another 8 million next year. According to the ILO, 201 million people were unem- ployed in 2014 – 18 % more than before the crisis. (dem) Link: global-reports/weso/2015/WCMS_337069/ lang--en/index.htm In brief In 2014, media workers faced serious repression in many countries, ac- cording to Reporters without Borders (RwB). In an annual report, the inter- national civil-society organisation claims that 66 journalists were mur- dered in relation to their work last year, while 178 were imprisoned by government agencies and 119 were kidnapped. The number of kidnap- pings is said to have risen about one third above the level of 2013. According to RwB, the most deadly region is the Syrian and Iraqi terri­ tory that is controlled by the terrorist mili- tia IS. Around 20 journalists were killed there last year. In some cases, the perpe- trators posted short films of the murders on the internet. Since many journalists have fled, some cities are now “informa- tion black holes”, RwB states. The next most dangerous areas, ac- cording to RwB, are Balochistan province in Pakistan and Eastern Ukraine, where both regular security forces and armed mi- litias are known to threaten and kill local journalists. North-eastern Colombia is also identified as a high-risk area, and has been so for years because of paramilitary organisations’ and criminal groups’ in- volvement in drug trafficking. In order to survive, many media work- ers go into exile. According to RwB, 139 journalists fled their countries last year, and so did 20 citizen-journalists, who often face the same threats as profes- sional media workers. The largest group to opt for exile were Libyans, with 43 jour- nalists leaving the country. The numbers of journalists fleeing from Iran and Eritrea has gone down, RwB reports, and adds that there are not many independent jour- nalists left in those countries. Around 1,000 journalists and citizen- journalists were imprisoned in 2014, with Ukraine, Egypt and Iran topping the list, RwB state. Furthermore, RwB counted 1,846 threats and attacks. Ukraine, Ven­ ezuela and Turkey were the countries with most cases. As RwB points out, however, many abuses are never reported, either because the media workers concerned are too scared to notify the police, or because the police refuses to accept their case. Perpetrators are encouraged if they know that they are unlikely to ever face a court. Therefore, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), another civil-society or- ganisation, is running a global campaign against impunity. According to its statistics, nine out of 10 murders of journalists go un- punished. CPJ counts 1,110 journalists who were killed all over the world since 1992, and calls these murders the “ultimate form of censorship.” Sheila Mysorekar Links: Reporters without Borders: Report about violence against journalists in 2014. round-up-of-16-12-2014,47388.html Committee to Protect Journalists: Campaign against Impunity. Media Dangerous job A journalist states his view in Jakarta. picture-alliance/dpa