Development & Aid

Elimination of Leprosy


 
Warm greetings from Sasakawa Health Foundation in Tokyo. The 100th Issue of the WHO Goodwill Ambassador’s Newsletter has been published. Read special interviews with the Goodwill Ambassador and the UN Special Rapporteur on leprosy, and check out the Timeline of all that has happened since the first issue.

COVID-19 – UN Urges World Leaders to Act Now to Avert ‘Unimaginable Devastation’

Unless global leaders act now, the COVID-19 pandemic will cause unimaginable suffering and devastation around the world, the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres said yesterday, May 28. He painted a picture of hunger and famine at historic proportions, with some 60 million people pushed into extreme poverty and half the global workforce -- 1.6 billion people -- left without work, and $8.5 trillion in global output lost. 

COVID19 and Its Impact on Pacific Island States

By now, the impact of COVID19 on our daily lives has been well documented, especially in advanced economies. Anxiety about the future continues to grow everywhere. Much of the corporate news coverage we consume has focused on the toll this pandemic will take on mainland countries. Often neglected, however, is the unique position Pacific Island States find themselves in.

Reproductive Rights of Women and Girls Under Lockdown

Health systems around the world are prioritising health care services and equipment to treat people diagnosed with Covid-19, which means that many procedures deemed to be elective and non-essential are being suspended or simply not provided. Abortion, for instance, has been categorised as a non-essential health service by some States, while others have removed certain restrictions to accessing abortion.

Triple Emergencies of COVID-19, Flooding & Locusts Makes Somalia Susceptible to Human Trafficking

While simultaneously suffering from the coronavirus pandemic, flooding and a locust crisis, Somalia, could well see a rise in the number of people who are susceptible to human trafficking.

IITA banana research paper in Wiley’s Plant Pathology journal among the most downloaded

A paper published by a team led by scientists from IITA was among the top 10% most downloaded of all papers published between January 2018 and December 2019 in Wiley’s Plant Pathology journal.

Memo from a Multi-Millionaire: Covid-19 Proves Business Case for Taxing the Rich

For the past few decades, many big corporations and very wealthy individuals have operated according to the myth that they are “self-made”, that their success owed nothing to anyone else.

LIVE STREAM: Former Norwegian Prime Minister Brundtland on Pandemic Leadership

Between 2002 and 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) faced the first pandemic of the globalized 21st century, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Under the leadership of Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland and through epidemiological, clinical, and logistical coordination, the WHO facilitated a strong and ultimately successful response to the outbreak. Today, the WHO is facing the coronavirus pandemic in an even more globalized and urbanized world, further complicating response and coordination efforts. What similarities do these two pandemics share, and what lessons in leadership might we be able to learn from the past?

Digital Agriculture Benefits Zimbabwe’s Farmers but Mobile Money is Costly

Shurugwi communal farmer, Elizabeth Siyapi (57) can no longer be scammed by unscrupulous middlemen to sell her crops cheaply. Nowadays, before she takes her produce to market she scours her mobile phone, which has become an essential digital agriculture data bank, for the best prices on the market.

SDG Setback ‘Tremendous’ as COVID-19 Accelerates Slide

Crucial global goals to reduce hunger and poverty and curb climate change have gone backwards or stalled, the United Nations Secretary-General warns in a new report, as the COVID-19 outbreak moves from being a health crisis to becoming the “worst human and economic crisis of our lifetimes”.

War-Fighting in the Future and Our Current Hobson’s Choice!

Despite all the preoccupation with the current raging pandemic, it sadly appears that there has been no let-up in the global arms race among the major powers. In mid-May, the United States President Donald Trump, at an event for his new Space Force at the White House made a significant announcement, It was that the US was building right now an “incredible” new missile which would travel faster than any other in the world “by a factor of almost three”. This was obviously a response to the latest Russian ‘Avangard’ missile, which Russian President Vladimir Putin claims in invincible, with a speed of twenty times that of sound. The Chinese, reportedly are also feverishly working on their own hypersonic counterparts. All these would be strategic tools to significantly alter the war-fighting capabilities of humanity in the future.

No Woman Should Ever Die Giving Life

Consider this. 24 women, children and babies were murdered at a hospital in Kabul, the Afghan capital. Even by standards of a country as accustomed to bloodshed as Afghanistan, the May 12 attack on a Kabul maternity clinic was an event of unmitigated horror.

Innovation Is an Imperative – for Sustainable Food Systems

Hunger and food insecurity continue to rise. The official 2019 statistics refer to 821 million people suffering from hunger all over the world. According the recently launched Global Report on Food Crises, there are further 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse. WFP estimates that due to the impacts of COVID19, additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020. This means a total increase of 265 million people. If there will be no appropriate and urgent actions, “we could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months”, said David Beasley, WFP Executive Director, addressing the UN Security Council on 21st April.

Women are Often an After-Thought in a Humanitarian Crisis

In an interview*, Bina Pradhan, an independent researcher, focuses on gender, macroeconomics and emerging issues of inequality. She is affiliated with the Federation of Business and Professional Women, Nepal (FBPWN), and has been working on the promotion and advancement of women in enterprise development and trade, post-earthquake community reconstruction, and rebuilding people’s lives and livelihoods with a focus on sustainability.

Politics, Profits Undermine Public Interest in Covid-19 Vaccine Race

With well over five million Covid-19 infections worldwide, and deaths exceeding 340,000, the race for an effective vaccine has accelerated since the SARS-Cov-2 virus was first identified as the culprit.

Kenya’s Adolescent Women Left Behind As More Married Women Access Contraception

It was only when 17-year-old Eva Muigai was in her final trimester that her family discovered she was pregnant. Muigai, a form three student who lives with her family in Gachie, Central Kenya, had spent her pregnancy wearing tight bodysuits and loose-fitting clothes that hid her growing baby bump.

Education Post-COVID-19: Customised Blended Learning is Urgently Needed

Many well meaning education benefactors and commentators in South Africa have expressed that in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic online self-guided learning could solve some of the current teaching problems and address the educational backlog. What learners need, the reasoning goes, is to get free internet access to educational support materials on offer online. Nothing could be further from the truth.

‘Declare remittance as an essential financial service’

The UK and Switzerland are calling for greater global collaboration to ensure access to digital remittance services to support people during the coronavirus outbreak.

Are the SDGs in Reverse Gear?

When I was a little girl, my mother told us the story of a woman who escaped from a monster by cooking stones: when the monster fell asleep waiting for his dinner, the woman ran for her life.

How is the COVID-19 impacting climate action?

In the context of COVID-19 crisis, what are the risks for climate action? Climate change still continues and climate impacts are still very visible in the Pacific. A few weeks ago, we had major forest fires in Australia and in other countries. Now we’re battling tropical cyclone Harold which is a result of climate change. This week a new study was released, pointing out that the great barrier reef in Australia suffered one of its most severe bleaching in 5 years. Climate change is still happening, so climate actions have to be pursued. People might have different priorities these days, with funding being reoriented to other activities, but the action definitely needs to be continued to strengthen the resilience of our systems to global changes.

Crisis Hits Oil Industry and Energy Transition Alike

While it attempts to cushion the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Latin American and Caribbean region also faces concerns about the future of the energy transition and state-owned oil companies.

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