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