Aid

COVID-19 Pandemic and the Pacific Islands

As of 11 AM (AEST) on 20th May 2020 the incidence of COVID-19 virus (henceforth virus) on the Pacific Islands was limited. Active cases (deaths) in some of the Pacific Islands were Australia 7,072 (100), New Zealand 1,503 (21), PNG 8(0), Guam 154 (5), Fiji 18 (0), Timor-Leste 24 (0), French Polynesia 60(0), and New Caledonia 18(0).1 Standards of comparison are not uniform across the region since testing capacities of the various countries differ widely. The low number of cases in the smaller Pacific Islands compared to their larger neighbours, i.e., Australia and New Zealand, reflect both variations in testing standards as well as their smaller population size. The smaller Pacific Islands were also not subject to some of the aberrations experienced by the larger countries, e.g., large number of arrivals from foreign countries in planes and cruise ships.

Logistics: The Backbone of Humanitarian Efforts Fighting COVID-19 in Asia and the Pacific

While most of the world self-isolates at home and skies are emptier than they have been for decades, humanitarian flights transporting life-saving aid are revving up around Asia and the Pacific.

Food Markets in the Caribbean Take Stock of Vulnerability during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised the spectre of food insecurity as countries and citizens fear a return to the conditions that roiled the international food markets during the 2008 economic crisis.

COVID-19 – China Tells World Health Assembly They Did their Best

This week’s 73rd World Health Assembly had member states adopt a resolution to review the global response to the coronavirus pandemic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) will also undergo  an evaluation for its response to the outbreak.

HIV Services Take a Backseat to COVID-19 in Russia

In Russia, which has one of the world’s worst HIV/AIDS epidemics, an already fragile healthcare system is buckling under the pressure of dealing with COVID-19.

Curbing Land Degradation & Protecting the Environment in Mongolia

Mongolia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Yet, more than 70 percent of its surface is affected by land degradation. Mining activities in several parts of the country have been a source of humanitarian and environmental concern. However, different stakeholders are coming together to work towards restoration and rehabilitation.

Africa’s Health Dilemma: Protecting People from COVID-19 While Four Times as Many Could Die of Malaria

Experts across Africa are warning that as hospitals and health facilities focus on COVID-19, less attention is being given to the management of other deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, which affect millions more people.

Women Taking Charge during COVID-19

As the COVID-19 mayhem carries on in most countries, the role of mothers, daughters, and female caregivers have been affected the most. Besides looking after the household and home schooling children, they are also working on the front lines, actively or passively caring for their respective communities.

Time for the World Bank and IMF to Be the Solution, Not the Problem

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have a historic opportunity to help stabilize a world reeling from COVID-19. Doing so will require the institutions to change course and aggressively support poor countries’ ability to invest broadly in the government services their populations need.

Why the International Day of Multilateralism Must Start a New World Order

In our current COVID 19 context of suffering and fear, that may sound like a strange and spooky quote. But let’s be clear: what we have achieved so far in the present is not - and shouldn’t be - indicative of what we can achieve in the future.

Children under Lockdown get a ‘Learning Passport’

Soon schools in Timor-Leste, Ukraine, and Kosovo, where some 6.5 million children are currently at home, will hopefully start teaching their children once again -- albeit online. 

What Does Covid-19 Crisis Mean for Rural Development?

The implications and consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic are playing out before us. Much of the news coverage of the to date in both the Global North and the Global South has understandably focused on the horrifying impact of the disease on urban communities, where it is clearly hitting people, and economies, hardest.

Q&A: Continued Social Distancing and Hundreds of Millions More in Poverty – A New Normal for the World?

With much of the global economy stalled amid an unprecedented lockdown of nations grappling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the author of a new United Nations report on the disease’s impact on poverty told IPS that hundreds of millions more could be pushed into poverty and we can expect to see social unrest.

On Watching Contagion: What Do We Learn?

Contagion is a 2011 film by US director Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Che) that has proved very popular viewing during the first few weeks of the Coronavirus crisis. Set in a fictional global pandemic – modelled on the outbreak of a bat-borne Nipah virus identified in 1999 that killed around 100 people in Malaysia - the film is a tightly-written topical drama with a great castthat includes Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard and Jennifer Ehle.

No Space for Social Distancing in Rohingya Refugee Camps

Nine-year-old Mohammad Rafique used to collect vegetables from Kutupalong Bazaar and sell them at a market inside Kutupalong camp, a camp of some 600,000 Rohingyas, in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar.


The Cost of Coronavirus in Africa: What Measures can Leaders Take?

With the novel coronavirus COVID-19 having reached the African continent, countries are getting ready to manage the spread of the virus and ensure that their fragile health systems can cope. Images from China and Europe give many reasons for concern.

Helping the homeless of Rome combat COVID-19

Behind the Tiburtina Station, in the East of Rome, with just a small covered area protecting from the inclemency of the weather, sleeping close to each other is the only way to stay warm. A boy of Ivorian origin is alone, far from everyone, in the centre of the sidewalk, exposed to a freezing wind.

Green Counter-Revolution in Africa?

In 2006, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation jointly launched the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The African Green Revolution Forum claims AGRA is the “world’s most important and impactful forum for African agriculture”.

Growing Youth Activism for Environmental Protection in Africa

The mining sector in Africa is facing radical change as youth activists take action against the environmental degradation caused by mining industries. Tensions between activists and the mining industry have raised, however, concerns over human rights abuses.

A Story of Triumphs and Tribulations: Implementing Services for Autism in Bangladesh

A few days ago, a friend said to me that my focus on autism, although rather successful, had “sucked out all energy from other critical areas of social need in Bangladesh.” My friend wanted to know if I would be interested in expanding my visibility and successful approach to autism, to other issues that have apparently been left by the wayside due to everyone’s eagerness to work on an issue popular with the Prime Minister’s daughter!

Slums, Camps, Terrorism: Experts Worry about Coronavirus Hitting South Asia

As coronavirus makes its way through different continents, countries, and communities around the world having claimed more than 23,000 lives, experts are ringing alarm bells about the implications of the disease as it hits South Asia, which hosts almost 2 billion of the world’s population

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