To achieve universal health coverage
, a country needs a healthcare system that provides equitable access to high quality health care requiring sustainable financing over the long term. Publicly provided healthcare should be on the basis of need, a citizen’s entitlement for all regardless of means.
The first time I visited South Sudan in 2004 - prior to its independence - I travelled across the entire the country which was then a region devastated by man’s inhumanity to man. Although South Sudan is slightly larger than France, I could find only one concrete school building in Rumbek.
“We have buried twenty-eight people. I have seen them with my own eyes. We also found three bodies in the fields and buried them too. I can show them to you. It’s not far from here. We buried them there.” The man points to the hills. He doesn’t want to show his face or say his name, but he agrees that his voice can be recorded, so that his words don’t get lost. The camera can’t shoot him; it can only look at the tall grass or at the forest towards the countryside where it is no longer possible to cultivate food. The man talks while music from Lengabo’s catholic church marks the time of truce and hope.
Work, education, entertainment, or simply better connectivity all draw people to cities. By the end of this century around 85% of the world population are predicted to live in cities.
He moves aside the curtain, thin as gauze, and then bends over. The darkness dazzles for a few seconds when one enters the house—actually, a den made of earth where air and light filter through the narrow entrance. Jean de Dieu Amani Paye holds her tiny baby, wrapped in an elegant fabric, in his arms. He was a teacher of French and Latin and had a small business. He also cultivated the land: cassava, corn, sorghum, and beans.
From an international humanitarian perspective, the first half of 2021 has been disappointing. We’re no further ahead in ending the conflict in Syria and Yemen. From the fledgling democracy that it had become, Myanmar has descended into what most of its people had hoped was a bygone era of military rule. And in Ethiopia, where its Prime Minister, Ably Ahmed, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, armed conflict in Tigray is preventing the 2020 winners of the very same prize, the World Food Programme, from delivering the food needed to stop at least 350,000 Ethiopians from starving to death.
In 1995, a highly-respected water expert in South Africa, Bill Pitman
, in very concise terms illustrated that the country, already battling a growing lack of water then, would likely run out in 25 years if it did not increase its supply.
Honorine Meda is 23. Cycling through her hometown of Dissin, in Burkina Faso’s verdant southwest, she smiles, waves and stops to chat with one of the girls she counsels.
The water we drink and the air we breathe are the basis of life. With universal access to clean water and sanitation, we will be healthier, our economies will be stronger, gender equality will be more achievable, and more children will stay in school.
The difficulties in accessing education faced by children and young people forcibly displaced from their homes were today laid bare in a virtual high-level roundtable convened by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the UK and Canada.
Despite facing the world’s worst pandemic of the last century, rich countries in the World Trade Organization (WTO) have blocked efforts to enable more affordable access to the means to fight the pandemic.
With her bare hands, Roda clears debris and forages scraps from her wrecked teashop after attackers scorched Gumuruk, a town in the Greater Jonglei region where conflict frequently disrupts daily life and stifles progress.
The declaration of independence of South Sudan was a great historic moment that gave hope to South Sudanese on July 9, 2011. It brought a sense of satisfaction, indicating achievement of a life-time dream for which millions of our people across generations paid the ultimate price.
The Biden administration made a decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan based on the Trump-Taliban agreement. Their last combat soldier may have already left. There is nothing to argue about!
Never before have so many children been out of school. 1.6 billion children and young people – more than 90% of students worldwide – have been impacted by school closures during the pandemic. Hundreds of millions of those children have gone without any learning at all, deprived of all the benefits that being in school provides.
Rani Akter, a mother of five, usually works as a domestic helper in Dhaka’s Zikatola area. When the coronavirus pandemic broke out in Bangladesh last March, her employers asked her not to come to their homes for fear of infection.
“I lost my work in three houses one after the other, which became a nightmare for me. My rich employers did not allow me in their homes as they thought that I might carry the invisible virus,” Akter told IPS.
Sub-Saharan Africa is in the grips of a third wave of COVID-19 infections that threatens to be even more brutal than the two that came before.
In 2020, Southeast Asian countries were already facing varied challenges that affected the region’s food supplies and prices. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic later in the year exacerbated the region’s food insecurity and poverty. Southeast Asian countries need to take a hard look at food security, even as the double challenges — climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic — continue to fester.
For Dr Farzana Khan, a frontline worker and a second-generation immigrant from Pakistan living in California, social media helped her connect and realign herself during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has become a “developing country pandemic
”, retreating from the North’s mass vaccination. With developing countries heavily handicapped, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warns
of a “dangerous [new] divergence”.
With financing, the number of out-of-school refugees could be reduced to zero, Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait
(ECW) says, as the world commemorates World Refugee Day.