Even during the best of times, unfortunately members of the global community who have special needs are marginalized and often treated as social outcasts. The COVID crisis which has been raging for over the better part of the year 2020 has posed additional barriers and challenges for these already disenfranchised individuals.
COVID-19 has become a scourge affecting all levels of human society – morals, behaviour, human interaction, economy and politics. The pandemic has wrecked havoc on our way of being and its impact will remain huge and all-encompassing. It is not only affecting our globally shared existence, it is also changing what has been called ”the little life”, i.e. our own way of thinking and being, our personal life situation and the one of those close to us; people we love and depend upon – our friends and family.
School as we all know it hasn’t changed that much in over a century. However, in the face of new threats to health and wellbeing, the future of those familiar structures that bring teachers and students together is starting to be questioned.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has warned
that developing countries would need more than the earlier estimated
US$2.5 trillion to provide relief to affected families and businesses and expedite economic recovery.
Every era brings its own buzzwords or catchphrases along with it. The term du jour is ‘pandemic’, namely ‘coronavirus’ and ‘COVID-19’; but alongside these words, speculation and forecasts over the post-pandemic world are flourishing. There is a proliferation of pieces and commentary on what our daily lives or the economy will be like once the epidemic is under control, that is, how we will live in the aftermath of the pandemic.
By 2050, 70% of the world’s population
is expected to live in towns and cities. Urban living brings many benefits, but city dwellers worldwide are seeing a rapid increase
in noncommunicable health problems, such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease.
To fully realise the mental health crisis that India faces in relation to COVID-19, one has to begin with recognising the very serious situation that existed even before the pandemic.
The United Nations came into existence at a time of great despair, when the penholders of its founding document dared to imagine a better world, one that would be defined by peace and equality. Visionary world leaders chose hope over cynicism, empathy over indifference and partnership over distrust when they came together in San Francisco on 26 June 1945 to sign the Charter of the United Nations
. They embarked upon a new, rules-based world order, with an Organization of unrivalled legitimacy at its core.
After decades of impressive growth, for the first time, Southeast Asia is experiencing a drop in measured human development. The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic will likely take months to reveal itself and years to put right. Yet, a legacy of mobilizing under constraints is leading Southeast Asia’s pandemic response.
-- I have never been interested in religion or spirituality before, but I found myself tuning in to all sorts of on-line religion and spirituality related forums “in search of something.”
The 2020 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World
, issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization and its United Nations partners in mid-July, reports that chronic hunger continued to increase to 690 million worldwide in 2019, 60 million more than in 2014.
Africa’s demographic boom has been hailed as its biggest promise for transforming the continent’s economic and social outcomes, but only if the right investments are made to prepare its youthful population for tomorrow’s world.
The coronavirus pandemic was a respite for nature
everywhere. The air was cleaner
, trekking trails were pristine, the summit of Mt Everest was deserted
, and worldwide carbon emission dipped by -26%.
In the cinematic context of the death of the Italian and universal composer, Ennio Morricone, author of the background music of more than four hundred films, as an indirect tribute, Europe took a solid step.
“Reconciling the requirements of the ideal with the possibilities of the real": this is how Georges Bidault, Minister for Foreign Affairs and head of the French delegation to the San Francisco Conference, summed up the objective
pursued by the drafters of the Charter of the United Nations. On the still living ashes of the Second World War, the fathers of an Organization charged with developing friendly relations between nations, promoting human rights and economic and social progress were less utopian than visionary. They understood that the community of States should have a common constitution. It has been tested by conflict, crisis and upheaval, but its resilience and strength have shaped the very structure of contemporary international relations.
The Covid-19 pandemic seems to have spared children from the direct health effects of the virus but the crisis has affected their social and economic rights directly and indirectly beyond what we could have foreseen. And there's no doubt that children who come from more vulnerable backgrounds will feel the long-term impact of the pandemic and the measures taken to prevent its spread the hardest.
Over the next seven years, Google will invest a whopping $10 billion in India
to improve technology, health and education, according to CEO Sundar Pichai. This is unprecedented and could be a game changer that could improve health, education and economic empowerment.
Covid-19 threatens economic life the world over. The most urgent and important need is for governments, businesses and families to survive. Governments must revive economies and livelihoods to prevent Covid-19 recessions from becoming protracted depressions.
The Covid-19 crisis is clearly a ‘black swan event’, threatening both public health and livelihoods. Both the pandemic and containment efforts are not due to business operations and decisions, but nonetheless have compelling consequences for them.
“It has gotten really tough for us,” says James, a father in rural Liberia, of COVID-19 lockdown and school closures. “My son is trying but he is missing his friends and teachers. Children want to be in school.”
The effect of the coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent global lockdown might have a graver effect on cities and urban areas than on rural areas, possibly making women more susceptible to violence.