Health

End Vaccine Apartheid Before Millions More Die

At least 85 poor countries will not have significant access to coronavirus vaccines before 2023. Unfortunately, a year’s delay will cause an estimated 2.5 million avoidable deaths in low and lower-middle income countries. As the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General has put it, the world is at the brink of a catastrophic moral failure.

Water Governance and Data Collection is Key to Reach Development Goals

Prioritising water governance and ensuring data collection and investment in groundwater use around the world are some of the key issues that need to be addressed with regards to achieving development goals.

The UN Food Systems Summit: How Not to Respond to the Urgency of Reform

Global food systems have been failing most people for a long time, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made a critical situation even worse. 265 million people are threatened by famine, up 50% on last year; 700 million suffer from chronic hunger; and 2 billion more from malnutrition, with obesity and associated diet-related diseases increasing in all world regions.

Why Water & Sanitation Systems are Vital for the Economy

This World Water Day, we celebrate the value of water, which at first might be a given: after all, water is the basis of all life. Without water we have no health, wealth, equality, or education.

The Value of Water Goes Far Beyond its Stock Price

In the midst of a global pandemic, when the presence of water in our lives has never seemed more important, its future availability has also never been more uncertain.

Access to Safe Water Never Loses Value

The global community is celebrating World Water Day 2021. In the COVID-19 pandemic era, the importance and value of water for all people has never been clearer. Access to safe water is essential for public health and thriving communities.

Oral Health Should be a Development Priority

The mouth is a barometer of social inequities -- it reflects the injustices in our society. As George Cuvier, an 18th century naturalist said: "Show me your teeth, and I will tell you who you are". To me, as a dentist, the mouth is like a microscope that reveals more than just tooth decay. It exposes us to a world where people lack access to water, health, quality education and live on low income.

A Moral Failure: Billions of People with No Access to Clean Drinking Water

Water is integral to sustainable development, but we are well behind on the goals and targets that we have set ourselves.

Clean Water Vital for Protecting Those on the Frontline of Climate Change in Post-Pandemic World

For many, the last year will be remembered as the time our day-to-day lives screeched to a halt. As Covid-19 spread mercilessly across the world, wreaking havoc on health and livelihoods, world leaders, health experts and scientists grappled with how to protect populations and stem the tide of the virus.

Five Steps to Combat Gender-Based Violence Globally

The 410 Legal Aid Centers that I manage in Bangladesh for BRAC’s Human Rights and Legal Aid Services received approximately 35,900 requests for assistance in 2020. Almost all of them involve gender-based violence against women and girls.

Inequality, COVID-19 and the Plight of the Young

Inequality characterizes the world we live in, predisposing how we act and think. We perceive our existence as composed of dichotomies – men and women, young and old, black or white, as well as a difference between those who have and those who do not have access to wealth, health, education and influence. Dichotomies are also born out of comparisons, about how things are now and how they could have been, how they were before and how they are now.

Sustainable Development Goals Can Guide Asia-Pacific to Build Back Better

The COVID-19 crisis poses an unprecedented threat to development in the Asia-Pacific region that could reverse much of the hard-earned progress made in recent years. The good news is we know how to tackle this challenge. Recovery from the pandemic and our global efforts to deliver the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 must go hand-in-hand. The Goals provide a compass to navigate this crisis, faster and greener, everywhere and for everyone.

International Women’s Day, 2021
More Women Leaders Make Better Societies

This year it will be 128 years since the right of women to vote was first recognized, with New Zealand becoming the first nation to allow the participation of women in its general election in 1893. From the suffragettes - to today’s feminists, both men and women have fought to increase women’s political participation and representation. It has been a slow, sometimes bitter and occasionally even dangerous struggle. Yet global progress remains slow and uneven – as it does in Samoa. As we approach the 2021 General Election on 9 April, it is important to remember that women’s full and effective participation in all areas of life drives progress for everyone.

The Ongoing Fight for Gender Parity in Lebanon

The fight for equality around the globe has taken a few steps forward in some countries which provides a glimmer of hope for future generations for increased female participation and representation. However, that particular fight is taking new shapes and forms in multiple corners of the world, where women are still persecuted, silenced, threatened, killed, harassed, and stripped off their basic human rights on a daily basis. The question today is, when will the world become a safer place for women and girls?

Only Small Percentage of COVID-19 Recovery Allocated to Green Initiatives

Last year, only $368 billion of a $14.6tn budget geared towards COVID-19 recovery measures across the world’s largest 50 countries took into account green recovery initiatives, according to a report launched yesterday, Mar. 10.

COVID-19 Education Response: Education Cannot Wait and Partners Reach over 9 Million Vulnerable Children and Youth

As the world marks the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic on 11 March 2021, initial progress reports on Education Cannot Wait’s (ECW) COVID-19 emergency responses to date show that the Fund and its partners have already reached over 9 million vulnerable girls and boys in the midst of the worst education crisis of our lifetime.

More ‘Can & Must be Done’ to Eradicate Caste-Based Discrimination, Says UN Rights Chief

There is hardly a better way to promote human rights in Nepal than celebrating Muskan Khatun for being one of the winners of the prestigious International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award, released on the International Women’s Day by the Government of the United States of America.

Extent of Violence Against Women During Pandemic Exposed

COVID-19 restrictions exposed women and girls to heightened abuse – revealing the conditions in which gender-based violence became the shadow pandemic on the continent, a recent webinar attended by parliamentarians from Africa and Asia heard.

Down in Hell

I am about 200 feet down a rickety old mine shaft, in the Ashanti gold mining region of Ghana. It is stiflingly hot and darker than a moonless night. I can only feel the touch of sweaty bodies passing in the darkness and hear the reverberating sound of miners coughing and breaking rocks. The lack of oxygen and dust make it hard to breathe. I have no idea how deep this shaft goes – hundreds of feet? More? If there is a Hell this must be what it feels like.

Prioritise Pandemic Relief, Recovery: No Time for Debt Buybacks

Developing country governments are being wrongly advised to use their modest fiscal resources to pay down accumulated debt instead of strengthening pandemic relief and recovery. Thus, debt phobia risks deepening and extending COVID-19 recessions by prioritising buybacks.

International Women’s Day, 2021
Why Green Growth and Climate Action Fall Short Without Addressing Gender Inequality

As the global effort to address climate change has strengthened over the last few years, so has the realization that rising temperatures and climactic disruptions disproportionately impact women, particularly in developing countries, as they tend to be more dependent upon natural resources and are thus overrepresented in resource-intensive economic sectors. Furthermore, inherent in gender inequality are disadvantages for and discrimination against women in all facets of society, including in the economy and politics. Thus, it is unfortunate, yet perhaps unsurprising, that these structural disparities are mirrored in the negative effects of climate change. Therefore, if gender differences are not incorporated into climate change plans, women will be unable to access the co-benefits that arise from concerted climate action.

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