Countries with low human development are facing the brunt of school lockdowns, with more than 85 percent of their students effectively out of school by the second quarter of 2020, according to a United Nations policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 on education.
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.
With nearly 5.5 million people people across Bangladesh affected by severe flooding -- the worst in two decades -- humanitarian experts are concerned that millions of people, already badly impacted by COVID-19, will be pushed further into poverty.
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.”
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.
“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.
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.
This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations, written and signed during a period of great global change. Today, the world is again shifting beneath our feet. Yet, the Charter remains a firm foundation for our joint efforts.
Failing to help those in most need
COVID19 is devastating on older persons. The numbers are staggering, more than 80 percent of the fatalities due to coronavirus in the US and East Asia occurred among adults aged 65 and over. In Europe and Australia, the figures are even higher, 94 and 97 per cent of the deaths were persons aged 60 and over.
Mongolia has recorded very few cases of COVID-19, less than 300 as on date, despite its more than 4,000 kilometre porous border with China. However, the country faces a major economic impact from the pandemic.
With uneven progress in containing contagion, worsened by the breakdown in multilateral cooperation due to mounting US-China tensions, recovery from the Covid-19 recessions of the first half of 2020 is now expected to be more gradual than previously forecast
Pandemic response measures
In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, many governments, especially of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) economies, have introduced massive fiscal and monetary packages for contagion containment, relief and recovery.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Africa, countries are simultaneously dealing with the health and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, and how and when to ease lockdowns and curfews imposed to stop the disease spreading and get onto the path of recovery.
As lockdowns ease in countries across Asia and the Pacific in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is clear—a return to business as usual is unimaginable in a region that was already off track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The virtual High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development recently convened governments and stakeholders across the globe to focus on the imperative to build back better while keeping an eye on the Global Goals.
Rohingya women are coming together to feature their own work, plight and stories in mainstream conversations about their community — a space they say they’ve been left out of.
“If we think of revolutions or liberty or think of any ways to liberate ourselves from the shackle of suffering and being dubbed as 'the most persecuted minority on earth', women have to be part of it,” Yasmin Ullah, president of the Rohingya Human Rights Network, told IPS.
On the first Sunday of July, there was an important telephone call between the Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi and the Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Duval. Some important decisions were announced thereafter. This is not to say that these were the outcome of that interaction only. For weeks the militaries of both China and India and their diplomats had been negotiating on the grounds of the disputed territory along the Line of actual Control at the Galwan Valley, as well as through other channels to end the bloodiest border stand-off between the two Asian powers that had lasted two months. True, while not a bullet was fired in anger, troops had battled with sticks and stones that left twenty Indian soldiers dead and, reportedly, an unknown number of Chinese casualties. Indeed, it appeared that the two sides, who had fought a war in the Himalayas in 1962, was yet again on the brink of a possible war.
Dr David Nabarro is Special Envoy to the World Health Organisation on COVID-19 and Strategic Director of 4SD. He sets out his challenge to leaders to use COVID-19 as an opportunity for radical change that responds to the needs and the interests of all of humanity.
• Countries must work together
• Focus on equity
• Effective local action