Humanitarian Emergencies

Drug Use is a Health Issue – We Need to Decriminalize

Earlier this month, and in December 2020 the Government of Samoa conducted operations that resulted in the confiscation of a total of 1,400 grams of methamphetamine at the border, smuggled from the US. The law enforcement officials (from the Ministry of Customs and Revenue and the Ministry of Police and Prisons) that intercepted these drugs deserve congratulations for their professionalism and skill. Meth is destructive and harmful - and it is good to see this potential threat removed from the community.

Mexico to Ban Glyphosate, GM Corn
Presidential Decree Comes Despite Intense Pressure from Industry, U.S. Authorities

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador quietly rocked the agribusiness world with his New Year’s Eve decree to phase out use of the herbicide glyphosate and the cultivation of genetically modified corn. His administration sent an even stronger aftershock two weeks later, clarifying that the government would also phase out GM corn imports in three years and the ban would include not just corn for human consumption but yellow corn destined primarily for livestock. Under NAFTA, the United States has seen a 400% increase in corn exports to Mexico, the vast majority genetically modified yellow dent corn.

Developing Countries Struggling To Cope With COVID-19

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is adversely impacting most developing countries disproportionately, especially the United Nations’ least developed countries (LDCs) and the World Bank’s low-income countries (LICs). Years of implementing neoliberal policy conditionalities and advice have made most developing countries much more vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic by undermining their health systems and fiscal capacities to respond adequately.

Sustainable Energy Key to COVID-19 Recovery in Asia and the Pacific

The past year is one that few of us will forget. While the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have played out unevenly across Asia and the Pacific, the region has been spared many of the worst effects seen in other parts of the world. The pandemic has reminded us that a reliable and uninterrupted energy supply is critical to managing this crisis.

Yemen Heads towards Worst Famine World has Seen in Decades

Yemen is heading towards the worst famine the world has seen in decades, the United Nations Security Council was warned in a briefing yesterday.

Q&A: Tigray – the Fighting will Continue & Exacerbate Civilian Suffering

While Ethiopia’s federal government may have administrative control of the Tigrayan capital, Mekelle, and other main cities in the region, including Shire, Adwa, and Aksum, after removing the regional government from power in late November — armed resistance in Tigray is not over and could continue for months.

Switzerland Buys itself Good Sustainability Scores at the Expense of Other Countries

According to the Sustainable Development Report 2020, Switzerland ranks at a shameful 163 of 165 in terms of so-called spillover effects. This means that Switzerland buys better sustainability scores in a number of areas, placing considerable burdens on other countries and the global environment.

Overcoming the Learning Divide: Assessing What Students Missed During School Closings for COVID-19

School closings and the varied impacts of remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic are a global challenge. Educators worldwide have been struggling to meet contemporary educational standards in this environment. But this challenge is followed by yet another: how to assess the readiness of students to resume in-school education when schools open. At BRAC, the international nongovernmental organization that operates 25,000 schools in Bangladesh, serving 750,000 students, we have developed an approach that could be helpful.

“Why Was I Ever Born”– Righting the Wrong

The bombing continues unabated. The explosions are heard in the distance. A family with seven children is cowering in fear in a corner of their shack, not daring to step out, dreading instant death from shrapnel or a sniper’s bullet.

India Glacier Disaster: In a Warming World is there no Less Lethal Way to Power Development?

On Sunday morning, Feb. 7, as most of the working-class in India’s Himalayan State of Uttarakhand went about their chores, the glacier-fed Rishi Ganga river started rising. Two hours later, swollen with rock debris and snowmelt, its waters rose 53 feet — the height equivalent of a five-storey building.

IP, Vaccine Imperialism Cause Death and Suffering, Delay Recovery

Vaccine developers’ refusal to share publicly funded vaccine research findings is stalling broader, affordable vaccinations which would more rapidly contain COVID-19 contagion. The pandemic had infected at least 109 million people worldwide, causing over 2.4 million deaths as of mid-February.

Peace in Yemen, But not Without Women’s Role in Peacebuilding

The armed conflict in Yemen which has lasted six years, has killed and injured over thousands of civilians, displaced more than one million people and given rise to cholera outbreaks, medicine shortages and threats of famine. By the end of 2019, it is estimated that over 233,000 Yemenies have been killed as a result of fighting and the humanitarian crisis. With nearly two-thirds of its population requiring food assistance, Yemen is also experiencing the world's worst food security crisis. The United Nations has called the humanitarian crisis in Yemen “the worst in the world”.

Give us Access to Tigray to Find Missing Refugees — NRC Pleas

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has called for unimpeded access to all parts of Ethiopia’s Tigray Region, to locate an estimated 20,000 unaccounted for refugees and assess damage to its Hitsaats Camp which was looted and set alight in early January.

We Must Make It Happen – Together!

“As we enter 2021, education must be at the core of pandemic response and recovery efforts,” says António Gutteres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in his interview with Education Cannot Wait (ECW) for this monthly issue, reminding us that “upholding our pledge to leave no one behind starts with education.”

To Prevent Another Civil War South Sudan Must Create a New, Unique Political System

The threat of a full-blown civil war in South Sudan remains unless the country’s leaders can broaden power sharing, warns a new report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) released almost year into the country’s formation of a government of national unity.

Intellectual Property Cause of Death, Genocide

Refusal to temporarily suspend several World Trade Organization (WTO) intellectual property (IP) provisions to enable much faster and broader progress in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic should be grounds for International Criminal Court prosecution for genocide.

Revoke Patents, Defeat the Pandemic & Deliver Global Justice

As the pandemic spills into its second year, the WHO tracker lists eight Covid-19 vaccines already in public use. Several others are awaiting regulatory approval. This is unprecedented in vaccine history and with effective international coordination, it presents the global community with a real chance for both pandemic and economic recovery in 2021.

Water Graves: Nightmare for Mexican Fishermen

All of Erizo's nightmares are the same. Since his return from the ocean - almost unrecognizable - every bad dream is identical. A wave punches his little boat and throws him into the deep sea where everything is so dark that he can't even see his own hands.

Road to Hell Paved with Good Intentions

Access to COVID-19 vaccines for many developing countries and most of their people will have to wait as the powerful and better off secure earlier access regardless of need or urgency. More profits, by manufacturing scarcity, will surely cause even more loss of both lives and livelihoods.

Caught in Tangled Web of Vaccine Nationalism

“Oh what a tangled web we weave When first we practice to deceive”. Walter Scott’s lines, already over two centuries old, nicely sum up how pursuit of national advantage and private gain have undermined the public interest and the common good.

Sri Lanka’s Deteriorating Human Rights Situation Raises Multiple Alarms

A decade has passed since the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war between the government and the LTTE, where at least 100,000 people were killed in the over three-decade long conflict. Families of victims of enforced disappearances continue to seek justice, the government is yet to end impunity and put accountability for crimes under international law and human rights violation and abuses in its transitional justice process.

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