Humanitarian Emergencies

Maquila Female Workers in Their Own Words: Fighting COVID and Labor Abuse

A compilation of testimonies collected by Blanca Velázquez Díaz and published by the Ebert Foundation (available at: http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/mexiko/17328.pdf) offers an account of the harsh reality by which some workers of the maquila industry in the Mexican state of Morelos have gone through over these last twelve months. Their words reflect, undoubtedly, similar experiences of millions of workers in different parts of the country.

Humanitarian & Food Aid Can Never be Enough to Manage Cascading Disasters

The intersection of crisis, climate change and COVID-19 has resulted in a “rapid rise in hunger”, according to United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Deputy Executive Director Amir Abdullah.

„We will overcome it“: Experiences of the impact of COVID-19 in Suva, Fiji

This short video explores the experiences of COVID-19 in Fiji's capital, Suva, by University students. The participants reflect on the impact of the virus in the Pacific nation, where themes such as the emotional implications of COVID as well as its effects on the economy, food security, resilience and more are discussed.

Debt Moratoria in the Next Pandemic: Be Prepared, and Be Fair

Imagine it is 2025 and that, unfortunately, another pandemic is sweeping the world. Much like in the 2020 crisis, borrowers have seen their livelihoods upended and are struggling to repay loans.

After the Fire: Rebuilding of Rohingya Camp a Race Against Time Ahead of Monsoon Season

The building that was once the largest health centre in the Kutupalong refugee camp, serving some 55,000 Rohingya refugees 24/7, is now a burnt, distorted shell after a massive fire spread through the Cox’s Bazar camp in Bangladesh this week. And as the tens of thousands of affected Rohingya return to the empty pieces of land that where once their homes, the need to rebuild — both the health facility and their homes — has added impetus because of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the coming monsoon season.

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.

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.

UN Sanitizes Killings of Children in Armed Conflicts

The horrendous killings of children in military conflicts and civil wars – both by national armed forces and militant groups – have triggered widespread condemnation by human rights organizations worldwide.

Achieving Gender Equality for Women’s Re-entry to the Labour Force Post COVID-19

During the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns, while many sought safety being at home, women in the healthcare, child care, aged care, teaching and services fields — who hold the majority of jobs in those occupations — went to work everyday. 

‘Living Hell’ – Concerns Mount over Dramatic Deterioration in Yemen Conflict

The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen has warned that the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, is rapidly deteriorating as Yemenis, including women and children, face hunger, injury and death.

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.

How to Achieve Peace in Afghanistan

There is much expectation about US President Joe Biden's Afghanistan strategy to end the United States' longest war effectively. So far, he continues to rely on Ambassador Zalmai Khalilzad, the Special Envoy for Afghanistan, appointed by Mr. Trump.

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?

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.

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.

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.

World’s Worst Humanitarian Disaster Triggered by Deadly Weapons from US & UK

The United Nations has rightly described the deaths and devastation in war-ravaged Yemen as the “world’s worst humanitarian disaster”--- caused mostly by widespread air attacks on civilians by a coalition led Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Mexican Economy: A Short or Long Recession Cycle?

The trend of the Mexican economy during the last two years has not been positive. INEGI, the official bureau of statistics, has just reported that GDP registered a fall of 8.5 percent compared to 2019 with seasonally adjusted figures. But in 2019 GDP also receded, although in far less measure, less than one percentage point. However, it must be considered that the Mexican economy has been falling for 6 quarters (compared to the previous year). Considering the population growth rate (1.2 percent per year), the fall in the GDP per capita is close to 11 percent. This figure matters because it gives a more accurate idea of the size of the downturn. It is also necessary to take into account the two years, since our interest should be now to try to figure out how long the recession will be the endure, that is, when will Mexico reach the pre-pandemic level of GDP.

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