Humanitarian Emergencies

COVID-19: Zimbabwe’s Smallholder Farmers Step into the Food Supply Gap

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe' second city of some 700,000 people, has experienced a shortage of vegetables this year, with major producers citing a range of challenges from poor rains to the inability to access to bank loans to finance their operations. But this shortage has created a market gap that Zimbabwe smallholders — some 1.5 million people according to government figures — have an opportunity to fill. 

COVID-19: Why We Must Reset Our Thinking

Covid-19 is the most significant event since the Second World War. It changes everything. It brings great sadness to many of us as we lose loved ones, as we see people losing their jobs, and as we see people around the world suffering immensely.

‘Passing the Buck’ Becomes Reckless ‘Conspiracy Blame Game’

Although Wuhan local authorities undoubtedly ostracized local medical whistle-blowers, notably Dr Li Wenliang, who suspected a new virus was responsible for flu-like infections in Wuhan in late 2019, official responses were apparently not delayed, and possibly even expedited, as the novel character of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for Covid-19 infections, was not immediately self-evident.

COVID-19 and the assault on fundamental rights

A spectre is haunting the conscientious citizens of Bangladesh—the spectre of the Digital Security Act, 2018 (DSA). By now the law has become synonymous with curtailment of freedom of expression and repression. The recent developments of involuntary disappearance, re-appearance and subsequent detention of several commentators and social activists have raised the alarm if indeed we as a nation are shying away from upholding one of the cardinal principles of the Muktijuddher Chetona (the spirit of the Liberation War) to freely express our views.

NGOs – with Local Groups in the Lead – are on COVID-19 Frontlines

NGOs, at the international, national - and most of all local - level are on the frontlines every day. I just heard from Oxfam staff in Bangladesh, that when asked whether they were scared to continue our response with the Rohingya communities in Cox’s Bazar, they replied: “They are now my relatives. I care about them — and this is the time they need us most.’”

VE Day Marks the End of the Second World War-But the World is Still at War

The world commemorated the 75th Anniversary to mark the end of the 2nd World War also called VE Day on 08 May 2020. With her nation, and much of the world still in lockdown due to COVID 19, England’s Queen marked 75 years since the allied victory in Europe with a poignant televised address. From Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth said, “the wartime generation knew that the best way to honour those who did not come back from the war, was to ensure that it didn’t happen again”.

Women Taking Charge during COVID-19

As the COVID-19 mayhem carries on in most countries, the role of mothers, daughters, and female caregivers have been affected the most. Besides looking after the household and home schooling children, they are also working on the front lines, actively or passively caring for their respective communities.

Religion & its Discontents: Considerations Around COVID-19 & Africa

COVID-19 has spread to many nations around the world, and has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. In the global south, the COVID-19 pandemic has stretched the available medical and health resources, triggered economic shocks, and caused social upheavals and insecurity in many countries and localities.

COVID-19 & Human Health Risks Linked to Wildlife Trade Practices

At the time of writing, the COVID-19 pandemic is raging worldwide, causing human mortality and socio-economic disruption on a massive scale and it appears highly likely that profound impacts will continue for many years to come.

Time for the World Bank and IMF to Be the Solution, Not the Problem

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have a historic opportunity to help stabilize a world reeling from COVID-19. Doing so will require the institutions to change course and aggressively support poor countries’ ability to invest broadly in the government services their populations need.

World’s Poor Hit by Double Jeopardy: a Deadly Virus & a Devastating Debt Burden

The world’s poorer nations, reeling under an unrelenting attack on their fragile economies by the COVID-19 pandemic, have suffered an equally deadly body blow: being buried under heavy debt burdens.

The Power of Education in Emergencies: Interview with Denmark’s Minister of Development Cooperation Rasmus Prehn

Denmark is Education Cannot Wait’s (ECW) third largest donor, with US$79.1 million in contributions to date. In this insightful interview with Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation, Rasmus Prehn, we explore the importance of girls’ education and gender equality, the humanitarian-development nexus, expanded engagement with the private sector, education in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic and more. A former high school teacher, with a master’s degree in social science, Minister Prehn has been a member of Danish Parliament since 2005, and was named Minister for Development Cooperation on June 27, 2019. Minister Prehn is the former chairman of the Danish Research, Education and Further Education Committee, a tireless advocate for education in emergencies, and a true champion for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG4: inclusive and equitable, quality education for all.

Global Impact of New Corona Virus and Population Issues

The new coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to wreak havoc across the world, as the number of infections and deaths rapidly rise. It has the potential to infect anybody regardless of age or gender. There are grave concerns that the economic fallout from COVID-19 may be comparable to that of the Great Depression. According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, there are 2,064,668 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 137,124 deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing COVID-19). In Japan as of noon April 15, there were 8,100 cases of COVID-19 , 119 deaths, and 901 patients discharged from hospitals.

Financial Scams Rise as Coronavirus Hits Developing Countries

In the Philippines, Peru, India, Kenya, South Africa and many other developing countries, poor people who are already struggling with the health impact of the coronavirus pandemic have been targeted by online fraudsters trying to take unfair advantage of them.

Argentina Responds Boldly to Coronavirus Crisis

Like much of the West, Argentina did not take many early precautionary actions after the Covid-19 epidemic was confirmed in January, but became the first Latin American country to act decisively with a 12 March public health emergency declaration. The presidential decree came a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic, just over a week after the first case was detected in the republic on 3 March.

New Normal? Better Normal!

In these times of Covid-19, the big challenge for most of us is how to protect ourselves and our families from the virus and how to hold on to our jobs. For policymakers, that translates into beating the pandemic without doing irreversible damage to the economy in the process.

Impact of COVID-19 on Tourism in Small Island Developing States

The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place to contain its diffusion are taking a heavy toll on the tourism sector. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the COVID-19 pandemic will result in a contraction of the tourism sector by 20% to 30% in 2020.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Reinvention of the Spirit of Solidarity and Cooperation

An invisible adversary has thrown the world – Global South and Global North alike – into disarray. The psychosocial and economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis will remain with us long after it has been overcome. There will be no anti-viral return to the pre-coronavirus status quo, nor can we afford to idly wait for a viral transformation of our world. The future is not inevitable, abstract promise – it will depend on our collective readiness to forge it, or to be forged by it.

Public Health and Epidemics

For some time Wuhan in China and Lombardy in Italy were epicentres of the COVID-19 virus, something that has changed when the contagion is spreading fast in the US. A Lombardy in the grip of a deadly epidemic might among several Italians give rise to memories of their school days. For almost a century, Alessando Manzoni’s massive novel The Betrothed (I promessi sposi) from 1842 has been obligatory reading for all Italians during their last primary school year. A quite impressive endeavour considering that the novel is more than 700 pages long.

Only Sustainable Investment & Global Cooperation Can Counter COVID’s Blow to SDGs

We are today in a time of crisis—a time when our shared choices will shape the way history tells our story and the paradigm shift it has so forcefully provoked.

Press Freedom Needs Protection from Pandemic too

Wearing an orange jacket and face mask, Li Zehua, a Chinese freelance journalist, can be seen filming himself in a car. He is sure that state security agents have been pursuing him since he began documenting events in Hubei’s capital Wuhan, the first epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic. A second YouTube video, circulating widely since he launched his appeal, ends abruptly when two men knock at his apartment. He has just reappeared online after two months, saying police interrogated him and put him in quarantine and that he was well looked after during this period.

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