Development & Aid

COVID-19 Pandemic and the Pacific Islands

As of 11 AM (AEST) on 20th May 2020 the incidence of COVID-19 virus (henceforth virus) on the Pacific Islands was limited. Active cases (deaths) in some of the Pacific Islands were Australia 7,072 (100), New Zealand 1,503 (21), PNG 8(0), Guam 154 (5), Fiji 18 (0), Timor-Leste 24 (0), French Polynesia 60(0), and New Caledonia 18(0).1 Standards of comparison are not uniform across the region since testing capacities of the various countries differ widely. The low number of cases in the smaller Pacific Islands compared to their larger neighbours, i.e., Australia and New Zealand, reflect both variations in testing standards as well as their smaller population size. The smaller Pacific Islands were also not subject to some of the aberrations experienced by the larger countries, e.g., large number of arrivals from foreign countries in planes and cruise ships.

Logistics: The Backbone of Humanitarian Efforts Fighting COVID-19 in Asia and the Pacific

While most of the world self-isolates at home and skies are emptier than they have been for decades, humanitarian flights transporting life-saving aid are revving up around Asia and the Pacific.

Cyclone Amphan – ‘We Didn’t Expect Devastation of Such a Scale’

Amid the social distancing measures posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, coastal communities in Bangladesh and India face a double threat as the record-breaking Cyclone Amphan made landfall yesterday (May 20).

Food Markets in the Caribbean Take Stock of Vulnerability during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised the spectre of food insecurity as countries and citizens fear a return to the conditions that roiled the international food markets during the 2008 economic crisis.

Sustainable Development Goals: What to salvage from Covid-19

Once the Covid-19 pandemic is under control, and the world economy is back on its tracks, the status and fate of the 2030 Agenda, also known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), needs to be reassessed. The year 2020 was supposed to kick-off the Decade of Action. With just 10 years to go, plans were made to undertake "ambitious global efforts" to deliver the 2030 promise—by mobilising more governments, civil society, businesses, and calling on all people to make the Global Goals their own.

Mexico’s Development Banks Fuel the Fossil Energy Trade

Since 2012, Teresa Castellanos has fought the construction of a gas-fired power plant in Huexca, in the central Mexican state of Morelos, adjacent to the country's capital.

COVID-19 – China Tells World Health Assembly They Did their Best

This week’s 73rd World Health Assembly had member states adopt a resolution to review the global response to the coronavirus pandemic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) will also undergo  an evaluation for its response to the outbreak.

To Restore Forests, First Start With a Seed

In 2011, when Rwanda committed to restoring 2 million hectares of land in a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested areas by 2020 — it seemed like a big ask. 

Checkmate! China’s Coronavirus Connection

Coronavirus outbreaks in China and later across the globe have been unprecedented in both its scale and impacts. In the era of changing world order, this pandemic has drawn the global attention towards the threats posed by the non-traditional security challenges.

Striking at the core of the COVID-19 employment crisis


 

What is happening now

In the early months of 2020, much of the globe was put on pause as governments fought to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. For many, work came to a grinding halt as factories and shops were forced to close their doors, transforming a global health catastrophe into a labour market and economic crisis.

HIV Services Take a Backseat to COVID-19 in Russia

In Russia, which has one of the world’s worst HIV/AIDS epidemics, an already fragile healthcare system is buckling under the pressure of dealing with COVID-19.

EXCLUSIVE: In the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic We Are Only as Strong as the Weakest of Us

When the COVID-19 virus travelled from Wuhan, China halfway across the world through Europe, the Americas and beyond in the space of a few weeks, it gave us proof, if one was ever needed, of how tightly interconnected we all are. Not only are our globalized economies interdepended, but also we ourselves are one with the environment around us, and with one another. We are one humankind sharing one planet. And yet, all too often we seem to forget it, as we carelessly revert to misguiding differences between “us” and “them.” Take, for example, the distinction between rich and poor countries, or as economists put it, between advanced economies and least developed countries. In the face of COVID-19, the only difference that matters is if we are sick or healthy. Other than that, we are all the same, regardless of economic status or geographic location.

Africa Needs a DOVE Fund: Or Should We Starve So We Can Pay our Debts?

Sub-Saharan Africa has a debt problem. According to the most recent World Bank debt statistics, in 2018 the region had about $493 billion in long term external debt.

Covid-19 Straw Breaks Free Trade Camel’s Back

Economic growth is supposed to be the tide that lifts all boats. According to the conventional wisdom until recently, growth in China, India and East Asian countries took off thanks to opening up to international trade and investment.

The Hotting-Up of the Sino-American Spat: Most Dangerous Side-Effect of Covid-19?

When the United States and China signed the First-Phase of their Trade Agreement in January this year, President Donald Trump called it a “momentous step”, and the world believed they had stepped back from a dangerous brink. But, alas, to cite an idiom that is so current today, it was but a ‘false positive’. As the globe reels from the surgoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that the rapid deterioration of US-China relationship can become one of the worst side-effects of this raging virus.

Coronavirus Leads to Nosedive in Remittances in Latin America

Remittances that support millions of households in Latin America and the Caribbean have plunged as family members lose jobs and income in their host countries, with entire families sliding back into poverty, as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis and global economic recession.

Forced Marriage, Organ Trafficking Rife in Asia Pacific – Part 2

A single mother, Mai (name changed) had the responsibility of providing for her young son and grandparents, who had brought her up in a poor rural province in southern Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. While she was looking for employment, somebody approached her on social media with an offer of a high-paying job in China. When she arrived in China, she was sold into a forced marriage.

United States Leads the World in Covid-19 Deaths

It’s an indisputable fact: the United States leads the world in the number of Covid-19 deaths. As of 15 May, three months after the country’s first confirmed coronavirus death, the US death toll from the pandemic has reached a remarkable 88,000 deaths. That rising figure is more than double the number of coronavirus deaths of the next highest country, the United Kingdom at 34,000 deaths.

South Africa Must Respond – & Lead– on COVID-19 & SDGs

Sitting on the southern tip of Africa during a time of social distancing, while the entire planet fights Covid-19, we cannot help but reflect on how vulnerable our country is to this scourge.

My Adherence My Fallacy: Stigma and Mental Health

The World Health Organization (2019) states that every 40 seconds someone dies by suicide. Annually, this represents over 800,000 people, more than the number of people who die in conflict and by homicide put together. Every suicide is a tragedy that has long-lasting effects on the people left behind and most cases stem from prolonged mental health issues and abuses that are not reported.

Forgotten Children

Children residing in Child Care Institutions (CCIs, commonly known as orphanages) in India have often found themselves to be the forgotten lot, when it comes to support and development initiatives by the government. This has also been the case during the current lockdown.

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