Poverty & SDGs

COVID-19 – Some 23.8 Million More Children Will Drop out of School

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.

Multilateral Bank Intermediation Must Help Developing Countries’ Recovery

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.

Bangladesh Deals with Triple Disasters of Flooding, Coronavirus and Lost Livelihoods

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 New Poor Post-pandemic: Time for Cushioning the Most Vulnerable in Southeast Asia

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.

With Proper Investment in Youth, Kenya’s Potential for Progress Is Unlimited

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.

SDGs: Accelerating Action & Transformative Pathways through Nature-based Solutions

The theme of this year’s High-Level Political Forum, where governments reviewed progress on the Sustainable Development Goals was “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.”

Southeast Asia Has a Chance to Build Back Better Post-Pandemic

Southeast Asia’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been efficient, but some areas such as data privacy, measures to go back to normalcy after lockdown is lifted, and resources for migrant or transient populations will need addressing. 

Corporate Bailout or Cash Transfers for All, including Children?

The Covid-19 pandemic seems to have spared children from the direct health effects of the virus but the crisis has affected their social and economic rights directly and indirectly beyond what we could have foreseen. And there's no doubt that children who come from more vulnerable backgrounds will feel the long-term impact of the pandemic and the measures taken to prevent its spread the hardest.

Google’s $10 Billion Investment in India Should be Inclusive of Persons with Disabilities

Over the next seven years, Google will invest a whopping $10 billion in India to improve technology, health and education, according to CEO Sundar Pichai. This is unprecedented and could be a game changer that could improve health, education and economic empowerment. 

Food Security Threats: Now a Warning and Later May Be Too Late

Recent world reports confirm that the goals set by the international community to end poverty and hunger, and create a more balanced, sustainable and fair world by 2030, are currently in danger. If effective and rapid global action is not taken, the goals will not be met and the results in just 10 years may be very negative for all of us.

Coronavirus – Urban Areas Face the Brunt of the Pandemic

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.

Ride-Hailing App Delivers Contraceptives to Users’ Doorsteps

When Betty Nagadya walks through the trading centre on her way home, she sings a song in the local Luganda language: “SafeBoda, SafeBoda, who needs a helmet?” she sings. “For those who feel cold, I have a coat for you.” But her song is not about clothing – it’s about condoms.

Securing Property and Land Rights in India

Secure property rights are fundamental to the economic and social development of any country. However, in India, we are faced with a curious conundrum where more than 70 percent of a household’s assets are held in land and housing, yet there is insufficient data and research on people’s property rights.

The Charter of the United Nations After 75 Years: Personal Reflections

The Charter of the United Nations is not only the constituent instrument of the United Nations as an organization. It is a multilateral legal manifesto encompassing a set of basic principles and norms aimed at ensuring peace, freedom, development, equality and human rights throughout the world. These principles and norms reflect the shared values proclaimed in the preamble on behalf of the “Peoples of the United Nations”. As such, it is the most innovative and trailblazing multilateral treaty ever concluded among States. Today, it is a universal instrument by which all States have solemnly accepted to be bound in their international relations.

A Determined Path to the SDGs in 2030 Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic

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.

Three Steps for Leaders to Tackle Covid and Climate Emergency

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

It was Meant to Be a Ground-breaking Year for Gender Equality but COVID-19 Widened Inequalities

Sixteen-year-old Suhana Khan had just completed her grade 10 exams in March, when India imposed a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. Since then, she has been spending her mornings and evenings doing household chores, from cooking and cleaning to fetching drinking water from the tube well. 

Marking 75 Years of the Charter of the United Nations

The Charter of the United Nations has been a constant presence in my life. My awareness of it started with the usual brief introduction to the basics of the United Nations as an organization that many young people receive in school. Later, as my political awareness took shape against the backdrop of military rule in Portugal and my country’s status as a colonial power, the Charter’s calls for self-determination and other freedoms registered with urgency. During the time I spent as a volunteer in the poor neighbourhoods of Lisbon, the Charter’s vision of social justice was equally resonant. In subsequent service as a parliamentarian and then as Prime Minister, I was privileged to have an opportunity to advance not only national progress but one of the Charter’s other main objectives: international cooperation. Across a decade as High Commissioner for Refugees and now in my current role, the Charter’s power inspires me onward every day in serving “we the peoples”, including the most vulnerable members of the human family, who have a special claim on that landmark document’s provisions and protections.

Inadequate Water & Sanitation Threatens Women’s & Girls’ Development in Senegal

With Tabaski (Eid al-Adha) around the corner, 11-year-old Fatoumata Binta from Terrou Mballing district in M'Bour, western Senegal, wakes up early and joins her brothers Iphrahima Tall and Ismaila to fetch water from a river several miles from home.

COVID-19 Impact Means Women and Girls Will Still Eat Last, Be Educated Last

Catherine Bertini, former executive director of the World Food Programme, began the IPS United Nations Bureau webinar “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women and Girls” by reminiscing on a talk she gave in 1995 entitled “Women eat last”. She remarked that after 25 years, the phrase is still something that is relevant to the present day.

Tobacco Industry Factoid on Illicit Trade Leading Governments Astray

A factoid is unreliable information repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact. One such factoid repeatedly echoed across the globe by the tobacco industry is that tobacco tax increases worsen cigarette smuggling.

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