COVID-19 continues to race across the African continent. People are dying, and even more are being pushed into hunger and poverty, in many cases risking to overturn years of development gains.
Our world is transfixed by the great human toll and economic impact of the worst global pandemic in a century. For the 65 million inhabitants of small island developing states (SIDS), the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is reminiscent of the worst forms of extreme weather events that SIDS contend with annually. Such events cost lives, undermine our hard-earned development gains, and hamper the aspirations and quality of life of our people. Our governments are routinely compelled to shift already scarce resources from social and economic investments to recovery and sustenance in the aftermath of disasters. For decades islands have been treading a development tightrope, which is increasingly precarious with the intensification of adverse climate impacts.
Cast your mind back. Six months ago—it seems like a lifetime—the world’s attention was on Madrid. The United Nations was meeting to take stock of international progress in fighting climate change. Headlines were dominated by young people pointing out—rightly—that governments were still not doing enough. They demanded urgent and ambitious action to cut emissions and help the most vulnerable.
A communally built small dam at almost 3,500 meters above sea level supplies water to small-scale farmer Cristina Azpur and her two young daughters in Peru's Andes highlands, where they face water shortages exacerbated by climate change.
Nazia has a herd of 5 cows. She has two daughters in secondary education, a seat on the Village Council, a savings account and a permanent home. Nazia has dignity, security and prospects beyond poverty. This is Nazia’s story because alongside her commitment and conviction to create a better life, she benefited directly from the UK government, and its global leadership in the drive to end extreme poverty.
The lack of a coordinated international response had led to varying results worldwide in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Two countries that have long coordinated their response to global goals like promotion on democracy, human rights and environmental issues, Sweden and Costa Rica highlight how public policy matters. While with their similar approaches to climate change the two walk together, their different approaches to COVID-19 have reaped disparate results, and death tolls.
There has been far less social progress in the United States in the last 155 years than many people would like to believe. In 2020, racism still seeps its way into every aspect of life; from unconscious bias and micro-aggressions in everyday interactions to domestic and international policy and enforcement.
The world before COVID-19 looks very attractive right now. In light of the disease, mass unemployment and social distancing, a return to pre-pandemic normality seems appealing. Yet we should remember what normal was.
In its effort to accelerate Rwanda's green growth development initiative, its local businesses encouraged their Italian counterparts to invest in the East Africa region.
Even before Covid-19, the world was facing a care crisis. The plight of often neglected, under-appreciated, under-protected and poorly equipped ‘frontline’ health personnel working to contain the pandemic has drawn attention to the tip of the care crisis iceberg.
COVID19 has brought the world to a halt. The devastating impact of the global pandemic on people’s lives and the world’s economy is a jarring and historic turning point for all of us but it is also an opportunity to re-think many of our practices.
Food security in sub-Saharan Africa is under threat. The ability of many Africans to access sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs has been disrupted by successive natural disasters and epidemics. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, locust outbreaks in eastern Africa, and droughts in southern and eastern Africa are some examples. The COVID-19 pandemic is just the latest catastrophe to have swollen the ranks of 240 million people going hungry in the region. In some countries, over 70 percent of the population has problems accessing food.
COVID-19 has brought the world to a halt. Nations, businesses, and schools have closed, and billions are confined to their homes. Yet millions of care workers step out daily to keep the lights on and support those in need.
In the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, the much-anticipated 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) of the WHO concluded without any major controversies or disagreements.
The COVID-19 insurgence has highlighted the need for multilateral cooperation among sustainability stakeholders. As the journey towards achieving Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is fraught with imminent global challenges, global environmental leaders agree that now is the time to act collectively for nature, leaving no one behind.
The tragedy of the coronavirus pandemic and its associated challenges have thrown our world into chaos, with the virus destroying lives and livelihoods in its path.
By now, the impact of COVID19 on our daily lives has been well documented, especially in advanced economies. Anxiety about the future continues to grow everywhere. Much of the corporate news coverage we consume has focused on the toll this pandemic will take on mainland countries. Often neglected, however, is the unique position Pacific Island States find themselves in.
Hunger and food insecurity continue to rise. The official 2019 statistics refer to 821 million people suffering from hunger all over the world. According the recently launched Global Report on Food Crises
, there are further 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse. WFP
estimates that due to the impacts of COVID19, additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020. This means a total increase of 265 million people. If there will be no appropriate and urgent actions, “we could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months
”, said David Beasley, WFP Executive Director, addressing the UN Security Council on 21st April.
While it attempts to cushion the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Latin American and Caribbean region also faces concerns about the future of the energy transition and state-owned oil companies.
Restoring damaged ecosystems is vital to avoid the collapse of nature’s most valuable contributions to people, but International Day for Biological Diversity 2020 should also
be a wake-up call about the importance of addressing our social, economic and systemic values, because it is these that are driving the destruction of nature.
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).