Headlines

SDG Setback ‘Tremendous’ as COVID-19 Accelerates Slide

Crucial global goals to reduce hunger and poverty and curb climate change have gone backwards or stalled, the United Nations Secretary-General warns in a new report, as the COVID-19 outbreak moves from being a health crisis to becoming the “worst human and economic crisis of our lifetimes”.

Ensuring Biodiversity Now will Prevent Pandemics Later

A future repetition of the current COVID-19 pandemic is preventable with massive cooperation on international and local levels and by ensuring biological diversity preservation around the world, experts recently said.

No Woman Should Ever Die Giving Life

Consider this. 24 women, children and babies were murdered at a hospital in Kabul, the Afghan capital. Even by standards of a country as accustomed to bloodshed as Afghanistan, the May 12 attack on a Kabul maternity clinic was an event of unmitigated horror.

Innovation Is an Imperative – for Sustainable Food Systems

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.

Women are Often an After-Thought in a Humanitarian Crisis

In an interview*, Bina Pradhan, an independent researcher, focuses on gender, macroeconomics and emerging issues of inequality. She is affiliated with the Federation of Business and Professional Women, Nepal (FBPWN), and has been working on the promotion and advancement of women in enterprise development and trade, post-earthquake community reconstruction, and rebuilding people’s lives and livelihoods with a focus on sustainability.

Politics, Profits Undermine Public Interest in Covid-19 Vaccine Race

With well over five million Covid-19 infections worldwide, and deaths exceeding 340,000, the race for an effective vaccine has accelerated since the SARS-Cov-2 virus was first identified as the culprit.

Kenya’s Adolescent Women Left Behind As More Married Women Access Contraception

It was only when 17-year-old Eva Muigai was in her final trimester that her family discovered she was pregnant. Muigai, a form three student who lives with her family in Gachie, Central Kenya, had spent her pregnancy wearing tight bodysuits and loose-fitting clothes that hid her growing baby bump.

Education Post-COVID-19: Customised Blended Learning is Urgently Needed

Many well meaning education benefactors and commentators in South Africa have expressed that in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic online self-guided learning could solve some of the current teaching problems and address the educational backlog. What learners need, the reasoning goes, is to get free internet access to educational support materials on offer online. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Are the SDGs in Reverse Gear?

When I was a little girl, my mother told us the story of a woman who escaped from a monster by cooking stones: when the monster fell asleep waiting for his dinner, the woman ran for her life.

Crisis Hits Oil Industry and Energy Transition Alike

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.

Unite Behind Environmental Science: Transforming Values and Behaviour is as Important as Restoring Global Ecosystems

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.

Biological Diversity is Fundamental to Human Health

This year’s International Day of Biological Diversity falls amid the coronavirus pandemic and the slow easing, in some nations, of a global lockdown. While the lockdown has forced most people to stay at home, there have been reports of more wildlife being spotted - even in once-busy city centres. 

Internal Migration: A Literary/Historical View

It is easy to generalize about migration. Populist politicians often portray migrants as strangers and ”our” homeland as a stable entity, rooted in an old agricultural society. When they do so they tend to forget that most of us are in fact migrants who have left that traditional farming community far behind and if it was not we who did so, it was our ancestors.

COVID-19: Global Supply Chain Resilience Relies on Soap & Water for Workers

As COVID-19 lockdown restrictions across the globe start to be relaxed, the collective conversation has shifted towards plans for a ‘new normal.’

Why More Must be Done to Fight Bogus COVID-19 Cure Claims

Fake and bogus cure claims are a longstanding, but neglected public health problem. Throughout recorded history, plagues have inspired anxiety and desperation. Time and again, this public nervousness has proved a fertile ground for false cures and claimants to thrive. In this sense, recent claims of COVID-19 cures and antidotes are no exception.

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.

As COVID-19 Burns, World’s Forgotten Wars Continue to take Toll on Civilians as Well

Earlier this year, just before the coronavirus virtually shut down international travel, I sat under a mesquite tree and listened to a rambling speech by a South Sudanese general at a military base outside of the capital, Juba.

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.

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