Headlines

Supporting Informal Workers During the COVID-19 Crisis

Farmers, agricultural labourers, and informal sector workers are the worst hit by COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns. Here are some steps that the government and banks can take to help them cope financially.

Slums, Camps, Terrorism: Experts Worry about Coronavirus Hitting South Asia

As coronavirus makes its way through different continents, countries, and communities around the world having claimed more than 23,000 lives, experts are ringing alarm bells about the implications of the disease as it hits South Asia, which hosts almost 2 billion of the world’s population

Saluting IPS Journalists and Supporters during Covid19 Pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic shifts around the world, now stretching even the developed health services of richer nations to breaking point, here at IPS our dedicated journalists in developing countries are standing strong in giving a voice to the Global South.

Zimbabwe’s Afforestation Challenge

“I have never planted a tree in my life,” laughs Jairos Saunyama, a tobacco farmer, revelling at the absurdity of the question of whether he is involved in the country's afforestation efforts. Sawunyama is one of thousands of farmers who are blamed by local conservationists for turning the country's forests into deserts and dust bowls.

India’s Trinity of Challenges

The exigencies of combatting the coronavirus pandemic on a war-footing -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a nationwide stay-at-home lockdown for 21 days to break the chain of transmission -- has certainly deflected attention from equally pressing challenges confronting India. The nation’s capital witnessed horrific communal violence when the US President was visiting India, triggering international outrage, including from the South. The economy also deserves attention as growth has been decelerating since 2016-17. With the virus shock, the pace of expansion will contract as the economy shuts down and slides into recession.

Coronavirus & Early Lessons from China

The impact of the coronavirus is having a profound and serious impact on the global economy and has sent policymakers looking for ways to respond. China’s experience so far shows that the right policies make a difference in fighting the disease and mitigating its impact—but some of these policies come with difficult economic tradeoffs.

Chinese vs. Western Governance: The case of COVID-19

During January the onslaught in the Western media, notably the US and the UK, against the Chinese government’s handling of the Covid-19 epidemic, was merciless. The Chinese government stood accused of an inhumane attitude towards its people, secrecy, a cover-up, and an overwhelming concern for its own survival above all other considerations.

Can Eswatini’s Traditional Healers Encourage HIV Testing Among People Not Accessible via Routine Healthcare Systems?

Doctor Khalishwayo is a traditional healer based in Nhlangano, a town in the Shiselweni Region, in southern Eswatini. His clients are people who consult him when they are suffering from different ailments. And he in turn diagnoses them using divine methods.

Far From Home During a Pandemic

Nepali workers in Qatar who have been quarantined in a camp that has been closed off for two weeks say that aside from concerns about jobs and health, they are now also worried about their families back home.

Coronavirus Worsens Yemen’s Long Tale of Woe

In every room in Yemen’s Al-Saba’een hospital, patients in critical condition waited on chairs, and still others laid on the bare ground. I saw women and girls sharing beds in pairs, and children laying close together being treated.

East Asian Lessons for Controlling Covid-19

By the third week of March 2020, the number of Covid-19 deaths in Italy had overtaken the number of deaths in China. Authorities all over the world are restricting the movements of their populations as part of efforts to control the spread of Covid-19.

COVID-19 in the Time of Insecurity

Humankind has outlived multiple pandemics in the course of world history. The kingdoms and states of Central and Western Europe abolished the institution of serfdom once it had become clear that medieval rule in the aftermath of devastating pestilence would founder without ending the dependency and servitude that characterized the Dark Ages. The vulnerability of entire nations to the risk of total collapse in the absence of widespread access to the most basic healthcare in the Spanish Flu spurred governments to build the public health systems that have made the progress and development of the last hundred years possible. If the past is prologue, then continuity and survival command that we change.

Is It Time to Postpone the 2020 Climate Summit?

With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the planet and the governments of both wealthy and poorer nations overwhelmed by the demands of managing a response, the scheduling of this year’s critical UN Climate Summit is suddenly in doubt.

What does U.N. Secretary General’s Call for Ceasefire Mean for Countries in Conflict?

Conflict experts are concerned the the global ceasefire called for by the United Nations amid the coronavirus outbreak may not work and could lead to a rise in violence.

TB, HIV and COVID-19: Urgent Questions as Three Epidemics Collide

Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV pose a significant burden on South Africa’s health system. There’s a close relationship between the two. About 60% of TB patients are also HIV-positive. The novel coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2) is likely to be of particular concern for communities with high rates of TB and HIV.

“In the Beginning was the Word”: Why Covid-19 Renders Words even more Powerful

I was able to take office as the secretary general to the largest global interfaith organization – Religions for Peace - with interreligious councils (IRCs) composed of senior-most religious leaders representing their religious institutions, in 90 countries, and 6 regional IRCs, a week before we had to ask all employees to work from home, in compliance with New York State law.

Improving Development Impact

Most developing countries have good policies, programmes and projects in place. Many of these have been prepared with assistance from development partners or international financing institutions such as the World Bank, the regional development banks, the UN agencies or bilateral aid agencies. Most of these are of high quality and have gone through intensive review and quality control.  The major challenge is to effectively implement these policies, programmes and projects. Unfortunately this does not often happen and leads to huge lost opportunities. This is particularly the case in the poorest countries, many of which are conflict affected. 

Djibouti Intensifies Awareness-raising Efforts Against FGM

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is still widely practised in the African country of Djibouti. Despite efforts by the government and development agencies to curb this practice, culture, tradition and religion continue to slow down progress.

Why Empowering National Human Rights Institutions Helps on the Quest for Healthy Earth?

We are living in a critical time. As we face existential environmental challenges from climate crises to the mass extinction of species, it is difficult sometimes to see solutions and new ideas. This is why we all need to celebrate and give visibility to creative and courageous efforts of people and organizations striving towards a healthy planet for all.

Health Workers Are the Frontline Soldiers Against Covid-19. Let’s Protect Them

Many soldiers have seen first-hand the horrors of war and, terrifying though it often was, they knew who they were fighting, and could recognise their enemy.

Stronger UN Leadership Needed to Cope with Coronavirus Threat

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is hard to predict as events are still unfolding, and estimates vary dramatically. UNCTAD estimates lost output in the order of US$1 trillion, just over a third of Bloomberg’s expectation of US$2.7 trillion in losses. The OECD expects global economic growth to halve from already anaemic levels.

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