The worldwide spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is severely affecting the global economy and as per the recent updates almost one-third to half of the global population are now under some form of a lockdown.
As COVID-19 surges globally and leaves fear and panic in its wake, global efforts are underway to find a cure. Yet, the same level of response is lacking for several other infectious diseases that kill millions annually. These kinds of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)
are a broad group of communicable diseases which affect more than two billion people and cost developing economies billions of dollars every year.
A few days ago, a friend said to me that my focus on autism, although rather successful, had “sucked out all energy from other critical areas of social need in Bangladesh.” My friend wanted to know if I would be interested in expanding my visibility and successful approach to autism, to other issues that have apparently been left by the wayside due to everyone’s eagerness to work on an issue popular with the Prime Minister’s daughter! I know my friend’s statement was meant to be provocative, but it also made me reflect on what it was that I had set out to do when I began working in this area in Bangladesh. Has enough been achieved for me to ‘pass on the baton’ to the many others who have now dedicated themselves to this issue, thereby beginning to shift my focus towards addressing other social needs both in Bangladesh and elsewhere?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When US President Donald Trump repeatedly characterized the fast-spreading COVID-19 as a “Chinese virus” last week, it prompted some white supremacists to resurrect an age old ethnic slur against Chinese and East Asians: the “Yellow Peril” which, in a bygone era, was touted as a xenophobic threat to the Western world.
Austerity policies pushed by international financial institutions have weakened public health systems, despite current financial support packages, condemning many people to die.
In January of this year, Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, shocked much of the world when they announced they would be stepping down from their roles as senior royals.
Water is essential and indispensable for life on earth. We know that; and many of us have perhaps heard, written and uttered these words themselves a ‘million’ times.