Looking back upon 2020, we all bear the scars of a devastating year; none so much as girls and boys around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted education for over 1.6 billion children and youth globally and continues to do so. It has also deepened socio-economic inequities and heightened insecurities around the world, further impacting the lives of girls and boys everywhere. Ongoing, protracted conflicts, forced displacement and the worsening climate crisis were no less forgiving.
I wasn’t going to stop for the school bus stuck in the mud outside of Fort McMurray, Alberta in the heart of the Canada’s tar sands industry but my kids insisted. It had been raining most of the week and the grassy field was soaked and slick. We stopped and got out and looked at the 12,000 kilogram bus uselessly spinning its wheels, digging deeper into the mud. Someone got the driver to stop, essentially saying you’re making a bad problem worse
Located in Jonglei state, one of the most underdeveloped regions of South Sudan, Likuangole is a town badly hit by floods and often battered by conflict. Despite the lack of secondary schools and industry, its residents aspire to transform their lives. But real investment is needed to spur development.
Dealing with COVID-19-related city lockdowns has been exceptionally stressful, particularly for those parents who have had to balance work, personal life, children and elderly, providing home schooling or facilitating virtual learning, managing infection control within the home, and more, all while being disconnected from support services.
Education Cannot Wait (ECW) - the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises – was on the ground in Burkina Faso last week with its Director, Yasmine Sherif, to launch a new multi-year programme that aims to provide an education to over 800,000 children and adolescents in crisis-affected areas.
Selimatha Salifu of Ghana is a former child labourer who has vowed to do her part to bring attention to the plight of the world’s over 150 million child labourers
. Raised in a fishing community, she recalls her days buying fish to sell, working from daybreak till nightfall to contribute to her family. She credits the General Agriculture Workers Union for rescuing her and ensuring she enrolled in school.
A deadly pandemic to control. An urgent nationwide vaccination programme to roll out. An economic crisis to navigate. Political divisions and distrust deep enough to spark mob violence and terrorism.
A war-mongering president, with his finger on the nuclear trigger--- and who threatened to attack North Korea and Iran-- was unceremoniously drummed out of office on January 20.
Many of us around the world breathed a sigh of relief yesterday (Jan 20) as the ‘nuclear football
’ (the briefcase with nuclear weapons codes and communication links for the President to launch a nuclear attack) was passed from Mr Trump to President Biden, as the new president was inaugurated.
Impeachment or no impeachment, Trump is out of the White House. Trump goes with an approval rating of 34%
, far behind his predecessor Barack Obama’s 60%. A majority, 54%, said Trump ought to be removed from office before January 20, according to a new CNN poll
, for his role in the January 6 events, when Trump incited his supporters to storm the US Capitol.
On the first day, hours after inauguration of the new Biden-Harris administration
, President Biden signed an Executive Order-rejoining the United States in the Paris Climate Accord
The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected every sector of society and a global assessment by the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) confirms that its shocks have extended to forests on every region on earth.
What for Donald Trump was an insult, for Joe Biden is an acknowledgment: the new president of the United States is the establishment in its purest form. No other similar case is remembered of having reached the presidency with a better preparation. For almost half a century he has been "inside the beltway." It is the sector occupied by the District of Columbia, which claims to be recognized as a state, surrounded by a huge highway. Biden would be perfectly accepted as a traffic guard, without passing the exam.
Innovative financing to resolve COVID-19 crisis was needed, a joint African and Asian parliamentarians’ webinar heard this week.
The webinar, facilitated by Asian Population and Development Association (APDA), was aimed at enhancing support for the implementation of International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)commitments in the face of the pandemic.
COVID-19 is like a rainstorm, a thunderous and powerful rainstorm all over the world. If we didn’t know before, we certainly know now just where the holes are in our roofs, or where there are no roofs. We see ever more clearly who is getting drenched and who is dying, and who remains dry.
For decades, every time it rains heavily in Jamaica, a daunting deluge of plastic bottles and bags, styrofoam and other garbage trundles its way down a network of countless gullies and streams. If they don’t get snagged somewhere, they end up in the Kingston Harbour or close to the beaches ringing the tourist-heavy North coast.
COVID-19 vaccination programmes are gathering pace in high-income countries, but for much of the world, the future looks bleaker. Although a number of middle-income countries have started rolling out vaccines, widespread vaccination could still be years away
When the Doha talks were launched in September, the Afghan people's hopes for an end of war and violence were high. So far, many have been disappointed as the negotiations have not done much to improve the security situation.
A long-running gag says “in Zimbabwe there is freedom of speech, but no freedom after the speech”. But for journalists and activists who have been forced to endure nights in the country’s overcrowded and filthy holding cells, this is no laughing matter as prison inmates have no personal protective equipment to guard against COVID-19.
Two events generated significant interest and global solidarity in the final days of December 2020. A court in Saudi Arabia handed down a five years and eight months sentence to activist Loujain Al-Hathloul
for publicly supporting women’s right to drive. Nicholas Opiyo, Ugandan human rights lawyer and defender of persecuted members of the LGBTQI community and political opponents of the president was arbitrarily detained on trumped up charges of ‘money laundering.’ Nicholas Opiyo was granted bail
on 30 December following an outpouring of global support for his activism for justice. In handing out the verdict to Loujain Al-Hathloul, the court partly suspended her sentence raising hope that she might be released from prison in a couple of months due to time already served.
According to the mainstream narrative, President Trump’s incitement of his supporters during the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory led to the ‘insurrection
’ at the US Capitol on January 6, resulting in the banning of Trump’s social media accounts and his second impeachment