Stories written by Lorraine Farquharson

Unsettled Lives in a Troubled World

Cross-continent vacations seem to be the norm once again with the lessening of COVID-19 while new cities are being built with skyscraping $4M condos shooting up in a matter of months, and just-out-of-University millennials launching into their careers with minimum start-off salaries of $75K.

UN Takes Increased Action Central African Republic Violence Spirals Out of Control

As violence hit record highs in the Central African Republic (CAR), United Nations French Ambassador Gerard Araud, Tuesday, called for increased peacekeeping efforts, warning that the heavy violence between Christians and Muslims could spiral into mass genocide. Although 6,000 peacekeepers are currently deployed, Araud said that the amount seems quite low because of the country’s total land mass and the incredible outrage of war. He said that at least 4,000 more troops are required to restore some sort of order in the country. Despite the amount of troops currently situated in the country (5,000 African, 1,600 French and 500 European Union), ex-Séléka  – supported by armed Muslim civilians rebels – and Christian militias – known as anti-Balaka (anti-machete who have now taken up arms) – are committing a barrage of atrocious acts, putting Muslim civilians in an even more vulnerable state. “The CAR is no longer a state,” Araud said. “The country needs strong civilian support as the amount of peacekeepers currently there is not enough to rebuild state institutions.” According to a press release, both High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined together to express their reinforcement of the urgent need for a more robust response to the CAR crisis. “This is needed to protect civilians, prevent further violence, end impunity and promote reconciliation,” the joint statement said. Violence in CAR is now at its peak because of rebels who re-started relentless attacks in the country in 2013.  The attacks have occurred in several neighbourhoods. Roughly 4,000 homes, plus many shops and mosques were stormed over the past weekend.  Hundreds of thousands are estimated to have been killed and roughly half the country’s population needs humanitarian aid. The town of Bangui is deserted as almost one million civilians have fled from their homes – half of which are children. “We simply cannot let the social fabric of this country be torn apart. I call this a matter of utmost urgency upon the international community to strengthen peacekeeping efforts,” said Pillay. The African International Support Mission to CAR (MISCA) working along with the WFP has provided aid to more than 110,000 displaced people in Bangui. The two organizations have also begun airlifting food from Cameroon into CAR. Two days ago, the WFP distributed food to 40,000 beneficiaries in the village of Bossangoa and last week 1,209 people were also fed. Central African Republic’s interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has also written to the UN to call for the African peacekeeping force to be transformed into a larger U.N. operation.

UN, Malawi Government Collaborate to Fight Against Childhood Malnutrition

The United Nations, working in conjunction with the World Food Programme (WFP),  Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and Malawi’s government in a series of relief operations, has launched another initiative to combat the effects of stunted child growth and development in the southern-African country.

UN Rations Sudan The Most Amount From CERF’s Humanitarian Fund

UN Humanitarian Chief and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, has allocated 20 million dollars to Sudan for emergency aid operations and relief efforts – in light of last week’s statement by UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović, saying South Sudan can now be seen as a “horrifying humanitarian and human rights disaster.”

UN Agencies Collaborate to Provide Food & Security to CAR

Earlier this week, the United Nations exerted rigorous efforts to resume distribution of food, full protection and increased  security assistance to the estimated 100,000 civilians who have fled their homes over the past weeks due to increased splurges of uprisings in the Central African Republic (CAR).

‘Rights Up Front’: A New UN Strategy for Prevention of Genocide

The United Nations Thursday took rigorous steps to launch a new a six-point action plan called ‘Rights up Front,’ seeking to revamp preventive strategies which play a vital role in sending out quick responses to human rights violations.

Member States Urged to Collaborate in Efforts to Protect Journalists

Efforts to improve and implement international legal provisions for the protection of journalists across the globe was the main focus of a meeting held at the UN Security Council Friday.

India Re-imposes Criminal Sanctions for Same-Sex Relationships

India takes two significant steps into backwardness and gives human rights a heavy blow by re-instating one of the rules in its Penal Code that has been over-turned since 2009, according to a United Nations press release.

Zero Corruption Equals 100% Development

Progress in achieving some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been hitting road blocks due to corruption and lack of good governance in many countries, according to the United Nations.

U.S. Drug Offenders Pressured to Plead Guilty, HRW Says

According to a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), U.S. federal prosecutors more often than not threaten drug offenders with extraordinarily severe prison sentences as a means of coercion into waiving their right to trial and pleading guilty.

UN and World Resources Institute Seek Common Goal in Boosting Food Production

Strong efforts to close a 70 per cent gap between current food availability and estimated requirements for 2050 are under way. The World Resources Institute (WRI)  – along with UN agencies and the World Bank – has produced a report showing that the global populations will more than likely grow, from the present seven billion to 9.6 billion people by 2050.

UN Makes Strong Efforts to End Mass Slaughter in Central African Republic

Unlawful killings, extrajudicial executions, rape and other forms of violence against women and girls – of innumerate amounts and committed at will by the country’s security forces and armed groups was enough reason for Amnesty International’s loud outcry to the Security Council this week, asking for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to immediately deploy vigorous peacekeeping forces to the Central African Republic (CAR).

Three Weeks After Haiyan, Remote Areas Yet to Receive Aid

Year after year roughly eight tropical cyclones blast the Philippine archipelago washing away everything that dares to cross its path. What remains is mostly devastation. That is nothing new however, because the Philippine islands lie 1,000 kilometers from the Asia mainland; located at the rim of the Pacific Ocean; and totally surrounded by water and prone to such monstrous weather.

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