Stories written by Samira Sadeque
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Press Freedom Under COVID-19 Lockdown in Asia

Governments have made the media “a scapegoat” across Asia, targeting journalists who are simply reporting on the failures or shortcomings of their leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, press freedom experts have warned.


World Comes Together with $1.35 billion for Yemen

World leaders gathered on Tuesday to pledge $1.35 billion in aid for Yemen, which currently undergoing what many is the world’s “worst humanitarian crisis”, with Saudi Arabia announcing a contribution of $500 million. 

COVID-19 – UN Urges World Leaders to Act Now to Avert ‘Unimaginable Devastation’

Unless global leaders act now, the COVID-19 pandemic will cause unimaginable suffering and devastation around the world, the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres said yesterday, May 28. He painted a picture of hunger and famine at historic proportions, with some 60 million people pushed into extreme poverty and half the global workforce -- 1.6 billion people -- left without work, and $8.5 trillion in global output lost. 

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.

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. 

COVID-19 – China Tells World Health Assembly They Did their Best

This week’s 73rd World Health Assembly had member states adopt a resolution to review the global response to the coronavirus pandemic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) will also undergo  an evaluation for its response to the outbreak.

Change is Coming for Youth-led Ocean Activism

The youth’s role in environmental action remains crucial and leaders must ensure that they are given proper access under current circumstances to carry out that work, activists said at a online meeting held this week. 

On the Agenda of Iraq’s New Government: An Empty Treasury, Low Revenue, and COVID-19

Iraq’s newly-announced leader has brought hope to a country embroiled in a 17-year-long conflict, but authorities must ensure that issues such as swift and rapid response to COVID-19, security concerns, and corruption among others are addressed with urgency, experts said on Tuesday. 

COVID-19: The Digital Divide Grows Wider Amid Global Lockdown

The digital divide has become more pronounced than ever amid the global coronavirus lockdown, but experts are concerned that in the current circumstances this divide, where over 46 percent of the world's population remain without technology or internet access, could grow wider -- particularly among women.  

Enforced Disappearances, Arbitrary Detentions, Hate Speech & Attacks on Civilians – ICC Report on Libya

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday highlighted crimes against humanity and grave mismanagement of the law in Libya during a release of their latest report on the North African nation. 

Q&A: COVID-19 Means we Must Innovate Data Collection, Especially on Gender

The current coronavirus pandemic can offer insight into how to shake-up traditional methods of data collection, and might provide an opportunity to do it in more innovative ways, in turn enhancing progress towards gender equality.

Governments Cautioned Not to Use COVID-19 Lockdown to Cause Harm

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is calling on governments and leaders around the world to ensure that their respective lockdown measurements don’t end up causing harm to people by those enforcing the lockdowns.  

Children under Lockdown get a ‘Learning Passport’

Soon schools in Timor-Leste, Ukraine, and Kosovo, where some 6.5 million children are currently at home, will hopefully start teaching their children once again -- albeit online. 

Q&A: Continued Social Distancing and Hundreds of Millions More in Poverty – A New Normal for the World?

With much of the global economy stalled amid an unprecedented lockdown of nations grappling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the author of a new United Nations report on the disease’s impact on poverty told IPS that hundreds of millions more could be pushed into poverty and we can expect to see social unrest.

Global Leaders Must Prioritise Children’s Wellbeing amid Coronavirus Pandemic – UN

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres on Thursday pleaded with global leaders and families to ensure the protection of the world's children, millions of whom he says are vulnerable to a myriad of threats as a result of the shutdown arising from the global coronavirus pandemic. 

Concerns for the Nearly 400 Rohingya Refugees Rescued off the Coast of Bangladesh

Nearly 400 Rohingya refugees have been rescued in Bangladesh after being at sea for two months. 

Q&A: How to #BeActive during COVID-19 Lockdown

Growing up in Ramallah in Palestine, Maher Nasser, Director of Outreach Division at the United Nations Department of Global Communications, never really liked running. "I only ran when I needed to: to catch a bus or to run from soldiers," he tells IPS. But now with three marathons under his belt -- which raised thousands for scholarships for Palestinian women’s education -- Nasser is still running, albeit on his balcony.

**Correction**How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Affecting Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health

A little over half of women across the globe are able to freely make choices about their sexual and reproductive health, according to a latest report based on data from 57 countries.  However, as much of the world has gone into lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, with countries implementing social distancing and restricting the free movement of people, experts are concerned that even this small gain in sexual and reproductive health may suffer negatively.

U.N. Releases Report on Socio-economic Effects of Coronavirus

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow, concerns are simultaneously growing about the current and long-term effects this will have on certain demographics -- specifically, women, the youth, migrant workers, and many employees around the world. 

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

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.

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