Stories written by Samira Sadeque
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Palestinians are Suffering from Hunger, Poverty, Conflict & a Global Pandemic

The Trump administration’s decision to cut off assistance to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) caused considerable hardship for Palestinian refugees during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly those in Gaza where a majority of the population are refugees and poverty is rampant due to Israel’s blockade, Khaled Elgindy, a Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute (MEI), told IPS.

Humanitarian & Food Aid Can Never be Enough to Manage Cascading Disasters

The intersection of crisis, climate change and COVID-19 has resulted in a “rapid rise in hunger”, according to United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Deputy Executive Director Amir Abdullah.

Water Governance and Data Collection is Key to Reach Development Goals

Prioritising water governance and ensuring data collection and investment in groundwater use around the world are some of the key issues that need to be addressed with regards to achieving development goals.

Only Small Percentage of COVID-19 Recovery Allocated to Green Initiatives

Last year, only $368 billion of a $14.6tn budget geared towards COVID-19 recovery measures across the world’s largest 50 countries took into account green recovery initiatives, according to a report launched yesterday, Mar. 10.

How Households Increased Food Waste is Feeding Climate Change

Twenty percent of all food bought by households, retailers, restaurants and other food services in 54 countries around the world was thrown away in 2019 -- contributing to some 931 million tonnes of food waste and feeding climate change.

UN Peacebuilding Commission must Prioritise Protecting Youth Activists Facing Retaliation

The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission must prioritise the protection of youth activists who face retaliation from state and non-state actors, said UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake.

A Growing Shift in the Narrative about Climate Action

A keen awareness about the intersection of our ecosystem and the “accelerating destabilisation of the climate” is helping shift the narrative for climate action and can help us transition from being polluters to becoming protectors of the climate, said Marco Lambertini, Director General at the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Yemen Heads towards Worst Famine World has Seen in Decades

Yemen is heading towards the worst famine the world has seen in decades, the United Nations Security Council was warned in a briefing yesterday.

Transition to Digital Economy Must Ensure Access to Those in the Digital Gap

It is crucial to ensure that any transition to a digital economy has mechanisms in place that are non-digital to avoid “double exclusion”, according to Shahrashoub Razavi, director of the social protection department at the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Q&A: Documenting COVID-19 Effect on Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health

With the COVID-19 pandemic adding complex layers of challenges to the issue of sexual and reproductive health for the youth, governments should prioritise documenting these effects for data collection purposes, Dr. Simon Binezero Mambo co-founder and team leader of the Youth Alliance for Reproductive Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, told IPS in an interview.


Why it’s Crucial Not to Limit the Youth’s Access and Use of Family Planning

With the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affecting access to Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (AYSRH) services, it’s imperative governments employ community-based initiatives and peer educators to ensure these services are still available to them.

Lebanon: How to Build Back Better after Political and Economic Crisis

Lebanon must “shield and preserve” the skills, knowledge, and experience of its people in order to move forward with its development, according to Christophe Abi-Nassif, the Lebanon programme director for the Middle East Institute (MEI).

Q&A: What Nigerian Feminists Hope will Come Out of the #EndSARS Movement & Pandemic

As Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos, reportedly experienced a massive shortage of oxygen cylinders last week — with demand increasing fivefold in one of the city’s main hospitals just as the country recorded some of its highest number of coronavirus cases — its youth leaders are concerned about the impact on vulnerable women.

Q&A: Why Survivors Should be at the Centre of Discussions on Genocide and Gender Violence

Women and young girls are disproportionately affected by conflict and genocide, and that is why they should be a central part of conversations on the issue, according to Jacqueline Murekatete, a Rwandan survivor of genocide and founder and President of the Genocide Survivors Foundation (GSF). “Survivors need to be invited to the table to share their testimonies,” Murekatete told IPS. “When people hear personal stories they’re more likely to want to get involved. It makes a huge difference to have their testimony.”

Q&A: Mro Indigenous Community Plea for Halt of Construction of 5-Star Hotel

The construction of a five-star hotel in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, could lead to the forced eviction of the Mro indigenous community from their ancestral lands and destroy “the social, economic, traditional and cultural fabric of the community”, warns Amnesty International.

But local activist Reng Young Mro told IPS that the international community must rally behind the Mro indigenous community to halt the construction.


Q&A: How Desert Dust Storms Supply Vital Nutrients to the Oceans

When sand and dust storms (SDS) rage in the Sahara Desert, more than 10,000 km away in the Caribbean Sea the very same storms have a range of effects on the 1,360 species of shorefish that populate the waters there.


Q&A: COVID-19 has Pushed Women Peacebuilders from Key Leadership Roles

Women need to be given roles as negotiators, not just offered representation through advisory groups, Agnieszka Fal-Dutra Santos from the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) told IPS.

Q&A: Why are Stillbirths still Societal Taboo?

Societal taboo and a lack of understanding about stillbirth  can cause the issue to be neglected among health practitioners, according to Dr. Danzhen You, a senior adviser on Data and Analytics at the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

‘The Sahel – a Microcosm of Cascading Global Risks Converging in One Region’

The European Commission this week pledged $27.8 million in humanitarian support to the Sahel region as floods and the coronavirus pandemic exacerbate the stability in a region deeply in conflict. While the figure is less than 2 percent of the $2.4 billion that the United Nations has appealed for, Amnesty International researcher Ousmane Diallo told IPS that despite past donations from international development partners to Sahelian countries, the situation hasn’t improved over the years.

Low-cost Technology can Have Life-changing Impacts for Rural Women

Access to technology which is relatively inexpensive to deploy can have a life-changing impact for rural women, social scientist Valentina Rotondi told IPS.

Q&A: Food Systems need to Mimic Nature

Despite the World Food Programme (WFP) being awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its work in addressing global hunger, sustainable food systems expert Emile Frison believes a lot more needs to be done. This includes the rethinking of approaches to agricultural production, establishing deeper relationships between consumers and producers, and taking a wholistic approach towards socio-economic factors.

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