Nigeria is home to 15 percent of the world’s out-of-school children. More than 7.6 million girls are not in school, and only nine percent of the poorest girls in the country are in secondary school. The Boko Haram insurgency and other armed groups fuel the out-of-school crisis in northeast Nigeria, disrupting the education of nearly two million school-age children.
Dr Ismahane Elouafi has her work cut out. As the new executive managing director of CGIAR, a global network of agricultural research centers, her mandate, simply put, is to tackle the world’s most severe hunger crisis in modern history.
And it is in Africa that the former Chief Scientist of FAO with a PhD in durum wheat genetics faces her greatest challenges, both in terms of developing science-based innovations and technologies and lobbying governments to adopt responsible policies.
As we lead into the Africa Year of Education
, and under the leadership of Africa, world leaders have an opportunity to solidify commitments to ‘Educate an Africa Fit for the 21st Century’. That means to empower Africa to deliver on the goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Paris Agreement and Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to invest in an end to inequity through the power of quality education and lifelong learning.
The Year of the Dragon is upon us.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for this Lunar New Year, “The dragon symbolizes energy, wisdom, protection and good luck. We need these qualities to rise to today’s global challenges.”
Significant advances have been made in Africa towards ending female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Asia, where FGM/C occurs in at least ten countries
, but governments across the region are failing to take effective action. Women’s rights organizations are calling for states to introduce much-needed laws to criminalize FGM, provide national data on the extent and nature of the practice, and adequately fund efforts to tackle this regionally neglected problem.
Yasmine Sherif is the Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW). A lawyer specialized in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law (LL.M), she has over 30 years of experience with the United Nations and international NGOs.
Decades of civil wars and a lack of long-term public education policies, among other problems, have made higher education in Central America precarious and costly in general.
In this region, made up of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, home to some 50 million inhabitants, the quality of education offered by public and private universities is poor, while costs are high even for those who can afford them.
Education is the bedrock of peace, the foundation of strong societies, and the building block for a better world. This year, as we celebrate the Sixth International Day of Education
under the theme of ‘learning for a lasting peace’, we call on world leaders to end wars and armed conflicts and focus on our common humanity to embrace the vast potential learning offers in uniting our world.
A woman medical graduate from the Hindu community is making waves, as she is the first minority woman to contest the Pakistan Parliamentary election for a general seat, and she does so in the face of deep-rooted religious traditions and wealthy political opponents.
Dr Saveera Parkash, a nominee of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) for the February 8 polls, is sure of her victory despite her religion.
When students from poor families in developing countries are offered places at prestigious universities, they are often faced with a tough choice. One option is to accept the offer and create more debt, likely through borrowing from a loan shark, to pay for tuition fees. Another option is to forgo this opportunity, which could be the first in family generations, and start working as low-wage workers.
In the past, Salma Begum, 40, lost her crops every year due to natural disasters. She lives with her five-member family in Ashabaria village under Rangabali upazila, a remote coastal island in Patuakhali district.
“We did not have enough livelihood options in the coastal area where we live. Cyclones, coastal floods, and tidal surges have been having adverse impacts on agriculture, making it difficult for my wage-laborer husband to find work regularly,” she said.
The year 2023 has brought so much tragedy, with incomprehensible loss of lives, whether from wars or devastating ‘natural’ disasters, while our planet has seen yet more records broken as our climate catastrophe worsens.
And so as the clock ticks towards the (mostly western) New Year, readers are traditionally subjected by media outlets like ours to the 'yearender'—usually a roundup of main events over the previous 12 months, one horror often overshadowed by the next.
The typical image of a refugee is a poor person with their hands out asking for aid. The Burmese refugees in Mae Sot on the Thai-Myanmar border defy that stereotype. Many are middle-class, educated urbanites with skills and plenty of initiative.
After standing up to the Burmese military and suffering for it, they left everything and fled for their lives to Mae Sot where they continued their struggle. Despite intimidation, exploitation by some Thai authorities, and living in fear without documentation, they have achieved a lot in under two years. Their purpose is to support their community and the revolution in a variety of ways through their resilience, commitment, ability and innovation.
Some refugees have set up businesses such as cafes, restaurants, bars, shops, hairdressers, a farm and cross-border trade. While they are for-profit, they also provide employment for other refugees and donate to the most vulnerable.
One café owner said, “If I am lucky, I break even but the café gives refugees employment, keeps them occupied and is a place where Burmese can meet and relax.”
[caption id="attachment_183577" align="alignleft" width="630"]Paul Greening is an ex-UN senior staff officer with over 20 years of experience in six Asian countries working for six UN agencies and four INGOs. He worked in Sittwe, Rakhine State for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) from 2017 to 2020 and has been living in Mae Sot for two years.
First published by Myanmar news outlet Irrawady
Child poverty persists even in some of the world’s richest countries, new findings from a UNICEF report reveal.
Today we mark a milestone in history: the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
. As people around the world commemorate Human Rights Day, we must also deeply reflect on the meaning of this historic document and what it takes to achieve peace in the world.
It is a global catastrophe of astounding proportions that millions of children are on the run today, forcibly displaced from their homes. As conflict and climate change increasingly become the most pressing challenges facing the world now, the number of displaced children has doubled in the last decade alone, reaching a record high of 43.3 million children.
Africa is contending with a climate crisis it did not create without sufficient recognition for the unique rights and needs of the world’s youngest and fastest-growing population. Not only is the continent least responsible for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, having historically produced just a tiny fraction
, but it is also disproportionately impacted by the consequences of emissions generated elsewhere.
A dark cloud is hovering above human existence. It is a fairly illusory cloud haunting our minds and wellbeing, but also an actual, menacing, mostly invisible cloud that covers the Earth’s entire atmosphere. Saturated by greenhouse gases, this global threat increases with every year, threatening all life on Earth, causing increased flooding, extreme heat, draught, wild fires, rising sea levels, food and water scarcity, as well as diseases and mounting economic loss. This misery, caused by human greed, thoughtlessness, and self-aggrandizement, trigger human migration and armed conflicts.
Greater government reliance on consulting companies has greatly enriched them while also undermining state capacities, capabilities, national economies, progress, governance and legitimacy.
“The one international language the world understands” wrote Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children, “is the cry of a child,” and the evidence is accumulating that children are not only the innocent victims of conflict whose pleas need to be heard, but also the most vulnerable victims of climate change.
The Netherlands is the latest country to lurch to the right amid the global cost of living crisis. Its November election saw maverick far-right populist Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom (PVV) come first. A hardline Islamophobe who’s called for the Quran to be banned could be the next prime minister.