Health

Education Cannot Wait for Refugee Children in Crisis, says Yasmine Sherif

With financing, the number of out-of-school refuges could be reduced to zero, Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW) says, as the world commemorates World Refugee Day.

For People with Disabilities, COVID-19 Lays Bare the Weaknesses in Social Safety Nets

People with disabilities were particularly hard hit by the social and economic impacts of efforts to control COVID-19.

Apocalypse Now? Christian Fundamentalists and COVID-19

 
Getting hard to breathe hard to believe in anything at all, but fear. Peter Gabriel, Mother of Violence
Like most male Swedes of my age I had to enter obligatory military service for almost a year. In my barrack was a “born-again-Christian” who when he became angry shouted “Now you mock me, but when the Last Judgement has come I will sit in heaven and smile down at you while you burn in Hell!” Since then I have wondered about the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation. It was written by a frustrated Christian man who by the end of 100 CE by Roman authorities had been deported to an isolated island where he wrote a long letter to Christian congregations in Asia Minor.

Central Sahel: Ground Zero in Tackling Climate Change Through Education

The climate crisis is amplifying the effects of instability and violence in the world’s poorest countries. Nowhere is this more visible than in Africa’s Central Sahel region, where increasing temperature, floods, droughts and other climate change-induced disasters are triggering conflicts, displacement, and pushing girls and boys into the shadows.

Developing Country Health Professionals Sidelined in Canadian Healthcare

In Canada, we are fortunate to have many talented newcomers eager to contribute to the country, including thousands of doctors from Africa, Asia and the Middle East who meet Canadian standards but are blocked from becoming practicing physicians. These doctors are Canadian citizens and permanent residents with recognized training and experience.

Letter from Rome – Italy at the Crossroads

Italy, as other countries, has been struggling to balance the health and economic challenges posed by COVID-19. Controlling the spread of the virus implied restrictions on economic activity, on school and college attendance, and on personal movement. It also had to deal with the economic and social implications of a fall of almost 10% in GDP. This has been hard for a country which, even before the pandemic, was one of the slowest growing economies in Europe, with unemployment, especially among young people in the South of the country, at alarming levels.

To Improve Global Health Security, We Must Not Abandon Tackling Existing Epidemics

As world leaders come together in the UK for the G7, the global response to COVID-19 and how we can build a better defence system against infection is at the forefront of discussions.  Whilst we applaud the incredible global efforts in tackling COVID-19 and support calls for vaccines to be shared equitably across the world, we also urge G7 leaders not to abandon efforts to tackle existing epidemics such as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), HIV/AIDs, malaria, TB and polio.

Preventing Hunger While Building Peace

Acute hunger is expected to soar in over 20 countries in the next few months, warns a recent report on global “hunger hotspots” from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP). An estimated 34 million people are “one step away from starvation”, pushed to the brink by climate shocks, conflict, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Investing in Lives & Livelihoods of India’s Women Crucial to Nation’s Full Recovery

Thousands of Indians have been affected by the latest COVID-19 outbreak. Not only those suffering from the disease, but also those who care for them.

From Climate Change to Covid, Are We Ready to Deal with Disasters?

In the last 20 years, disasters affected over 4 billion people. At global level we witness on average one sweeping disaster a day, the majority of which are floods and storms. From the Covid-19 pandemic to climate change, calamities are taking new shapes and sizes, infiltrating every dimension of society. From the emotional to the political, how do we deal with disasters? How can we create a whole-of-society approach to disaster risk reduction?

Nations Pledge to Tackle Inequalities as part of New Targets to end HIV/AIDS by 2030

World leaders, those on the frontlines of the AIDS response, civil society, academics and youth have agreed that there is no way to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 without tackling persistent inequalities among marginalised groups.

Inclusivity Is My Key to Success

In three cycles I spent all together more than 15 years in Rome, at the Permanent Representation of Hungary to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and between my last two assignments in Rome my responsibilities in Budapest included FAO related issues. This made it possible for me to witness the development of this organization under the leadership of four Directors-General. Edouard Saouma, Jacques Diouf, Jose Graziano da Silva and Qu Dongyu. This long association and “historic” view of FAO would definitely help me in fulfilling the role of the Independent Chairperson of the Council of FAO (ICC). As conventional wisdom suggests, in order to make good decisions for the future we need to know, understand and learn from the past. The Independent External Evaluation, commissioned by the FAO Council in 2004, was an important milestone in this regard. It was followed by inclusive discussions among FAO Members about the recommendations and finally an Immediate Plan of Action was adopted by the FAO Conference. It was the most significant reform in FAO and I had the privilege to contribute to this process.

Paltry International Support for Spending Needs Sets South Further Back

With the pandemic setting back past, modest and uneven progress, huge disparities in containing COVID-19 and financing government efforts are widening the North-South gap and other inequalities once again.

Why We Need More Women in Power

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you read the words, women and power? The accepted wisdom is that women can be powerful, but not without the constant reference to their gender - which is often based on a set of unconscious biases towards them. Is she competent enough, effective, articulate without being too assertive or too aggressive. Is she a straightjacket, is she too emotional, will her family life impact her work or vice versa. Is she smart enough to camouflage her intelligence, is she ready for a key position, is it worth making her powerful?

India’s COVID-19 Vaccine Drive Is Excluding Millions of Citizens

In May, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) uploaded a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) related to ‘COVID-19 Vaccination of Persons without prescribed Identity Cards through CoWIN’ on its website.

Fresh Air, Clean Water

You want to breathe fresh air and have access to clean water? I guess you do, just like all of us. As populations in the so-called developed countries, we love to go for holidays in places where on high mountains you get to breathe deeply and enjoy the fresh air, where the oceans or lakes are clean and refreshing. And how do we arrive there? Mostly by airplanes or cars, polluting the air whilst travelling to the desired destinations, causing harm to people and the planet. Interestingly, many people today, calculate their flight’s CO2 footprint and pay a certain amount of money to invest in renewable energy projects, in order to feel better about their travelling and to receive tax deductibility (depending on regulations of their country).

‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ Discussion Highlights Risks to Women

Every two minutes, a girl or woman dies from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications, including unsafe abortions. Every year, around 12 million girls are married while in their childhoods. An additional 10 million are now at risk of child marriage due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

UN’s Battle Against Climate Hazards Undermined by a Devastating Pandemic

The United Nations has been in the forefront of an ongoing battle against the growing hazards of climate change, including the destruction of different species of plants and animals, the danger of rising sea-levels threatening the very existence of small island developing states (SIDS), and the risks of oceans reaching record temperatures endangering aquatic resources.

Indian Muslim Minority Targeted During COVID-19 Pandemic

A Muslim call centre operator at a COVID-19 ‘war room’, who once saw himself a COVID-warrior, is now unemployed after being falsely branded by a top politician as a key member of a bed-for-bribe scam. He is a victim of the rise in Islamophobia in India as the country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic – with scant evidence of condemnation from the authorities, say activists.

Agroecology Under Threat

This week*, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is expected to endorse recommendations on agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable food systems, after an intense period of negotiation involving governments, UN agencies and institutions, Indigenous People’s organizations, civil society, and the private sector.

Naomi Osaka’s Bravery can be a Teachable Moment about Mental Health

Recently, Naomi Osaka, the number 2 ranked women’s tennis player in the world, said she would not participate in the press conference at the French Open (Rolland-Garros) because she wanted to protect her mental health.

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