COVID-19

School Meal Programs Getting Back on Track in Central America, Despite Hurdles

A group of preschool students enthusiastically planted cucumbers and other vegetables in their small school garden in southern El Salvador, a sign that school feeding programs are being revived as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wealthy Nations, Corporate Titans’ False Promises of Fair COVID-19 Recovery Exposed, How Africa’s Inequality Deepened

Even as COVID-19 brought Africa’s already fragile health care and economic systems to the brink, wealthy states colluded with corporate giants to dupe people with empty slogans and false promises of a fair recovery from the ongoing health pandemic, a newly released report by Amnesty International report finds.

Unity of Purpose to Accelerate Africa’s Sustainable Development

The COVID-19 pandemic reversed several development gains on the continent, and Africa’s leaders are convinced stronger cooperation in boosting investment in green growth will help Africa meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Informal Workers Face Up to the Crisis in Latin America

Doris Martínez was a cook in a Venezuelan restaurant that closed its doors; she emigrated to Colombia, got sick from working long hours standing in front of a stove, and returned to her country where, together with her husband and children, she runs a busy fast food kiosk on a road in Valles del Tuy, near the Venezuelan capital.

Africa Needs to Move Quickly on COVID Vaccines to Build Long-term Resilience

Countries on the African continent have a pattern of a six-month break before a new COVID-19 spike happens, researchers at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change have said in a newly released report.

Women Bear the Brunt of Post-COVID Employment Woes in Latin America

The COVID-19 pandemic did not hit everyone equally and employment has shown a clear gender-differentiated impact. Two years after the start of the pandemic, it is more difficult for women than men to recover their jobs, and this is clearly reflected in Latin America.

Pandemic Hit Domestic Workers Especially Hard in Brazil

"Woman, poor, black and illiterate" - most domestic workers suffer quadruple discrimination in Brazil, which made them more vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, says one of their leaders, Gloria Rejane Santos.

Youth Have the Spirit to Change Trajectory of Leprosy, says Yohei Sasakawa

Yohei Sasakawa said the youth have the power to change the world, and their participation in removing the stigma and myths about leprosy is crucial to the campaign to end the disease.

Covax, the Developing World’s Hope against COVID, Has Made It Only Halfway

The Covax initiative, the hope of the countries of the developing South to immunize their populations against COVID-19, only met half of its goals in 2021. And as 2022 begins, and the omicron variant of the virus is spreading fast, the scheme still depends on the decisions of pharmaceutical companies and the goodwill of donor governments.

Corporate Fear Drives Caribbean Vaccine COVID-19 Mandates

When face-to-face Cabinet meetings resumed in Jamaica following more than a year of virtual meetings due to COVID-19, Ministers lined up to have their immunisation cards inspected.

Pandemic Highlights Urgent Need to Improve Sanitation in Brazil

Basic sanitation, a sector that is undervalued because, according to politicians, it does not bring in votes, has gained relevance in Brazil due to the pandemic that has hit the poor especially hard and the drought that threatens millions of people.

Mounting Scramble for Coronavirus Vaccines in Zimbabwe

More than a month ago, she lost her parents, brother, and wife, to the coronavirus. Then her fiancé battled COVID-19, but 27-year-old Melinda Gavi said she had not contracted the disease.

Women Leaders Hailed for COVID-19 Response

On September 20, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina accepted an award from the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network for her country’s ‘striking’ progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Pacific Community Warns of Threat to Education Retention in the Wake of COVID-19

Before the pandemic, many Pacific Island countries grappled with low numbers of students completing secondary education. Now experts in the region are concerned that the closure of schools to contain the spread of COVID-19, and the economic downturn, will lead to even more students dropping out of education early.

Shortages Reveal Low Priority of Women’s Health in Nepal

One year after Nepal’s Ministry of Health (MoH) appealed to international organisations in the country to urgently supply a drug used to stop excessive bleeding after childbirth, a UN agency has delivered $1 million worth of contraceptives to prevent another shortage.

Papua New Guinea Battles COVID-19 and Health Workers’ Vaccine Scepticism

Papua New Guinea (PNG), like many other Pacific Island countries, successfully held COVID-19 at bay last year, aided by early shutting of national borders. However, by March this year, the pandemic was surging in the most populous Pacific Island nation, and by July, it had reported 17,282 cases of the virus and 175 fatalities.

COVID-19 Pandemic Exacerbates Domestic Workers’ Plight in Bangladesh

Rani Akter, a mother of five, usually works as a domestic helper in Dhaka’s Zikatola area. When the coronavirus pandemic broke out in Bangladesh last March, her employers asked her not to come to their homes for fear of infection. “I lost my work in three houses one after the other, which became a nightmare for me. My rich employers did not allow me in their homes as they thought that I might carry the invisible virus,” Akter told IPS.

COVID-19 Widens Learning Gap For Girls In Rural Ghana

Seventeen-year-old Muniratu Adams, a form two student of the Jeyiri D/A Junior High School at Funsi in the Wa East District of the Upper West Region of Ghana, is fortunate to have returned to school this January after the long COVID-19 shutdown.

Q&A: If China had a Free Press COVID-19 Pandemic ‘May not Have been so Severe’

China is one of the worst places in the world for media freedom, according to the global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) which ranked the country 177 out of 180 in its latest World Press Freedom Index. In the report, the group warned that Beijing is taking “internet censorship,  surveillance and propaganda to unprecedented level,” and had “taken advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to enhance its control over online information even more”. China is also the world’s biggest jailers of journalists with more than 120 journalists and what the group calls “defenders of press freedom” currently detained.

Nepal is the New COVID-19 Hotspot: The Cure is Citizen Engagement

If you live in Nepal, a quick survey of friends and family will quickly prove how rapidly Covid-19 infection rates have spiked. For instance, out of 50 people we called last week, more than half had been infected, with the rest reporting that their extended families or colleagues had tested positive.

Large Corporations Cash in on COVID-19 Relief Funds

Poverty and income inequality are being deepened as COVID-19 relief funds are handed out to large corporations instead of social protection programmes in developing countries, groups involved in a new study of COVID-19 bailouts have said.

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