COVID-19

Press Freedom under Lockdown Across Two-Thirds of the Globe

Independent journalism is facing a growing crackdown one year into the COVID-19 pandemic as governments around the world restrict access to information and muzzle critical reporting, media and rights watchdogs have warned.

Three Ways the US Can Promote Equity in Ending the COVID-19 Pandemic Globally

As richer western nations continue hoarding COVID-19 vaccines to the detriment of poorer nations, there is some light on the horizon. On April 15, 2021, the U.S. will join the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) and co-host the launch of the Investment Opportunity for COVAX Advance Market Commitment.

Pandemic Accentuates Need for Caribbean Countries to Improve Food and Nutrition Security

Last year, Jaxine Scott was off work as a caregiver at a primary school as a result of the pandemic. One day, she noticed a green shoot emerging from some garlic in her fridge. She decided to plant it, and to her surprise, it thrived. “I thought ‘It looks like I have a green thumb, let me plant something else,’” Scott says. She now has a backyard garden, including cucumber, pumpkin, melon, callaloo, cantaloupe, pak choy and tomatoes. “It makes me feel good,” she says. “I can help my family members and neighbours. It has saved me money. I’m not going to stop, I’m going to continue,” she says.

Generation Equality: Women’s Leadership as a Catalyst for Change, Say 49 UN Women Envoys

March, women’s history month, closes with the Generation Equality Forum in Mexico and against the background of significant setbacks on the empowerment of women caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Covid19 a Wake-up Call to Address Development Fault Lines in Asia and the Pacific

The world is emerging from the biggest social and economic shock in living memory, but it will be a long time before the deep scars of the COVID-19 pandemic on human well-being fully heal. In the Asia-Pacific region, where 60 per cent of the world lives, the pandemic revealed chronic development fault lines through its excessively harmful impact on the most vulnerable. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) estimates that 89 million more people in the region have been pushed back into extreme poverty at the $1.90 per day threshold, erasing years of development gains. The economic and educational shutdowns are likely to have severely harmed human capital formation and productivity, exacerbating poverty and inequality.

Developing Countries COVID-19 Debt Crisis Could Put SDGs & Climate Agreement Completely Out of Reach

The inability of developing nations to spend on post COVID-19 recovery and resilience has placed the world on the "the verge of a debt crisis". “We face the spectre of a divided world and a lost decade for development,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday, Mar. 29, during a high-level meeting on financing development post COVID-19.

IMF, World Bank Must Urgently Help Finance Developing Countries

COVID-19 has set back the uneven progress of recent decades, directly causing more than two million deaths. The slowdown, due to the pandemic and policy responses, has pushed hundreds of millions more into poverty, hunger and worse, also deepening many inequalities.

Arab Region Counts Cost of Devastating COVID-19 Pandemic

More than eight million people moved onto the poverty line in the Arab region, a conference of Arab and Asian parliamentarians heard. The hybrid conference, held simultaneously in Beirut, Lebanon, and via video conferencing to delegates in Asia and the Arab region, was a follow up on earlier discussions on the regions' ICPD25 Commitments.

Maquila Female Workers in Their Own Words: Fighting COVID and Labor Abuse

A compilation of testimonies collected by Blanca Velázquez Díaz and published by the Ebert Foundation (available at: http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/mexiko/17328.pdf) offers an account of the harsh reality by which some workers of the maquila industry in the Mexican state of Morelos have gone through over these last twelve months. Their words reflect, undoubtedly, similar experiences of millions of workers in different parts of the country.

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.

Debt Moratoria in the Next Pandemic: Be Prepared, and Be Fair

Imagine it is 2025 and that, unfortunately, another pandemic is sweeping the world. Much like in the 2020 crisis, borrowers have seen their livelihoods upended and are struggling to repay loans.

Centering Equity: A Vision for Global Health in 2021

2020 will be remembered as the year that changed the world, as COVID-19 spared no country, no community, and no person. As the pandemic continues in 2021, there is recognition that some groups are impacted more than others, not just by the virus itself, but also by the socio-economic and access inequities exacerbated by global shutdowns. Globally, countries, and organisations are seeking to build back better and address inequities.

End Vaccine Apartheid Before Millions More Die

At least 85 poor countries will not have significant access to coronavirus vaccines before 2023. Unfortunately, a year’s delay will cause an estimated 2.5 million avoidable deaths in low and lower-middle income countries. As the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General has put it, the world is at the brink of a catastrophic moral failure.

Achieving Gender Equality for Women’s Re-entry to the Labour Force Post COVID-19

During the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns, while many sought safety being at home, women in the healthcare, child care, aged care, teaching and services fields — who hold the majority of jobs in those occupations — went to work everyday. 

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.

Measuring the Impact of COVID-19 on the World’s Forests

The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected every sector of society and a global assessment by the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) confirms that its shocks have extended to forests on every region on earth.


Q&A: China Accused of Intimidating, Detaining Citizens Critical of COVID-19 Linked Abuses

China must end its campaign against individuals seeking redress for COVID-19 linked abuses and the human rights lawyers and activists who help them, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said as reports ranging from allegedly trapping them inside their homes, to chaining alleged lock-down violators to metal posts emerge.

COVID-19 Pandemic Shapes the Future World People Want

The peoples of the world are unanimous - access to basic services such as universal healthcare must become a priority going forward. So too should global solidarity, helping those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing the climate change emergency.

Can Agricultural Apps Bring Indonesia’s Farmers Back to the Fields?

When his friends prodded him to use an agricultural app in July, rice farmer Mustafa reluctantly downloaded RiTx Bertani into his smart phone. Four months later, he feels happy to have given the technology a try.

Drop in Remittances – a Financial Lifeline for 800 Million People – Could Impact Financial Stability of Numerous Countries

On Dec. 2 Gabriel Arias, 42, left a Washington Heights, New York, money transfer agency after sending money home to the Dominican Republic. For the past eight years, every fortnight he would come to this branch at 171st street after getting paid from his construction job. But things are different this year and he worries about his family back home. Arias lost his job in May, amid heightened COVID-19 restrictions in the state. He told IPS he has tried to work some odd jobs, but has barely earned enough for his monthly apartment rental. This early December visit to send money home was only his second since June.

Solving the Challenge of Food Security Key to Peacebuilding in the Sahel

In 2013, when Jamila Ben Baba started her company, the first privately owned slaughterhouse in Mali, she did so in the midst of a civil war as Tuareg rebels grouped together in an attempt to administer a new northern state called Azawad. Ben Baba, who is originally from Timbuktu, in northern Mali — where much of the civil war conflict took place — based the business in the country’s western region of Kayes and grew it into what is considered the largest private slaughter house in the West African nation.

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