Cyclone Pam has not only caused unprecedented damages to the Pacific island of Vanuatu but also lent urgency to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s plea that disaster risk reduction is in “everybody’s interest”.
The Beitbridge area in southern Zimbabwe was hit by serious flooding earlier this year. Those affected are still trying to get back on their feet.
Fifty-six-year-old Perween Rehman had dedicated her life to humanitarian work. As head of the Orangi Pilot Project's Research and Training Institute (OPP-RTI), she spent years working in one of the largest informal settlements in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi, helping to overhaul a primitive sanitation system that was expected to serve Orangi’s 1.5 million inhabitants.
Soon after President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, hundreds of leaders of the global medical community wrote an open letter to him, and to newly elected Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, urging them to make the abolition of nuclear weapons their highest priority:
Twenty-five years ago, on Dec. 8, presidents Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. This historic agreement eliminated a modern class of land-based “theatre” weapons - the SS20s, cruise and Pershing missiles - that had been brought into Europe in the early 1980s.