Jun 26, 2022
The World Health Organization continues to shine an unflinching light on global vaccine inequity. The vast majority of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in high- and upper-middle-income... Read more
Our own GRAN, Valerie Wright, was at the table today with Bono and other representatives of civil society organizations. The roundtable discussion was hosted by ONE Canada and Engineers Without Borders and provided Bono with what he wanted…an opportunity to listen. And, Valerie says, listen he did. He heard suggestions from a small number of civil society organizations on the issues he might raise in later meetings scheduled with Prime Minister Harper, Opposition Leader Mulcair and Liberal Leader Trudeau.
Some of the issues those sitting at the roundtable hoped Bono would raise included beefing up Canada’s declining contribution to Official Development Assistance, reinforcing the importance of on the ground community development and Canada’s potential to once again, be a significant broker on the international stage.
Valerie is a member of the Education Working Group, the Hill Team and acts as cluster leader for Ottawa-Gatineau. We are delighted, and proud, that Valerie was invited to the table and represented GRAN. She is shown on the right in the attached photo (Peg Herbert of Help Lesotho is in the centre).
The Day of the African Child is commemorated every year on June 16 by Member States of the African Union and its Partners. The theme for the Day of the African Child 2015 is “25 Years after the Adoption of the African Children’s Charter: Accelerating our Collective Efforts to End Child Marriage in Africa”.
Ending Child, Early and Forced Marriage is one of GRAN’s advocacy issues. In sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of women are married as children (before age 18) and 12% are married by age 15. Projections on child marriage in Africa are alarming. If action is not taken now, the number of girls married as children will double by 2050 and Africa will become the region with the highest number of child brides in the world (UNICEF, 2014).
The causes of child marriage are complex. Parents may marry off their daughter due to poverty or out of fear for their safety, especially in conflict areas. Tradition and the stigma of straying from tradition perpetuate child marriage in many communities.
Child marriage constitutes a grave threat to young girls’ lives, health and future prospects. When girls are married as children, they are denied an education, robbed of their childhood and opportunities to develop their potential at the pivotal life stage when they should become healthy, empowered and productive. It holds back girls, their communities and their countries. Ending child marriage will result in improved health and girls remaining in school longer to reach their potential and contribute fully to their communities. It will also reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.
Advancing the rights, participation, and development of adolescents and youth; especially girls’ education, delayed marriage and childbearing, and comprehensive sexuality education is one of the key smart investments for financing the Post 2015 Development Agenda according to the High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development.
GRAN is promoting a comprehensive approach to ending child, early and forced marriage that links gender equality, education, and healthcare with human rights and national and international laws and conventions.
GRAN is keeping an eye on a critical global meeting taking place on July 13-16th. The UN Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia will bring together governments, donors and experts to look at ways to figure out how to pay for the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Presently, the gaps and needs for sustainable development are immense. The conference will look at ways to help reverse the declining trend in international aid and to pave the way for a new era of fairer development finance rules to tackle inequality and poverty.
The Finance for Development Conference is a major conference feeding in to the UN Summit in the fall. The UN summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda will be held on September 25-27 in New York. At this important meeting, the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be ratified and these new goals will drive international development for the next 15 years.
We applaud Canada as one of the major donors to the Global Financing Facility in Support of Every Women and Every Child. However, we feel that Canada needs to make a stronger commitment to education in development, to recognize that education is a driver to all development sectors and to understand the role that girls’ education plays in poverty reduction and economic growth.
Canada needs to be at the table and be visible in Ethiopia. We want our government to know that we feel education deserves a higher priority in our development agenda, to make more of a commitment to getting the world’s children into school and increase its commitments to ODA (Official Development Assistance), especially in the education sector.
If you are up to a grassroots action this month, you might want to call or email your own MP asking to make basic education for all a higher priority in our development agenda, to increase our ODA commitments to education in development and that Canada will actively participate in the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa.
To find your MP using your postal code and the contact information go to http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseofCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC
For more background information on this meeting in Ethiopia, go to http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/ffd3/blog/pave-the-way-for-new-era.html
For more information on the SDGs go to http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jan/19/sustainable-development-goals-united-nations
GOOD NEWS! The World Health Assembly (WHA) calls for greater access to life saving vaccines. WHA is the World Health Organization (WHO) health policy setting body and is composed of health ministers from its 194 member states. Its main functions are to decide major policy questions, as well as to approve the WHO work programme and budget. At its sixty-eighth annual session held last week, WHA passed a resolution making a strong call for more affordable vaccines and greater transparency on vaccines prices.
This is good news for GRANs, and the global community lead by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) advocating for lower vaccine prices such as the pneumonia vaccine. This is especially good news for the one million children 0-5 years of age dying from preventable pneumonia in the developing world, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. A rather good campaign start. Let’s ramp up pressure on GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer to drop their prices. To receive regular MSF updates such as the one below, please enter your e-mail address under Sign up for Updates at http://afairshot.org
GRAN is a member of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage. We are partnering with more than 450 CSOs in more than 70 countries to build an understanding of what it will take to end child marriage. In sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of women are married as children (before age 18). Child Marriage robs girls of their childhood, their education, their health and their future. It holds back girls, their communities and their countries. Progress towards ending child marriage needs to accelerate, warned hundreds of civil society organisations gathered in Casablanca this week for a meeting of Girls Not Brides. Over 250 grassroots activists from 63 countries working on the frontlines of child marriage urged the international community to step up their efforts to end a practice that affects 15 million girls every year.
“We know what it takes to end child marriage. We have the data, we know the issue, we know the causes, we know the interventions required. We just need to act.” said
Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda of Zimbabwe, African Union Goodwill Ambassador for the Campaign to End Child Marriage and General Secretary of World YWCA
Read the Girls Not Brides press release here.
Every year, almost one million children under five years of age die of pneumonia for which a preventable vaccine exists, but is too expensive for many developing countries. Most of pneumonia victims are less than 2 years old and most of those preventable deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Children with HIV-AIDS are particularly vulnerable to pneumonia.
In the GRAN March Update, we shared GRAN’s plan to work closely with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to increase access to life-saving pneumococcal vaccine and we are working feverishly to get ready. But you can add your voice to MSF right now. Today MSF launched their campaign asking for everyone’s help to join their call and #AskPharma to price the vaccine at $5 per child in all developing countries.
Here is what you can do:
1. Go to http://afairshot.msf.org and ENTER E-MAIL to SIGN UP FOR CAMPAIGN UPDATES at top of page right hand corner;
2. Share this information and the above link with family, friends, acquaintances and invite them to do same;
3. If you have a twitter account, at http://afairshot.msf.org click on TWEET@GSK and @Pfizer , or the twitter sign (bird) under any of the images on MSF site to send a tweet. You can also follow GRAN on twitter;
4. If you do not have a twitter account and would like to be part of the action, it could not be easier. Go to https://twitter.com/signup and fill in the form to sign up. As soon as you have a twitter account you can send tweets from the MSF website. For more help with twitter, check out http://grandmothersadvocacy.org/advocacy-tips/how-to-use-twitter
Let’s give children with HIV/AIDS a Fair Shot against deadly pneumonia. One voice can speak for thousands.