The impact of COVID 19 on adolescent girls in Africa is likely to have devastating long term effects. The pandemic will exacerbate the inequalities already faced by young girls. Read the joint solidarity letter sent to the African Union to advocate for critical interventions to ensure that adolescent girls are not left behind.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the impact of ageism on the human rights of older people here at home and all around the world. In response, GRAN has recently endorsed a letter written by Margaret Gillis, President of the International Longevity Centre, directed to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of Seniors, urging Canada to show immediate and decisive leadership in supporting a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons. The full text of Margaret’s letter is available here.
Eswatini (once known as Swaziland) is a small landlocked kingdom bordering South Africa and Mozambique. Small scale farmers participating in a permaculture training program are proud to make a contribution towards the health of their community by continuing to produce and sell home grown vegetables during the COVID-19 partial lock down. Click here
to read more about how the Guba program in eSwatini is addressing nutrition and poverty challenges while providing income generation opportunities and teaching agricultural skills and techniques needed for climate adaptation.
As we start to think about life beyond COVID-19, many are yearning for a return to "normal", while others -- especially in the international development and environmental justice communities -- are envisioning a just recovery, where we address long-standing issues of poverty and inequity to create a just and sustainable future.
In an article featured in the online magazine Policy Options, Chris Dendys, Executive Director of Results Canada, shares eight lessons COVID-19 teaches us about the world we have and the world we need. She concludes her article with this global call to action:
"As global leaders invest in responding, reconstructing and rebuilding at home and abroad, let’s not repair our world to restore its existing and persistent state of inequity. We have the opportunity to learn from the lessons of COVID-19 and rebuild our world for the better. Together, we can aspire to the world we need: a healthier, equitable, and more resilient world for all."
You can read the full article by clicking here.
Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, calls for a human rights focus in the global response to the coronavirus crisis. He identifies four human rights principles essential in the pandemic response and also looks ahead to the long-term human rights work that will be required in the aftermath of the crisis.
You can read his message here.
"What is a hackathon?" you may ask. The World Health Organization (WHO) in Africa just held its first three-day hackathon, an online gathering of 100 of sub-Saharan Africa's leading innovators working together to generate creative local solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here to learn more.
CBC radio host Matt Galloway recently interviewed AIDS-Free World activist and humanitarian Stephen Lewis to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic could affect Africa. If you missed this conversation you can listen now by clicking here.
Suffering in Silence, a report recently released by CARE International, identifies the ten most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2019. Nine of the ten crises occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, in the countries of Madagascar, Central African Republic, Zambia, Burundi, Eritrea, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and in the Lake Chad Basin. In 2020 it is estimated that 2% of the global population (160 million people) will require USD $28.8 billion in humanitarian assistance to survive.
The majority of the crises described in the report are partly a consequence of declining natural resources, increasing extreme water events, and global warming. As climate change intensifies, so does humanitarian need. Crises linked to climate change are often slow-moving, recurrent and protracted. Often when they do receive media attention, the focus is not on mitigation or adaptation but on consequences such as people forced to flee their homes, violent extremism, and hunger.
Media attention can shape the degree of public empathy for a crisis and can influence how much international funding it receives and how foreign policy priorities are formed. The report describes seven ways in which we can all shine a light on people in crises who are otherwise forgotten. The COVID-19 experience is a good illustration of how media coverage can shape empathy and public financing.
Read report here.
In these anxious times as we all try to stay informed, you may have noticed that little is yet being reported by main news outlets about the spread of COVID-19 in Africa.
Click here for the latest report on the pandemic situation in Africa from the World Health Organization.
And click here for an article on the multiple challenges African nations face.
International Women's Day -- March 8 -- is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for gender equality.
In two separate reports issued this week by UN Women and Equal Measures 2030 we learn that the work to advance gender equality is far from finished.
The UN Women report shares six cross-cutting areas where governments and stakeholders should focus efforts to realize gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women:
- Inclusive economies and decent work
- Poverty eradication and wellbeing, including strengthening women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights
- Freedom from violence, stigma, and stereotypes
- Participation, accountability, and institutions
- Peaceful and inclusive societies
- Climate action and environmental sustainability
“These reports add to the mounting evidence that a more gender-equal world is possible if we invest in girls and women. Decision-makers should seize this new evidence and the current spotlight to make bigger, bolder commitments and take strong action towards advancing gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Not in another 25 years, but now,” says Katja Iversen, President and CEO of Women Deliver.
Click here to read key findings and to access the full text of both reports.