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The French response to the Corona Crisis: semi-presidentialism par excellence

GDI Briefing - 19. Januar 2038 - 4:14

This blog post analyses the response of the French government to the Coronavirus pandemic. The piece highlights how the semi-presidential system in France facilitates centralized decisions to manage the crisis. From a political-institutional perspective, it is considered that there were no major challenges to the use of unilateral powers by the Executive to address the health crisis, although the de-confinement phase and socio-economic consequences opens the possibility for more conflictual and opposing reactions. At first, approvals of the president and prime minister raised, but the strict confinement and the reopening measures can be challenging in one of the European countries with the highest number of deaths, where massive street protests, incarnated by the Yellow vests movement, have recently shaken the political scene.

Kategorien: english

The behavioural challenges of post-conflict life

ODI - 27. August 2020 - 0:00
Applying a behavioural lens, this webinar will explore the experience of post-conflict life and the influence of conflict over perceptions and behaviours.
Kategorien: english

How COVID-19 is affecting Egypt’s migrants and refugees

OECD - 7. August 2020 - 12:45
By the Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS), the American University in Cairo (AUC) This blog is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on the health, economic, financial and societal impacts of COVID-19 worldwide. This blog is also a part of … Continue reading How COVID-19 is affecting Egypt’s migrants and refugees
Kategorien: english

CRISIS WITHIN CRISIS: Responding to COVID-19 in times of flood in Assam

Reality of Aid - 7. August 2020 - 10:27

  This article is part of Reality of Aid – Asia Pacific’s COVID-19 Response Series, “Resisting Repression; Recovering Together”, which aims to document the struggles, best practices, and lessons learned, as well as share recommendations of RoA-AP members as they responded to the pandemic at the national or regional level. Read more stories here.     By Tirtha Prasad Saikia, North East Affected Area Development Society (NEADS) COVID-19 pandemic in Assam The first case of the COVID-19 […]

The post CRISIS WITHIN CRISIS: Responding to COVID-19 in times of flood in Assam appeared first on Reality of Aid.

Kategorien: english

Wie die Corona-Pandemie uns zu mehr Nachhaltigkeit motivieren kann

GDI Briefing - 7. August 2020 - 9:07

Das globale Klima erwärmt sich, immer mehr Arten sterben aus, in manchen Regionen wird Wasser zu einem knappen Gut, Plastikmüll verschmutzt unsere Meere, die Belastungen durch Feinstaub nehmen immer mehr zu – die Liste unserer globalen Herausforderungen ist lang und wird gefühlt immer länger. Und nun erleben wir auch noch zum ersten Mal in unserer Zeit eine globale Pandemie. Unser Alltag ist auf den Kopf gestellt, nichts scheint mehr sicher; was in den nächsten Wochen passiert, scheint nicht mehr planbar. Wie können wir lernen, in solch ungewissen Zeiten unsere Ängste zu überwinden, Risiken besser einzuschätzen und nachhaltige Verhaltensmuster langfristig zu etablieren? Erkenntnisse aus der Verhaltenswissenschaft können uns dabei helfen, dies erfolgreich zu meistern.

Kategorien: english

Justice, the rule of law and Covid-19: three expert views

ODI - 7. August 2020 - 0:00
Covid-19 is putting new pressure on justice systems. Flexible strategies and diverse pathways should be used to respond to these growing needs.
Kategorien: english

Stranded by Civil War, A Leaky Oil Tanker Off the Coast of Yemen Threatens to Unleash the World’s Worst-Ever Oil Spill

UN Dispatch - 6. August 2020 - 15:49

The story of a leaky oil tanker stranded off the coast of Yemen is, in part, the story of the country’s civil war. There are about a million gallons of oil stored in this tanker, which has not been operational since 2015. That is when Yemen’s civil war escalated into an international conflict pitting Houthi rebels who overthrew the government against an international coalition lead by Saudi Arabia.

Since then, the condition of this old oil tanker has deteriorated and is threatening to cause what would be the world’s worst-ever oil spill. The  environmental, economic and humanitarian damage throughout the Red Sea would be immense. Meanwhile, the Houthi rebels control access to this tanker and so far, they have not permitted UN experts or an international team to inspect the tanker, nor take steps to safely remove the oil from it.

On the line to discuss is Gerry Simpson, associate crisis and conflict director at Human Rights Watch. He has been following the situation with the tanker closely and We kick off discussing the history of this tanker before having a broader conversation about the possible damage that a leak may inflict and its broader relationship to the conflict in Yemen.

The situation with the tanker is something that has been on the radar of the UN Security Council, and even US Congress. The damage from an oil spill would be at a scale that is hard to comprehend.

It’s a crisis waiting to happen and so far there has been very little progress in securing the tanker.


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The post Stranded by Civil War, A Leaky Oil Tanker Off the Coast of Yemen Threatens to Unleash the World’s Worst-Ever Oil Spill appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

Why quality assurance infrastructure matters to fight COVID-19 in developing countries?

OECD - 6. August 2020 - 15:20
By Karl-Christian Göthner, Consultant, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt PTB, Germany This blog is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on the health, economic, financial and societal impacts of COVID-19 worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that health systems in many countries – developed and developing – … Continue reading Why quality assurance infrastructure matters to fight COVID-19 in developing countries?
Kategorien: english

Unwanted pregnancies

D+C - 6. August 2020 - 12:04
Zimbabwe faces a spike in unwanted pregnancies due to a shortage of contraceptives

“Even condoms that used to be free of charge are difficult to find in the villages,” says 46-year old Jabulani Zhou of Mberengwa in south-central Zimbabwe. He already has eight children and now has four more on the way, as his three wives and a girlfriend are pregnant. Zhou is not sure how he will support 12 children, especially now that Zimbabwe’s economy has slowed.

His is not an isolated case. “Fighting unwanted pregnancies has become difficult for many people here as prices of birth control pills go beyond reach,” says Mucha Shumba, an official of the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council in Mberengwa.

Contraception in Zimbabwe has become a story of haves and have-nots. Birth control pills can be found in private pharmacies at a price of $ 1 per packet – too high for many Zimbabweans at a time of high unemployment. Condoms are difficult to find at almost any price.

Responsibility for providing contraceptives and family-planning advice ultimately falls to the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC), an independent agency under the Ministry of Health and Child Care. However, the agency is strapped for funds and has been unable to carry out its mandate.

Women bear the brunt of that failure, say women’s-rights activists. “Shortages of contraceptives help to undermine women’s reproductive health rights,” says Celesile Sithole of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), a human-rights NGO based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city.

Public health is also at risk. “With condoms in short supply, it may mean that after Covid-19 we will wake up to an upsurge of HIV cases,” warns Milenia Musaigwa of the Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV. About 1.3 million Zimbabweans live with HIV, according to UNAIDS.

Moreover, “there are concerns that women will be forced into unsafe abortions” to terminate unwanted pregnancies, says Fungisai Dube, executive director of Citizens Health Watch, a public health watchdog group. And Ruth Labode, chairwoman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health, says: “Anecdotal evidence points to an increase in unintended teenage pregnancies due to lack of access to contraceptives.”

Sexually active young women and girls have a high risk of unwanted pregnancies because more than 70 % of them rely on oral contraceptives and condoms, as opposed to longer-term measures such as intrauterine devices, according to an April 2020 report in HealthTimes, a Zimbabwean web portal. The statistic comes from the Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey of 2015.

Further reading


Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council:

Jeffrey Moyo is a journalist based in Harare.




Kategorien: english

Coronavirus and local peacebuilding efforts in North Africa

ODI - 6. August 2020 - 0:00
An online discussion of the implications of Covid-19 on peacebuilding at the local level in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt.
Kategorien: english

Coronavirus and local peacebuilding efforts in North Africa

ODI - 6. August 2020 - 0:00
An online discussion of the implications of Covid-19 on peacebuilding at the local level in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt.
Kategorien: english

Now, more than ever: Youth social entrepreneurship and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

UNSDN - 5. August 2020 - 16:53

Very early during the COVID-19 pandemic, young people demonstrated their ingenuity and solidarity by helping at-risk community members such as older persons or persons with medical conditions. I have witnessed several examples of this, ranging from young people organizing themselves in small groups to coordinate deliveries of food and medication to those who need to stay home, to youth in my home country – and countless other countries – getting together to create engaging social medial messages raising awareness about contagion prevention. Young people were doing this as the pandemic was impacting their own lives, destroying their jobs, and disrupting their education.

In all types of crises and times of need, from climate change to armed conflict, young people have repeatedly proven they are quick to act and respond to local or global needs. I am profoundly convinced the climate change movement would not be where it is today without the actions and passion of young people. Now, more than ever, young people are rolling up their sleeves and taking steps to mobilize, organize, innovate, and deliver solutions toward the pandemic response and recovery.

The social entrepreneurship model is increasingly perceived by young people as a tool to do exactly that – mobilize, organize, innovate and deliver solutions – while generating employment. Young social entrepreneurs often live in the communities they seek to serve, which regularly include marginalized or underserved groups. Moreover, a growing number of young social entrepreneurs are focusing their efforts on global challenges such as promoting climate action, sustaining peace, addressing inequalities, and now, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Intriguingly, many young people see social entrepreneurship as a way to contribute to a multilateral approach.  Indeed, social entrepreneurship is based on the same values as multilateralism, i.e. solidarity, reciprocity, trust and cohesion. These values are critical to building a solid social fabric which is essential deliver on the ambition of the 2030 Agenda and leave no one behind.

One of the key advantages of social enterprises is their relative financial independence and community anchor which allow them to complement broader responses to complex social challenges. Governments often face financial and institutional constraints that reduce their ability to address the needs of marginalized groups, while commercial enterprises — even those inclined to support social development — often shy away from contexts characterized by high risk and low profit potential. Social enterprises, with their focus on social impact, can help bridge this gap by providing customized services to those suffering from intersecting inequalities. Simply put, the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will not be successful unless it effectively reaches the most marginalized communities, those who are at risk of being left behind. 

Youth social enterprises have been quick to react to the pandemic. One example is Tiwale, a social enterprise created by Ellen Chilemba – at the age of 18 – to improve the lives of women in rural Malawi. Tiwale quickly reoriented its tie-dye fabric activities toward sewing face masks to be donated to essential workers and sold to the public to support further the production. Without Tiwale, many people in rural Malawi might not have access to face masks and the protection they grant.

Tiwale team member Lydia Tembo making a face mask in Malawi using the tie-dye fabric.

Youth social enterprises have tremendous potential to complement government actions aimed at addressing the needs of groups that may fall outside of mainstream responses to the pandemic. However, their full potential can only be unleashed by removing the many barriers young social entrepreneurs still face today. These obstacles include lack of access to funding, training, technical support and markets. Several of these obstacles are age-related, such as the minimum age to open a bank account, or the need to own land or a house (assets that take often a lifetime to acquire) to secure a business loan. Other obstacles are also disproportionally impacting young women, young migrants and rural youth and are often liked to stereotypes.

Unless rapid and swift measures are taken to remove the barriers to youth social entrepreneurship, neither young people nor their communities will realize their full potential. And if we do not remove the roadblocks preventing young social entrepreneurs to play their full role in the pandemic response and recovery, we will have a hard time to build back better.

As we are at a critical point in the pandemic response and recovery and need to leverage everybody’s contribution, I invite you to read the World Youth Report on Youth Social Entrepreneurship and the 2030 AgendaThe report, published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)seeks to support decision-makers in their efforts to develop an enabling policy environment for young social entrepreneurs.

by Elliott Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Chief Economist, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

Source: ILO Decent Jobs For Youth

Kategorien: english

Education in the face of COVID-19 disruption

UNSDN - 5. August 2020 - 16:47

Describing education as “the key to personal development and the future of societies”, António Guterres issued recommendations to get children back in the classroom in a policy brief launched alongside a new global campaign called Save our Future.

“As the world faces unsustainable levels of inequality, we need education – the great equalizer – more than ever,” he said in a video message.

“We must take bold steps now, to create inclusive, resilient, quality education systems fit for the future.”

COVID-19 and the classroom

The UN estimates that the pandemic has affected more than one billion students worldwide.

Despite efforts to continue learning during the crisis, including through delivering lessons by radio, television and online, many are still not being reached.

The UN chief said learners with disabilities, members of minority or disadvantaged communities, as well as refugees and displaced persons, are among those at highest risk of being left behind.

Even those students who can access distance learning face challenges, as success depends on their living conditions, and other factors such as fair distribution of domestic duties.

Looming potential catastrophe

A learning crisis existed even before the pandemic, the Secretary-General said, as more than 250 million children were out of school.

Furthermore, only a quarter of secondary school children in developing countries were leaving school with basic skills.

“Now we face a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities,” said Mr. Guterres. “The knock-on effects on child nutrition, child marriage and gender equality, among others, are deeply concerning.”

Back to school

The policy brief calls for action in four key areas, starting with the re-opening of schools once local transmission of COVID-19 is under control.

The UN chief also called for greater investment in education, as low- and middle-income countries had already faced an annual funding gap of $1.5 trillion prior to the pandemic.

“Education budgets need to be protected and increased,” he said.

“And it is critical that education is at the heart of international solidarity efforts, from debt management and stimulus packages to global humanitarian appeals and official development assistance.”

Education initiatives must also seek to reach those at greatest risk of being left behind, he continued. They also should be sensitive to the specific challenges faced by girls and boys, and women and men, while also addressing the digital divide.

Quality education for all

For his final recommendation, the UN chief highlighted what he sees as the “generational opportunity” to deliver quality education for all children, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 17 goals, which world leaders adopted five years ago, provide a pathway to a more sustainable future that benefits both people and the planet.

“To achieve this, we need investment in digital literacy and infrastructure, an evolution towards learning how to learn, a rejuvenation of life-long learning and strengthened links between formal and non-formal education,” said Mr. Guterres.

“And we need to draw on flexible delivery methods, digital technologies and modernized curricula while ensuring sustained support for teachers and communities.”

Full policy brief on “Education during COVID-19 and beyond“.

Source: UN DGC

Kategorien: english

New Study: Coastal Flooding Could Cost Up to 20% of the Global Economy

UN Dispatch - 5. August 2020 - 16:38

Ebru Kirezci, University of Melbourne and Ian Young, University of Melbourne

Over the past two weeks, storms pummelling the New South Wales coast have left beachfront homes at Wamberal on the verge of collapse. It’s stark proof of the risks climate change and sea level rise pose to coastal areas.

Our new research published today puts a potential price on the future destruction. Coastal land affected by flooding – including high tides and extreme seas – could increase by 48% by 2100. Exposed human population and assets are also estimated to increase by about half in that time.

Under a scenario of high greenhouse gas emissions and no flood defences, the cost of asset damage could equate up to 20% of the global economy in 2100.

Without a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, or a huge investment in sea walls and other structures, it’s clear coastal erosion will devastate the global economy and much of the world’s population.

In Australia, we predict the areas to be worst-affected by flooding are concentrated in the north and northeast of the continent, including around Darwin and Townsville.

A clean-up after flooding last year in Townsville, an Australian city highly exposed to future sea level rise.
Dan Peled/AAP Our exposed coasts

Sea levels are rising at an increasing rate for two main reasons. As global temperatures increase, glaciers and ice sheets melt. At the same time, the oceans absorb heat from the atmosphere, causing the water to expand. Seas are rising by about 3-4 millimetres a year and the rate is expected to accelerate.

These higher sea levels, combined with potentially more extreme weather under climate change, will bring damaging flooding to coasts. Our study set out to determine the extent of flooding, how many people this would affect and the economic damage caused.

Read more:
The world may lose half its sandy beaches by 2100. It’s not too late to save most of them

We combined data on global sea levels during extreme storms with projections of sea level rises under moderate and high-end greenhouse gas emission scenarios. We used the data to model extreme sea levels that may occur by 2100.

We combined this model with topographic data (showing the shape and features of the land surface) to identify areas at risk of coastal flooding. We then estimated the population and assets at risk from flooding, using data on global population distribution and gross domestic product in affected areas.

Many coastal homes, such as these at Sydney’s Collaroy beach, are exposed to storm surge damage.
David Moir/AAP Alarming findings

So what did we find? One outstanding result is that due to sea level rise, what is now considered a once-a-century extreme sea level event could occur as frequently as every ten years or less for most coastal locations.

Under a scenario of high greenhouse gas emissions and assuming no flood defences, such as sea walls, we estimate that the land area affected by coastal flooding could increase by 48% by 2100.

Read more:
Water may soon lap at the door, but still some homeowners don’t want to rock the boat

This could mean by 2100, the global population exposed to coastal flooding could be up to 287 million (4.1% of the world’s population).

Under the same scenario, coastal assets such as buildings, roads and other infrastructure worth up to US$14.2 trillion (A$19.82 trillion) could be threatened by flooding.

This equates to 20% of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2100. However this worst-case scenario assumes no flood defences are in place globally. This is unlikely, as sea walls and other structures have already been built in some coastal locations.

In Australia, areas where coastal flooding might be extensive include the Northern Territory, and the northern coasts of Queensland and Western Australia.

Elsewhere, extensive coastal flooding is also projected in:
– southeast China
– Bangladesh, and India’s states of West Bengal and Gujurat
– US states of North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland
– northwest Europe including the UK, northern France and northern Germany.

Bangladesh is among the nations most exposed to coastal flooding this century.
SOPA Keeping the sea at bay

Our large-scale global analysis has some limitations, and our results at specific locations might differ from local findings. But we believe our analysis provides a basis for more detailed investigations of climate change impacts at the most vulnerable coastal locations.

It’s clear the world must ramp up measures to adapt to coastal flooding and offset associated social and economic impacts.

This adaptation will include building and enhancing coastal protection structures such as dykes or sea walls. It will also include coastal retreat – allowing low-lying coastal areas to flood, and moving human development inland to safer ground. It will also require deploying coastal warning systems and increasing flooding preparedness of coastal communities. This will require careful long-term planning.

All this might seem challenging – and it is. But done correctly, coastal adaptation can protect hundreds of millions of people and save the global economy billions of dollars this century.

Ebru Kirezci, PhD candidate, University of Melbourne and Ian Young, Kernot Professor of Engineering, University of Melbourne

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The post New Study: Coastal Flooding Could Cost Up to 20% of the Global Economy appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

Can COVID-19 revive philanthropy’s risk appetite?

OECD - 5. August 2020 - 15:38
 By Clare Woodcraft, Executive Director, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, Cambridge Judge Business School This blog is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on the health, economic, financial and societal impacts of COVID-19 worldwide. Philanthropic capital is risk capital – an attribute often overlooked amidst … Continue reading Can COVID-19 revive philanthropy’s risk appetite?
Kategorien: english

Household Waste Analysis in Solingen: Enhancing Better Sorting from a Consumer Perspective

SCP-Centre - 5. August 2020 - 14:31

What can garbage bins reveal about consumer waste sorting practices and underlying behaviours? How can such information be used to improve waste separation? Is behaviour change or a change in the product package design the best solution in a specific case? The Club for Sustainable Packaging Solutions, as part of CIAP (Consumer Insight Action Panel), conducted a household waste analysis in Solingen to shed new light on potential interventions for more sustainable practices in waste management.

A search through the bins of residual and recyclable waste from private households was central to the analysis in the aim of understanding recurring waste sorting patterns. Members of the Club for Sustainable Packaging Solutions (Club für Nachhaltige Verpackungslösungen) looked at four product categories in particular: dairy cups, food packaging consisting of tray and film, cleaning products packaging, and blister-cardboard combinations as used in batteries. For example, it was looked if the yogurt lid had been separated from the cup or if soap pouches were thrown into the residual or the recyclable bin. In addition, attention was paid as to whether the packaging of specific products included any separation instructions for the consumer. CSCP’s Stephan Schaller, who moderates the club, highlighted the importance of “clear and simple messages for the consumer” in order to facilitate proper sorting.

The aim of the club is to work with stakeholders in integrating consumer insights into the development of sustainable (circular) packaging and generate new solutions. The household waste analysis will offer useful cues about barriers and enablers towards better sorting practices. The results of the analysis will be completed in September 2020, whereas the general findings of the project will be directly fed at the EU level in the form of policy recommendations. Outcomes, such as documents and (virtual) learning sessions, will support knowledge-sharing with other actors, particularly Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Members of the CIAP Club for Sustainable Packaging Solutions include retailers like ALDI Nord/ALDI Süd, dm drogerie-markt and REWE Group, system gastronomy providers like McDonald‘s Germany, packaging companies, waste collectors and recyclers as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The Consumer Insight Action Panel (CIAP) is a non-profit initiative led by the CSCP and funded by Sitra and Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU), in partnership with the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform.

For further questions, please contact Stephan Schaller.

Der Beitrag Household Waste Analysis in Solingen: Enhancing Better Sorting from a Consumer Perspective erschien zuerst auf CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Thailand’s COVID-19 response an example of resilience and solidarity: a UN Resident Coordinator’s Blog

UN ECOSOC - 5. August 2020 - 2:00
In January, Thailand became the second country to confirm a COVID-19 case but, since then, the country has shown remarkable resilience and, as of late July, there had not been any recorded cases of domestic transmission for nearly two months. Gita Sabharwal, the UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand, explains that this success is thanks to a combination of government action, social responsibility and community solidarity. 
Kategorien: english

The changing geopolitics of North-South relations: introducing ODI MED

ODI - 5. August 2020 - 0:00
The Mediterranean is a region of opportunity, but not for everyone. Sherine El Taraboulsi-McCarthy introduces ODI MED: the context, challenges and goals.
Kategorien: english

Mental health and COVID-19 in developing countries

OECD - 4. August 2020 - 16:01
Par Anna D. Bartuska, Programme Coordinator, Community Psychiatry PRIDE, Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Luana Marques, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Clinical Psychologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Director, Community Psychiatry PRIDE This blog is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on … Continue reading Mental health and COVID-19 in developing countries
Kategorien: english


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