New York, N.Y. The city of Detroit must restore access to water for its citizens who remain unable to pay their bills, two United Nations experts urged today, adding that a failure to do so would be a violation of the most basic human rights of those residents.
Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation, a democracy with rich natural resources and more Muslims than any other country on the planet. And it just elected a new President. Meet Joko Widodo
The J. Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org) focuses on arts, education and orphan care in Haiti, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. We salute Indonesia’s democracy.
New York, N.Y. The United Nations continues to ramp-up its Ebola response, reaching more than 530,000 people with food assistance in hard-hit Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and, in the latter country, gathering survivors for a meeting to help deal with the psychological aftermath and stigma they face re-entering their communities.
Photo above: A C160 German aircraft at Kotoka International Airport in the Ghanaian capital of Accra delivering needed supplies and material to countries in western Africa affected by the Ebola virus. Photo: UNMEER.
The flight, carrying 58 metric tons of supplies including water tanks, washing units and generators, is one in a series of dispatches this week containing protective gear, emergency health kits, relief items and other equipment for use throughout the affected region.
“The world is mobilizing and we need to reach the smallest villages in the most remote locations. Indications are that things will only get worse before they improve. How much worse depends on us all,” said Denise Brown, WFP’s Regional Director for West Africa.
In addition to supply flights, the WFP is delivering 7,000 metric tons of rice by ship scheduled to reach Sierra Leone by the end of the week, before heading to Liberia’s capital of Monrovia. There, WFP is also running a logistics hub with plans to set up 12 more in remote areas in affected countries.
An additional 100 WFP staff – engineers, operations support officers and telecommunications specialists – have been mobilized across the region to support more than 360 WFP colleagues already on the ground.
of USAID-donated commodities and headed for Ebola response operations in Guinea.
Photo: WFP/Enrique Pulido.
Also on the ground, the first-ever UN emergency health mission, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), is working to respond to immediate needs related to the fight against Ebola while supporting the operations of its partners in the Organization’s wider response, including WFP and the UN World Health Organization (WHO).
UNMEER chief, Anthony Banbury, today welcomed the arrival of a German aircraft which will be delivering needed supplies and material to countries in western Africa affected by the Ebola virus.
“This flight is a welcome reflection of the international community’s support for the efforts to stop Ebola and help those affected by it – this support is vital if we are to stop the virus,” Mr. Banbury said. “I hope that we will see more of this in the coming days and weeks.”
The C160 aircraft, from the German air force, arrived at Kotoka International Airport in the Ghanaian capital of Accra today, where it was loaded with UN humanitarian supplies and equipment.
These include materials to construct warehouses that will be used in the logistics supply chain for future aid delivery in Sierra Leone and five tonnes of high-energy biscuits for delivery to people affected by the crisis in Guinea.
UNMEER liaison officers led the project that will use the UN humanitarian air corridor set up to help rapidly deploy aid to the field. The aircraft will make its first flight to Sierra Leone on Thursday and then return to Accra before flying to Guinea.
in the logistics supply chain for future aid delivery in Sierra Leone.
Photo: UNMEER/Aaron J. Buckley.
The ongoing UN effort to scale up the response and alert the international community to the breadth of the crisis was also bolstered today by the Security Council, which issued a Presidential Statement recognizing the strenuous efforts made by West African Member States, especially Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, to lead the ground-level response, as well as to address the wider political, security, socioeconomic and humanitarian impacts of the Ebola outbreak on community’s.
The members of the Council also affirmed the importance of preparedness by all Member States to detect, prevent, respond to, isolate and mitigate suspected cases of Ebola within and across borders. They also recalled the International Health Regulations (2005), which aim to improve the capacity of all countries to detect, assess, notify and respond to public health threats.
Meanwhile, later this week 35 Ebola survivors will meet in Kenema, one of the epicentres of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, to share their stories on overcoming the scourge and discuss how best to deal with the psychological aftermath, UNICEF announced today.
The conference, the first in a series of similar meetings planned over the next six months, hopes to involved people who have survived Ebola and are now immune to it, involved in the regional response.
Survivors will also have a chance to meet mental health experts to discuss the many hardships that arise after they recover from Ebola, including being stigmatised and shunned by their own communities.
“A key challenge that parents, care workers and many of us working on the Ebola response are facing is how to care for children who have been affected or infected with Ebola without putting their care givers at risk,” said Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative in Sierra Leone.
“One creative way to address this gap is to work with Ebola survivors who can provide these children with the love, care and attention they so badly need,” he added.
People who have survived Ebola often face high levels of stigma, shame and discrimination from their own communities. UNICEF says children are particularly vulnerable, especially when they or their parents have to be isolated for treatment.
About 96 per cent of the 1,400 households surveyed in a recent UNICEF study reported some discriminatory attitude toward people with suspected or confirmed Ebola. About 76 per cent said they would not welcome an Ebola survivor back into their community.
According to WHO, more than 650 adults have survived Ebola since the beginning of the outbreak in Sierra Leone.
New York, N.Y. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today that he will travel to Gaza on Tuesday to visit several sites destroyed during last summer’s conflict, spotlighting the need to help the enclave “look ahead and build a better future” and advance reconstruction efforts.
“I believe it is important to be on the ground. That is why I am announcing today that I will visit Gaza on Tuesday to listen directly to the people of Gaza, survey the situation for myself,” Mr. Ban said as he briefed journalists in Cairo following an international conference on Gaza reconstruction.
Mr. Ban said that while he felt confident that today the international community clearly recognized the massive needs in Gaza, “this must be the last Gaza reconstruction conference.”
“Enough is enough,” Mr. Ban stressed, reiterating that the cycle of building and destroying must end. Donors may be fatigued – but the people of Gaza are bruised and bloody.During the recent 51-day conflict, dozens of schools, hospitals and clinics were destroyed or damaged in Gaza. UN facilities sheltering women and children were hit, resulting in many casualties. Eleven staff members of the UN were killed in the course of the conflict.
“Given that 70 percent of Gazans are refugees, we have a huge responsibility to rebuild homes and improve the situation in the refugee camps,” said UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness speaking with UN radio from Jerusalem this afternoon.
There are currently over 50,000 people in UNRWA shelters, one of which Mr. Ban is scheduled to visit when he arrives in the area on Tuesday. Mr. Gunness said. In addition to its emergency and reconstruction efforts, UNRWA is also running its regular operations including having opened schools for nearly a quarter of a million children.
Mr. Ban’s visit comes at an “extremely significant” time, Mr. Gunness stated, adding that the people of Gaza have felt “isolated beyond the reach in a sense of diplomatic norms, international diplomacy, and international law.”
He said UNRWA was very encouraged with the results of today’s Cairo Gaza conference particularly because so many donors made substantial pledges which it hoped would translate into real cash, Mr. Gunness said.
At the UNRWA compound, Mr. Ban is scheduled to meet with staff and Palestinian Ministers, followed by a visit to the Gaza Port where the Secretary-General will be briefed by fisherman on the effects of the restricted fishing zone imposed by Israel. Israel currently permits fishermen from Gaza use of six nautical miles of sea.
According to UNRWA, Gaza has 3,500 fishermen who support 35,000 people, typically from among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable of Palestinians.
UNDP is currently constructing 24 brick huts for 168 fishermen in Gaza Port to enable them to secure their fishing equipment. The brick huts allow fishermen to store their tools and also reduce their maintenance costs.
Briefing the press in Cairo on other aspects of his trip, Mr. Ban said the situation in Libya remains extremely fragile – with alarming implications for the wider region. Ending the violence and returning to dialogue is the only way to restore stability and build a better future for Libyans
The Secretary-General also reiterated his concern over the situation in and around the Syrian city of Kobane. The continued attacks by ISIL or Daesh were putting thousands of lives are at stake.
Photo: Parts of Gaza have been decimated by Israeli strikes. Photo: IRIN/Ahmed Dalloul.
If a homeless dog could write a letter to the people who left him on the side of the road, what would he say?
"Never Say Goodbye," a poignant Purina-sponsored short film, imagines the answer.
Oslo, Norway. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 is to be awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. Children must go to school and not be financially exploited. In the poor countries of the world, 60% of the present population is under 25 years of age.
It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected. In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation.
Showing great personal courage, Kailash Satyarthi, maintaining Gandhi’s tradition, has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain. He has also contributed to the development of important international conventions on children’s rights.
Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzay has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.
The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism. Many other individuals and institutions in the international community have also contributed. It has been calculated that there are 168 million child labourers around the world today. In 2000 the figure was 78 million higher. The world has come closer to the goal of eliminating child labour.
The struggle against suppression and for the rights of children and adolescents contributes to the realization of the “fraternity between nations” that Alfred Nobel mentions in his will as one of the criteria for the Nobel Peace Prize.
U.S. President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and daughter Malia meet with Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012, in the Oval Office in 2013. Photo courtesy of the White House.
“All of a sudden this was the topic everywhere, at school, at home…”
Boubacar Sidy Diallo is 12 years old. He is in 6th Grade and lives with his parents at Taouyah, Conakry, in Guinea.
Where were you when you first heard of Ebola?
I was at school, during recess. My friends told me that a disease had been declared in Guinea. They said it was a deadly, very contagious disease.
What were your first thoughts when you heard of the outbreak?
All of a sudden this was the topic everywhere, at school, at home … I was perplexed and I was also very worried when I was hearing of Ebola at the beginning.
What are the signs of Ebola?
It’s when a person vomits blood, or has a bloody diarrhea, or high fever.
How do people get Ebola?
You get Ebola by shaking the hands of sick people, through contact with the sick person’s belongings, or by coming near an Ebola victim’s body.
Where did you learn about this?
I read about it on the internet, and my parents, friends and teachers also told me about it.
What did your teachers say about it?
They spoke to us during class; they said we must always wash our hands.
What about your parents?
They told me to always use chlorine, to be careful, and not to shake hands with people.
How did Ebola change your life?
My mom forbade me from walking around in the neighborhood. I also couldn’t go watch football in video clubs anymore.
Do you know anyone who has Ebola?
No, I don’t know anyone.
What would you say to the people in Guinea?
They must respect hygiene measures, they shouldn’t visit sick people in the hospitals and they shouldn’t shake the hands of anyone. When people die, people must call the Red Cross and not touch the bodies.
New Haven, CT. In the study of psychology, there is a term called ‘feature integration theory.’ The term describes how we visually combine details to identify unified objects. For instance, when looking for a friend in a crowd (assuming he or she has a striped shirt on), one scans the crowd for a striped shirt and then combines other details like hair color or height to find one’s friend. In much the same way, I have combined interests of mine and identified a cohesive path following my selection as a Luce Leader –and I couldn’t be happier.
Jim Luce was raised in a family in which a college degree was normal for women going back…