Conflicts, COVID-19 & Climate Change pose the greatest threats to humanity; UN seeks for $35 Billion in Life-Saving Humanitarian Aid for 2021 – How humanity could help humankind
Again, we explain that TERRIFIC HEADLINES was forced out of vacation by issues of national and global concerns. Even though we need our well-deserved rest, our instincts tell us we must rise, support and join people tackling these threatening global issues by our advocacy and public enlightenment activities and go back to rest till the second week of January 2021, as programmed, but with a few pieces on our FAMILY VALUES channel.
United Nations appealed has for a record $35 billion to provide life-saving humanitarian support for 160 million people next year, as the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has pushed millions into extreme poverty worldwide. “Conflict, climate change and COVID-19 have created the greatest humanitarian challenge since the Second World War,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He called on donors to help those at greatest risk “in their darkest hour of need.” The U.N. says the actual need is even higher — some 235 million people, or one in every 33 people on the planet, requires aid or protection. This is a 40% increase over 2020.
There are more than 63 million confirmed cases worldwide of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking the pandemic’s spread. Nearly 1.5 million people have died and tens of millions have lost jobs and livelihoods during the lockdowns imposed to stop the virus from spreading.
THE ECONOMIC IMPACT
“It’s not the disease itself, nasty as it may be … that is most hurting people in vulnerable countries. It’s the economic impact,” U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told reporters. “Rising food prices, falling incomes, drops in remittances, interrupted vaccination programs, school closures — these hit the poorest people in the poorest countries hardest of all.”
HUNGER & POSSIBILITY OF FAMINE:
The U.N. has already warned about alarming levels of hunger in seven countries that could tip into famine next year without assistance. They are Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen. Two weeks ago, the U.N. released $100 million from an emergency fund in a bid to prevent further deterioration. But dozens of other countries are facing extreme challenges and require increased support.
Lowcock said that for the first time since the 1990s, global levels of extreme poverty will rise, threatening to reverse decades of progress. “Unless there is support for the poorest countries, their hangover from the pandemic is going to be long and harsh, and it will bring with it chaos and anarchy,” he said. Lowcock said this is not in the interest of wealthier countries. And while $35 billion may sound like a lot of money, the world’s richest nations have pumped trillions of dollars into their economies to keep their societies afloat. “As we approach the end of a difficult year, we face a choice as a global community: Are we going to let this pandemic unravel decades of progress, or are we going to act now to do something about it?” he asked. This year, U.N. humanitarian programs have reached nearly 100 million people in 25 countries. In its 2020 humanitarian appeal, which was revised to include funding for the COVID-19 response, the U.N. asked donors for $39 billion. As of the end of November, it had received $22 billion, leaving some programs severely underfunded.
In his Nobel Peace Prize Award Acceptance speech, the CEO of the World Food Organizations alerted that With 270 million people – more than the entire population of Western Europe – “marching toward starvation”, the head of the World Food Programme (WFP) called for greater action to avert a “hunger pandemic”, in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the UN agency on Thursday. “Because of so many wars, climate change, the widespread use of hunger as a political and military weapon, and a global health pandemic that makes all of that exponentially worse —270 million people are marching toward starvation,” he said, speaking from the agency’s headquarters in Rome.
“Failure to address their needs will cause a hunger pandemic which will dwarf the impact of COVID. And if that’s not bad enough, out of that 270 million, 30 million depend on us 100 per cent for their survival.”
Lifesaving work in dangerous locations
WFP was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize back in October for its work providing lifesaving food assistance to millions worldwide, often in dangerous locations. Last year, it supported nearly 100 million people. Mr. Beasley underlined that food is “the pathway to peace.” For the agency, it is also sacred, and their work is “an act of love”, he told the online ceremony, citing both the 1964 Nobel laureate, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and The Bible. We stand at what may be the most ironic moment in modern history. On the one hand — after a century of massive strides in eliminating extreme poverty, today those 270 million of our neighbours are on the brink of starvation. That’s more than the entire population of Western Europe”, he said.
Mr. Beasley said many of his friends, as well as world leaders, often remark that he has the greatest job in the world, saving the lives of millions. However, he begged to differ: “Well, here is what I tell them: ‘I don’t go to bed at night thinking about the children we saved, I go to bed weeping over the children we could not save. And, when we don’t have enough money, nor the access we need, we have to decide which children eat and which children do not eat, which children live, which children die. How would you like that job?’,” he said, adding “Please don’t ask us to choose who lives and who dies.” “On the other hand, there is $400 trillion of wealth in our world today. Even at the height of the COVID pandemic, in just 90 days, an additional $2.7 trillion of wealth was created. And we only need $5 billion to save 30 million lives from famine.”
CONFLICTS ORGANISED CRIME, URBAN AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Today, crime kills far more people than armed conflicts. In 2017, almost half a million people across the world were killed in homicides, far surpassing the 89,000 killed in active armed conflicts and the 19,000 killed in terrorist attacks. If homicide rates keep climbing at the current rate of 4 per cent, then Sustainable Development Goals 16 – which includes a target ‘to significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere’ – will not be met by 2030.
Organised crime and gang violence vary widely across regions. Countries in the Americas have the worst homicide rates by a wide margin, accounting for 37 per cent of the global total in a region that accounts for only 13 per cent of the world’s population. Political instability engenders organised crime, including targeted attacks against police, women, journalists, and migrants. Meanwhile political violence no longer affects only low-income states. In the past 15 years, more than half of the world’s population has lived in direct contact or proximity to significant political violence.
For women and girls, the home remains the most dangerous place. Some 58 per cent of female homicides were carried out by intimate partners or family members in 2017, up from 47 per cent in 2012. Women bear the heaviest burden of lethal victimisation, often as a result of misogynistic beliefs, inequality, and dependency, which persist globally, especially in low-in-come countries.