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The Action Thread Part Two

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Thank you so much to our incredible runners.
You worked hard, you prepared, you arrived and you conquered this year's London Marathon! 
You were amazing. We couldn't do what we do without you. Thank you for running to create change!

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La imagen puede contener: 10 personas, personas sonriendo, personas de pie, pantalones cortos, exterior y naturaleza

La imagen puede contener: 6 personas, personas sonriendo, personas de pie, exterior y naturaleza

La imagen puede contener: 5 personas, personas sonriendo, personas de pie y exterior

 

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Meet the best female cacao farmer in Ivory Coast
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AGRICULTURE

Meet the best female cacao farmer in Ivory Coast

April 29 2019 | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

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All photography credited to Sam Vox. Original story provided by Cargill.

As a young girl, Christine Amea Manzan would follow her father into his cacao field every day. After losing her mother, it was up to her father to raise her. She grew up in a rural area of Abengourou, Côte d’Ivoire, always wanting to stay alongside her father and his crops.

Christine-Amea-Manzan-Cocoa-Farmer-Cote-

When she turned six, her father sent her away to school. Years later, as a teenager, she was again sent away – this time to learn sewing, a “proper skill” for a woman to have. The whole time, the memory of her father and the cacao plants never left her mind.

“I stayed there for two years,” she says, “then I came back to my father.”

She marched into her village, found her father in the fields, and insisted that she become a farmer alongside him.

“I told him I was suffering. My mother was not there, and the day that he was no longer alive, no one else would take care of me.”

Land rights help equality flourish

For Christine, like many women, access to land isn’t just about having a job. It’s about having a secure future.

Christine-Amea-Manzan-Cocoa-Farmer-Cote-

In sub-Saharan Africa, women make up almost half of all agricultural labor, but they only make up 15% of land owners. Secured land rights can boost a woman’s economic security and give her more control at home. On top of that, women with secure land rights earn more in their lifetimes.

Women aren’t the only ones to benefit from earning more. Investing in gender equality, including equal access to land rights, improves everyone’s lives. When women are economically empowered, their entire communities are better able to combat poverty. This means that gender equality can increase economic growth, which helps break the cycle of poverty for future generations.

Growing her community

Christine’s story shows the immense power of land rights. It’s been over three decades since she told her father that she wanted to be a farmer. On that day, he gave her a plot of land, and said she could become a farmer if she could successfully tend the small plot.

Christine-Amea-Manzan-Cocoa-Farmer-Cote-
Growing crops in that plot was the first of many successes. Now, at 64 years old, she’s recognized as the highest-producing female cacao farmer in the country. She’s currently working to increase cacao production for a local cooperative, which Cargill supports.

She’s also on a mission to help women in her community follow the same path she did. The education she received from her father helped her carve her own path, and now she’s sharing those lessons.

“My first objective today is to tell other women that they can live off cacao, to tell other women that they can benefit, and encourage women to produce cacao.”

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YOUTH AMBASSADORS

Our 2019 Youth Ambassadors are fired up and ready to go

15 April 2019 1:51PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

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Every spring we look forward to something exciting: meeting our brand new cohort of ONE Youth Ambassadors! 2019 marks the 7th year we’ve run our YA programme and we’re thrilled to have 300+ enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers working with us to keep fighting extreme poverty this year.

To kick the year off, our volunteers gathered in Paris, Dublin, Rome, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels and London and hit the ground running. They’re already hearing back from their country leaders, speaking with their local media outlets, attending events and meeting with their representatives to fight for foreign aid and equality everywhere.

Keep reading below to find out what the incredible #ONEYouth19 have already accomplished!

D21U4YaX0AAeXlF.jpgITALY

40 Italian YAs met in Rome to join ONE in doing all we can to raise awareness about the injustice of extreme poverty. After a full day of training and team building activities, this fantastic group went out to meet Italian policy makers under the Italian sun and the beauty of the city — yes, the Colosseum still never ceases to amaze us! They had the chance to have a fruitful discussion with the Prime Minister’s diplomatic advisor and G7 Sherpa, Piero Benassi, delivered 300+ postcards on the Multiannual Financial Framework campaign and talked about all they want the government to achieve in 2019. And guess what? The Prime Minister himself responded to our YAs with a very inspiring letter. This will push our YAs to pursue their fight against extreme poverty with even stronger determination, knowing that the Italian government is listening!

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GERMANY

Team Germany welcomed our YAs for three exciting days in Berlin. To start, our 50 change-makers had the honour to receive the State Secretary of the Finance Ministry, Bettina Hagedorn. The following day, we met with the Foreign Minister, Heiko Mass, and discussed the global fight against extreme poverty. All in all, these were three days full of motivation, learning, sharing and mutual support in the fight against poverty. Our YA Nina summarised our mission best: “Convince political leaders: Africa’s challenges are Europe’s challenges.”

IMG_4992-a.jpgBELGIUM

This year we welcomed 57 YAs — representing more than 24 different nationalities — to Brussels for an exciting and engaging launch! We also kicked off our ONE Vote 2019 campaign with stimulating discussions with MEPs Judith Sargentini, Arne Lietz and Linda McAvan on the importance of development aid, the EU’s commitments and future priorities. They also gave our YAs insider tips on how to successfully advocate politicians. Finally, the YAs were successful in their aim to have the MEPs sign our ONE Vote pledge, starting the campaign off on the right foot!

Group-01.jpgFRANCE

Team France welcomed 50 new YAs to Paris and got to meet an amazing, diverse group of people that are determined to make their voices heard. This year, our YAs are high-schoolers, college students, professors and computer scientists, to name a few. Plus they hail from Europe, Africa, and South America! At the launch, they learned all about the upcoming EU elections and our ONE Vote campaign, as well as the G7 Summit and Global Fund replenishment, both happening in France this year. Fully prepared and ready to rock, they had their first advocacy meeting with a MEP candidate from the Green Party who even gave them the opportunity to go to their headquarters where they could gather 10 signatures in total! The YAs in France also met with their 2019 godmother, Deborah François, a Belgian actress who signed our open letter in 2018 and 2019. They had a very open discussion around gender equality issues and how she could support them throughout the year.

NL-LAUNCH-IMG_1688.jpgNETHERLANDS

Our new Dutch YAs kicked off the year by getting the first ONE Vote pledge signer: MEP Kati Piri! They also hit the streets to collect signatures for our Open Letter to World Leaders, and enthusiastically brainstormed about other actions that they will take this year. There were many training sessions and fun team-building exercises which made the launch a wonderful start to the year!

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UNITED KINGDOM

More than 50 Youth Ambassadors from across the UK joined us in London to launch our programme. Day 1 included campaigns training and a ‘how-to’ session from Francis Dearnley that gave our YAs the inside track on how to hold a successful meeting with your MP. The day ended with a meeting with MPs across varying political parties: Bim Afolami, the new DFID PPS, Dame Eleanor Laing, Deputy Speaker of the House, Dr. Paul Williams, a medic who previously worked in Uganda, and Mhairi Black, the youngest person to be elected to UK Parliament. On day 2, our YAs tried out their campaigning skills by gathering petition signatures for our Global Fund petition on the streets of London before rounding off the day with media and Twitter sessions.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
 

Amazing 2 days with @ONEinIreland, training & meeting other youth ambassadors. Met some great people. Looking forward to the rest of the year! #ONEyouth19

 
 
 
 

 

IRELAND

Our launch in Ireland — with just over 30 Youth Ambassadors — kicked off with an intense day of campaigns training! On the second day, our YAs were treated to a host of fantastic guest speakers. Craig Dwyer, a social media specialist, spoke about his work on the Yes Equality campaign and Laura Harmon from the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) shared her brilliant insights into how we can all help achieve gender equality. Senator Neale Richmond gave an enlightening look at how YAs can influence EU politics in the upcoming elections. Finally, Minister Katherine Zappone accepted a card filled with messages from ONE members showing their support for Ireland’s early (and 50% increased!) pledge to the Global Fund.

You don’t have to be a Youth Ambassador to get involved! Become a ONE Member by signing up here.

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GIRLS & WOMEN

Sri Lanka Bans Face Coverings After Easter Bombings

Human rights groups worry the move will fuel tension and ostracize the Muslim community.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies is key to sustainable development. To fight extreme poverty, we must protect marginalized groups like Muslims in Sri Lanka. You can join us and take action on this issue here

The Sri Lankan government has banned face coverings in response to the Easter Sunday suicide bombings at three churches and three hotels that killed over 250 people.

President Maithripala Sirisena announced the emergency law, which is effective immediately, on Monday, according to the BBC.

The law is intended to help authorities identify the attackers responsible for the Easter bombings, according to Reuters. However, some see the regulation as a direct attack on Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority, which makes up nearly 10% of the population in the Buddhist-majority country.

The radical Islamic group, the Islamic State, has claimed responsibility for the bombing, which targeted churches, hotels, and other sites in an apparent attack on Christians celebrating the religious holiday Easter. Officials have warned that the group behind the April 21 suicide bombings was planning more attacks. 

Authorities have arrested 150 people in association with the attacks, but are still looking for around 140 other followers of the Islamic State, according to the BBC.

“This was a devastating attack and huge blow for Sri Lanka that is only just recovering from decades of violence,” South Asia Director at the organization Human Rights Watch, Meenakshi Ganguly told Global Citizen via email. 

Take Action: What Do You Know About Global Citizen’s Mission?

 
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Sri Lanka’s Muslim community fears a prolonged ban on face coverings could fuel religious tensions that emerged during the armed conflict between the government and the country’s Tamil separatist group, from 1983 to 2009. The conflict initially started over ethnic tension between the country's Sinhalese, the mostly Buddhist group, originally from northern India, who make up the majority of Sri Lanka’s population, and the Tamils, who are mostly Christian and Hindu.

“While the government should take immediate steps to identify and arrest the perpetrators, assist the victims, and prevent further attacks, what it should not do is adopt policies that violate human rights or drive rifts between communities,” Ganguly said. 

Although the government didn’t explicitly ban burqas and niqabs –– garments some Muslim women wear, which cover their faces –– Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe issued a statement saying that he requested regulations to ban the burqa. 

Read More: 3 Ways You Can Help the Victims of the Sri Lanka Bombings

According to Reuters, Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, expressed concern that Muslim women in Sri Lanka who choose to cover up in the observance of their religion, will not be able to leave home if they can’t wear their face veils. This could stop them from going to school, working, and participating in society indefinitely. 

“Knee-jerk responses like this will be seen by many Muslims to be collective punishment for the contemptible actions of a violent group,” Ganguly continued. 

People also took to social media to question Sri Lanka’s new law, and how it infringes on women’s rights. 

 

So sad to hear Sri Lanka has banned face covering, this is a step that directly targets women’s rights to religious expression! How many of the terrorists were wearing veils compared with those carrying rucksacks ? No one is calling for a rucksack ban! pic.twitter.com/EBpKxDlBtj

 
 
 
 
 

Again, Sri Lanka also has taken an inconsiderate, unacceptable, and unethical step as they ban the use of face veils in the country. This is unjustifiable as its violation of women's right to practice their #religion.

 
 
 
 

Sri Lanka isn’t the first to mandate a controversial ban on face coverings. In 2018, France became the first country in Western Europe to officially forbid burqas in public citing security concerns.

A week after the Easter bombings, Sunday church services were canceled across Sri Lanka as a precaution. The country also blocked social media platforms following the attack to prevent violence by stopping the spread of hatred and misinformation stoking religious tensions. 

Human rights groups hope the Sri Lankan government will consider other alternatives to ensure safety. 

“The political leadership should show its commitment to provide security in a rights-respecting manner,” Ganguly urged.

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FEB. 11, 2019

 

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ENVIRONMENT

Sea Turtle Populations Soared by 980% After Legal Protections: Report

"We should celebrate the act's track record of reducing harms."

Why Global Citizens Should Care
The Endangered Species Act has a strong track record of protecting endangered animals, a core tenet of both Global Goal 14 and 15. As marine habitats around the world deteriorate due to climate change and other factors, the ESA can help to reverse the decline of various species. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

When animal habitats are protected, animals tend to thrive.

That’s the simple yet groundbreaking conclusion of a new report analyzing the effect of the United States’ Endangered Species Act (ESA) on marine animals, published in the academic journal PLOS One.

A team of researchers looked at 31 marine populations and found that the populations of 78% of marine mammals and 75% of sea turtles rebounded after receiving protections under the law.

The median sea turtle population increased by 980% following the regulations established by the ESA, and the median increase for mammals was 115%.

Take Action: Protect our Oceans! Prevent Ocean Plastic Pollution

 
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The authors of the report think that this promising data could help to protect the ESA at a time when the Trump administration is looking to roll back animal protections.

"The Endangered Species Act not only saved whales, sea turtles, sea otters, and manatees from extinction, it dramatically increased their population numbers, putting them solidly on the road to full recovery," Shaye Wolf, a Center for Biological Diversity scientist and coauthor of the study, said in a press release. "We should celebrate the act's track record of reducing harms from water pollution, overfishing, beach habitat destruction, and killing.”

The ESA was passed in 1973 and created a mechanism for protecting animals that were in danger of going extinct. When an animal receives protection under this act, its habitat is shielded from most human activities and rehabilitation measures are often taken. For example, if a turtle receives protection, then fishing, tourism, waste disposal, and other activities could be prohibited from a certain area, and conservationists may work to restore the turtles’ sources of food.

Read More: 5 Marine Animals Will Go Extinct If We Don't Act Now

The report published in PLOS One shows how the act has played a role in saving numerous animals from the brink of extinction.

Hawaiian humpback whales, for example, went from a population of 800 in 1979 to 10,000 in 2015. The species recovered so substantially that it was removed from the ESA in 2016.

humpback-whale-NOAA.jpgNOAA

“The humpback whales migrating along the West Coast are a success story everyone can appreciate,” said Abel Valdivia, a coauthor of the study and scientist with the conservation group Rare, in the press release. “We can clearly save endangered species if we make the effort, provide the needed funds and have strong laws like the Endangered Species Act to guide the work.”

Reported nests of the North Atlantic green sea turtle along Florida’s coastline had plunged to 464 by 1989. After the animal received protection through the ESA, nests jumped to 39,000 in 2016.

green-sea-turtle-msullivan-NOAA_permit1013707.jpgImage: Mark Sullivan for NOAA

Read More: 5 Coral Reefs That Are Dying Around the World

The plight of marine creatures has come into alarming focus in recent years.

As climate change intensifies, the world’s oceans are absorbing the bulk of the excess heat produced by greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, causing water temperatures to rise to levels that cook species, including coral, alive.

Warming waters are also rearranging the distribution of sea animals in often disastrous ways. For example, a massive blob of warm water traveled to the coast of California, bringing sea urchins that ravaged ancient kelp foreststhat formed the backbone of local ecosystems.

Read More: Every Marine Animal Studied in This Report Contained Microplastics

The oceans are also absorbing excess carbon in the atmosphere, which alters the water’s pH level, making it more acidic. As a result, coral reefs are dying en masse around the world and cretaceous creatures are losing their shells.

Furthermore, the oceans have become filled with plastic particles that cause immense harm to the marine animals, and industrial waste that creates dead zones.

To make matters worse, overfishing threatens to destroy various fish species, and companies are shooting seismic guns that sound like bombs exploding into the oceans to search for oil fields, disrupting the web of sound that many marine animals rely upon to survive.

The ESA has been able to reverse the decline of many marine creatures and it could be used to slow down some of the hazards facing the world’s oceans.

“Humans often destroy marine ecosystems,” Wolf said, “but our study shows that with strong laws and careful stewardship, we can also restore them, causing wildlife numbers to surge.”

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CULTURE

Gayle Smith on fighting the good fight with Phoebe Robinson

30 April 2019 1:57PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

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If it seems like everyone you know is obsessed with podcasts, it’s probably because, well, they are. In 2018, Variety reported that Apple podcasts had more than 500,000 active podcast series available for download from their vast library!

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Gayle Smith (left), Phoebe Robinson (centre) and Javier Muñoz (right) in New York City.

That’s why we’re particularly excited to be diving into the world of podcasting this week. Our CEO, Gayle Smith, is this week’s special guest on this special (RED) and ONE episode of Phoebe Robinson’s hit podcast Sooo Many White Guys, alongside actor, activist & (RED) Ambassador, Javier Muñoz!

On this episode, Phoebe, Javier Muñoz, and Gayle Smith Fight the Good Fight!, Gayle shares how she got to where she is today, how she became involved in HIV/AIDS work and how she’s getting s**t done. Phoebe and Javier, both (RED)ambassadors, also talk about their work in combatting HIV/AIDS.

Looking for more podcast recommendations? Check out our top-picks right here!

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MEDIO AMBIENTE

El cambio climático está teniendo un gran efecto de depresión en la economía global

Se sienten de manera desigual.

 

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
Los efectos del cambio climático se están sintiendo de manera desigual en todo el mundo, y los países menos responsables de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero a menudo enfrentan las consecuencias más brutales. Las Naciones Unidas urgen a los países a cumplir el acuerdo climático de París para evitar mayores daños ambientales. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre temas relacionados aquí.

La brecha entre los países más ricos y los más pobres ha ido disminuyendo de manera constante durante las últimas décadas, pero esa brecha se habría cerrado en un 25% adicional si el cambio climático no hubiera creado una resistencia económica masiva, según un nuevo estudio publicado en la ciencia Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

 

Los estudios anteriores sobre las consecuencias económicas del cambio climático se han centrado en los efectos previstos años después, o han calculado los costos asociados con los fenómenos meteorológicos extremos. Pero este estudio analiza cómo los aumentos de temperatura ya han reducido la producción económica.

 

Y la mayor parte de este efecto lo sienten los países más pobres del mundo.

 

"Muchos de los países que se ven más afectados también tienen un PBI per cápita bajo, y han contribuido relativamente poco a las emisiones históricas de gases de efecto invernadero", le dijo Noah Diffenbaugh a Global Citizen, el autor principal del estudio y científico del clima en la Universidad de Stanford.

 

"Hay una asimetría entre los países que emitieron la mayor fracción de las emisiones históricas de gases de efecto invernadero y los países más vulnerables al cambio climático", agregó.

 
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Los investigadores analizaron los datos económicos agregados entre 1961 y 2010 y los compararon con los cambios de temperatura durante este período. Encontraron que los aumentos de temperatura asociados con el calentamiento global causaron marcadas disminuciones en la actividad económica.

 

Estos efectos han sido más pronunciados en los países alrededor del Ecuador, donde el cambio climático ha causado olas de calor letales, ha desatado tormentas intensas y ha hecho que las sequías extremas se vuelvan más probables.

 

El Producto Interno Bruto (PBI) de la India sería un 30% adicional más alto, por ejemplo, si las temperaturas no aumentaran debido a la acumulación de emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero en la atmósfera, según indica el informe. Ese tipo de resistencia es equivalente a la Gran Depresión en Estados Unidos, señalan los autores.

 

Si bien la India ha logrado grandes avances en la reducción de la pobreza, más de 70 millones de personas viven con menos de $1.90 por día, casi la mitad de la población practica la defecación al aire libre y 240 millones de personas no tienen acceso a la electricidad.

 

Sin los efectos del cambio climático, el país habría probablemente progresado más en la reducción de estas inequidades, sugiere el nuevo estudio.

 

Diffenbaugh dijo que el aumento de las temperaturas reduce la producción económica de varias maneras.

 

A medida que aumenta la temperatura, los trabajadores se vuelven menos productivos, disminuye su funcionamiento cognitivo, aumentan los conflictos interpersonales y disminuyen los rendimientos de los cultivos básicos.

 

En los últimos años, las devastadoras olas de calor casi han detenido las actividades económicas al aire libre en países tan diversos como Pakistán o Japón.

 

 

Diffenbaugh dijo que hay múltiples beneficios en la transición a las energías renovables para las economías pobres y ricas.

 

Primero, reemplazar los combustibles fósiles por energía renovable hace que se liberen menos emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero a la atmósfera, lo que a su vez reduce los costos asociados con el cambio climático de desastres naturales, olas de calor, etc.

 

Segundo, millones de personas aún carecen de acceso a la electricidad en todo el mundo. La energía renovable es una forma barata y efectiva de conectarlos a la economía global, que puede aumentar considerablemente el PBI per cápita.

 

"La desigualdad económica es un desafío persistente a nivel mundial y ha habido un progreso sustancial en las últimas décadas en términos de sacar a la gente de la pobreza extrema y reducir la brecha económica entre los países más ricos y más pobres del mundo", dijo Diffenbaugh. "Pero todavía hay una población muy grande que sigue careciendo de electricidad, sigue careciendo de agua potable, sigue dependiendo de la biomasa para cocinar, lo que tiene enormes impactos en la salud, por lo que, a pesar del progreso, la desigualdad económica mundial es un gran desafío".

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APRIL 30, 2019

 

3
 
ENVIRONMENT

Indonesia Could Be the First Country to Move Its Capital Because of Climate Change

The government plans to spend $33 billion on the move.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Megacities around the world are being forced to contend with rising sea levels, extreme storms, and sinking infrastructure. By 2100, billions of people could be displaced by climate change unless governments meaningfully address the environmental crisis. You can join us by taking action on this issue here.

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo said on Tuesday that the government is preparing to spend $33 billion to move its capital city because rising levels threaten to submerge Jakarta, the Financial Times reports.

It would be the first time that a country moved its capital because of climate change.

The city, home to 10 million people, has been sinking into the the ocean twice as fast as the global average of coastal megacities, according to the BBC. By 2050, 95% of North Jakarta is expected to be underwater.

Take Action: Ensure All Communities Can Withstand Climate Disaster

 
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Already, the city is facing increasingly severe flooding and coastal erosion. The advance of sea levels is compounded by the city’s overdevelopment and mismanagement of groundwater supplies. As the city depletes groundwater supplies, roads and infrastructure are sinking into the ground in a phenomenon known as subsidence, BBC reports.

Instead of improving the city’s resilience to climate change, developers throughout Jakarta are building new properties in areas highly vulnerable to sea level rise and extreme storms.

The city is also dangerously overcrowded, with traffic jams costing the national economy $6.8 billion annually, NPR notes.

All of these factors have spurred the government to look for an alternative home base.

Read More: How a Tiny Alaska Town Is Leading the Way on Climate Change

Joko Widodo, popularly known throughout the country as Jokowi, told pressthat three cities are in the running for the relocation, but before the plan can be approved, major preparations have to be made, including building appropriate infrastructure and raising the funds to enable the transition.

Jokowi also said that the move has been discussed for years now, indicating that government officials have long known that rising sea levels would make Jakarta unsuitable as a capital city.

Indonesia is ranked by HSBC as the 30th most vulnerable country to climate change, but the report also said that it has the ability to effectively adapt by investing in sustainable infrastructure and reforestation.

Residents in Jakarta worry that the relocation will merely shift the environmental degradation of the capital elsewhere.

 

As the Indonesian capital of Jakarta sinks fast into a swamp and major traffic jams become an issue in the city, president Joko Widodo has been planning to use $33bn to reallocate the capital of the country. https://on.ft.com/2GKmgcL 

 
 
 
 

Read More: Venice Faces Its Worst Floods in 10 Years — and Climate Change Could Cause More

"I hope the city will develop and the education will become as good as in Jakarta," a high school student told the BBC. "But all the land and forest that's empty space now will be used. Kalimantan [the Indonesian portion of Borneo] is the lungs of the world, and I am worried we will lose the forest we have left."

Jakarta’s relocation is a stark reminder of the urgency of climate change. For decades, governments have failed to meaningfully address the environmental crisis caused by greenhouse gas emissions pumped into the atmosphere.

Now the consequences of that inaction are being felt around the world — and by the end of the century, more than 2 billion people could be displaced by rising sea levels.  

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At the New Tafo Government Hospital in Ghana’s Eastern Region, community health nurse Gladys Dede Tetteh has run out of yellow fever vaccines. There is a long line of anxious mothers fanning themselves and their babies as they wait on benches.

An order has been placed for more vaccines which would usually take two hours on a good day (sometimes more) for it to be delivered by road from the central medical stores.

But 21 minutes later, a drone did the job—dropping off a parachuted box containing vaccines from a height of about 80 meters to a small lawn quadrangle inside the hospital as a group of journalists watch on. The drone doesn’t stop as it makes a delivery and returns to base. A junior nurse picked the box up and the vaccination for newborns is back on. Tafo hospital is the first in Ghana signed up to the government’s new medical drone delivery program which hopes to use unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver medical products to hard to reach communities in a timely manner.

Child-at-New-Tafu-Hospotal-Being-Given-Y
ZIPLINE
A child at New Tafo Hospital being given a yellow fever vaccine shot after a drone delivery

The Ghana Health Service is working with Zipline, the drone company best known for starting blood delivery services in Rwanda. Ghana’s health policymakers hope faster drop-offs will improve its health outcomes including reducing its maternal and infant mortality rates. According to the World Health Organization, “severe bleeding during delivery or after childbirth is the commonest cause of maternal mortality and contributes to around 34% of maternal deaths in Africa.” The timely access to safe blood could save many lives.

The medical drone program was officially launched on Wednesday Apr. 24 by Ghana’s vice president Mahamudu Bawumia, who first made the announcement a year ago. The launch at Zipline’s Omenako center in Ghana (70 kilometers north of the capital, Accra) is the first of four centers it hopes to complete by the end of 2019.

The drones will be able to travel to 500 health facilities within an 80-kilometer-range from the Omenako center which is stocked with emergency medicines, vaccines, blood and blood products. The delivery program is also hoped will help reduce the incidence of wastage of medical products, a result of overstocking at hospitals.

The company is targeting the “last mile delivery” challenge which many logistics operators face in African cities and rural area where road networks are either underdeveloped or poorly maintained. Zipline is describing the Ghana operation as the world’s largest drone delivery service.

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ZIPLINE
A map of Ghana showing Zipline’s four operation centers

Ghana will become the base for training future Zipline flight operators as it hopes to expand to more countries in the coming years. There have been expressions of interest in a similar service from officials in Senegal and some states in Nigeria.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Zipline, a for-profit company, was founded in 2014 and started operations in Rwanda in 2016 delivering blood and blood products during emergencies. It began delivering more health products including routine vaccines this year.

Zipline claims it would be able to cover 2,000 health facilities that serve 12 million Ghanaians (of a population of just under 30 million)—from small community clinics and vaccination centers to larger general hospitals like Tafo – when all its four local centers become operational.

The company has been contracted by the government of Ghana to make 600 deliveries a day (150 deliveries from each center) for four years and they will be paid per successful delivery. It would cost Ghana $12.5 million during the period.

Critics have argued the government should have rather spent the money on more important and simpler things the health sector really needs such as the critical shortage of hospital beds, gloves, consistent supply of water and the improvement of hospital buildings.

And yet the challenge for Ghana and indeed many other African governments is the cost and potential speed of using drone delivery to supplement or aid health services is significantly more effective in the short to medium term when compared with the required scale of investment and time for both logistics and healthcare infrastructure.

This is why for nurses like Gladys Tetteh, the use of drones are very much a case of what’s not to like?  “It makes us work faster and the mothers will not stay too long here trying to vaccinate their children.”

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HEALTH

These health workers are fighting TB one community at a time

19 March 2019 4:23PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

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Tell world leaders to step up the fight against preventable diseases

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Tuberculosis (TB) is the number one infectious killer in the world, but around 36% of people with TB still go undiagnosed every year. To help step up the fight against TB, countries — like Ethiopia — are adopting community health worker programs.

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At Mekelle Health Sciences College in Ethiopia, a class for health extension workers strengthens their skills as providers of services in their villages.

Ethiopia’s National Health Extension Program was founded in 2004 with funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. At the time, there was a critical shortage of health services, with a ratio of one health worker per 40,000 citizens. The extension program was introduced to help bridge the gap between rural communities and health care by training health extension workers (HEWs) to provide services at a community level.

By 2016, 38,000 HEWs — the majority of whom are women — were providing health services to 15,000 villages across Ethiopia.

Health Workers in Action

Every day, HEWs — trained for a full year in basic health delivery — trek through Ethiopian communities, knocking on doors to speak with local residents and check on their health. They are trained to conduct basic health tests for preventable diseases like TB, maintain family health records, provide treatment for diseases and encourage communities to use contraceptives and get vaccinated.

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Health extension worker Workalem talks to villagers during one her frequent visits to this rural community.

Workalem Haile, a HEW in Southern Ethiopia’s Chama Hembecho village, manages the local health centre which provides care to over 2,200 families. She tests patients for disease and provides long-term care and support as her patients go through treatment.

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Workalem visits a husband and wife who are both HIV-positive and explains proper use of antiretroviral treatment.

Abinet was one of Workalem’s patients. “At the beginning, I thought it was just a common cold but I had a very serious cough. I couldn’t sleep late at night,” he said. His condition did not improve with traditional medicines, so, with help, he made his way to the local clinic where he was tested for TB. After Abinet’s results came back positive and he was prescribed the proper medication, Workalem visited him regularly over the next 6 months to support him with his treatment. Abinet says, “My health has improved because of Workalem’s help. I would like to thank her very much.”

The Impact

By 2016, over 95% of Ethiopia’s population had access to primary health care resources within 10 kilometres. Now, communities are better educated about how to limit the spread of communicable and preventable diseases, like TB, and have better access to treatment. Plus, health issues are addressed earlier and communities have better access to effective long-term care. Life expectancy in Ethiopia has increased to 64 years, jumping by 10 years since the program’s launch in 2004.

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Sister Eden, another Ethiopian HEW, regularly visits 50-year-old tuberculosis patient Desta in her home to oversee the final months of her TB care.

Excitingly, the introduction of the program didn’t just improve people’s health. The HEW program shifted gender roles and cultural norms in Ethiopia by creating a wealth of new opportunities for women to enter the workforce. “In a country where unemployment is still high, finding fulfilling work can be life changing. The health extension worker program has transformed the lives of thousands of workers who have become breadwinners for their families,” said Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu, Ethiopia’s former minister of health.

The Global Fund

To make sure the Global Fund can continue its critical work, like funding Ethiopia’s National Health Extension Program, it will be hosting its sixth replenishment conference in October. They’re asking world leaders and private investors to come together and help save 16 million lives over the next 3 years by investing a minimum of US$14 billion.

This is the bold ambition the world needs to get us on track to stop the spread of diseases like tuberculosis — and it’s why we’re calling on world leaders to #StepUpTheFight by fully financing the Global Fund.

Add your name now to tell world leaders they must back this bold initiative this year.

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30/04/2019

Music Generation Laois to present an exciting line-up at the 3rd annual ‘Music at the Malt House’

Music Generation Laois to present an exciting line-up at the 3rd annual ‘Music at the Malt House’

Music Generation Laois will host its third weekend concert series in the magnificent surrounds of the restored Malt House, on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th May 2019. The series brings together a stellar line-up of international, award-winning musicians and performers to play alongside Music Generation Laois’ own young musicians.

Highlights on Friday include two of Ireland’s foremost harp players Michael Rooney and Zoë Conway and acclaimed composer John McIntyre, who will play alongside the Music Generation Laois Senior Harp Ensemble and the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra and Senior Trad Group.

Headline acts on Saturday include Chris Stout (fiddle) and Catriona McKay (harp) who won the ‘best duo’ award at the 2018 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and are long-term collaborators and mentors of the Music Generation Laois young musicians. The Music Generation Laois Junior Trad Group with Ernestine Healy, the Senior Harp Ensemble and the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra will all be performing on the night. 

Saturday also sees the Irish premiere of Body Percussion accompanied by the full Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra, as well as the launch of Stradbally’s Tommy Fitzharris and Donal McCague’s new album ‘The Bank of Turf.’

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Ahead of the weekend’s concert series, Music Generation Laois Coordinator Rosa Flannery said: ‘In its third year, we are really excited and grateful to be back in this exquisite venue - thanks to Glen Bradshaw who allows us to take over his beautiful Malt House each year for this event. Support in the community like this has enabled Music Generation Laois to reach over 3,000 young people, who otherwise may not have access to instruments or music lessons. The Music at The Malt House is a small taster of what we do, as well as a superb evening’s entertainment for all the family.’ 

Tickets are €5 and can be booked by phone on 0578663355 or online at www.dunamaise.ie

This lyrical series kicks off Music Generation Laois’ packed summer programme of events and festivals for 2019. For more information see musicgenerationlaois.ie

For further information contact:

Liz Coffey
T: 0876846557
E: Elizamcoffey@gmail.com 

or                          

Clodagh Hannon
T: 0868521222                                                   
E: Thetramyard@gmail.com

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🎡 Here We Are London! 🎡 
We are the official charity of the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon! 🙌 
This is the opportunity to transform attitudes towards #LearningDisability. 
Learn the Makaton signs like Tom and Rosie, film yourself and help spread the word! 💬
Visit: https://bit.ly/2GyBQbc 👈 #HereIam #TeamMencap

Thank you to the Makaton Charity for their support and time. ❤️

 

 

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A touching post by Roscommon Rose 2018 - Eimear Reynolds who is with our Humanitarian Aid volunteer team in Belarus. 2764.png❤️

"Today is officially my last day as your Roscommon Rose of Tralee 2018.

Today, in Belarus, I visited a ‘Home of Hope’ - a home where a couple within a community foster 10 children to give them a normal home life outside of the orphanage. These children and families have nothing but the absolute basics to get them through their days yet the love, care, and happiness within these homes is infectious.

When I was fortunate enough to become part of the Rose of Tralee family last year, many people said it will open many doors of opportunity for you. This is very true. I have had the most amazing opportunities and met the most incredible people along the way but becoming part of the Chernobyl Children International family has been the biggest and most life changing highlight and I feel privileged to finish my year as the Roscommon Rose in Belarus with these amazing children and families. I know this is the beginning of a much bigger adventure for me. ❤️
Eimear
Roscommon Rose 2018🌹🌹"

 

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HEALTH

A landmark malaria vaccine has been rolled out in Malawi

26 April 2019 5:57PM UTC | By: KATIE RYAN

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Sign now: we demand more action in the fight against AIDS

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Lusitana, a 5-month-old baby from Malawi, has become the first person in the world to receive the new malaria vaccine as part of her routine immunisations!

Malaria is a tropical disease transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria, so a simple mosquito bite can have deadly consequences for millions of people around the world.

vaccine_body.jpgThirty years in the making, this malaria vaccine prevents 4 in 10 malaria cases and can be given to children up to 2 years of age. The start of the vaccination program in Malawi is a major step forward in improving child health and saving lives from a disease that currently kills a child every 2 minutes. The vaccine will be rolled out in Ghana and Kenya in the coming weeks.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, explains, “Malaria is a constant threat in the African communities where this vaccine will be given. The poorest children suffer the most and are at highest risk of death. We know the power of vaccines to prevent killer diseases and reach children, including those who may not have immediate access to the doctors, nurses and health facilities they need to save them when severe illness comes.”

Malaria is still a crisis

While this is a major milestone in the fight against malaria, there is still a long way to go to eliminate malaria for good.

Global malaria death rates have dropped 60% since 2000, but today malaria is back on the rise. The 10 highest burden African countries saw 3.5 million more malaria cases in 2017 than the year before. In total, there were over 200 million cases of malaria last year and the preventable disease killed almost half a million people. Children under the age of 5 accounted for two-thirds of all malaria deaths.

Control measures such as insecticide sprays, insecticide-treated bed nets and antimalarial drugs have successfully reduced malaria cases and deaths. But resistance to medicines and insecticide and drug resistance is a growing threat as these interventions continue to be scaled up.

That’s why this pilot program is so exciting and should be seen as a model for public-private partnership for health. It was born through a collaborative effort amongst the World Health Organization, the countries’ health ministries, the vaccine developer, and other partners. It was financed through a remarkable level of collaboration and coordination amongst Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Unitaid.

How you can help

The Global Fund provides nearly 60% of all international financing for malaria, and has invested in malaria control programs in more than 100 countries.

In October, the Global Fund will host their Sixth Replenishment. They’re asking world leaders and private investors to come together and help save 16 million livesbetween 2021 and 2023 by meeting their replenishment goal of US$14 billion. This investment is the bold ambition the world needs to get us on track to stop the spread of these diseases.

To continue funding lifesaving programs like this one, we need world leaders to #StepUpTheFight by fully financing the Global Fund.

Add your name now to tell world leaders they must back this bold initiative this year.

Sign now: we demand more action in the fight against AIDS

Dear government and business leaders,
We're urging you to show ambition in ending AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. This is a fight we can win – but only if we all do our part. I’m in, are you? Please fully finance the Global Fund to help save another 16 million lives and bring us closer to eliminating these diseases for good.

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