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- Majority of the world’s poor are women, says Oxfam
- La sécheresse menace 17 millions de personnes dans la Corne de l’Afrique
- Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) an attack on food sovereignty and must be scrapped, say People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty
- Togolese to Lead the Fight against Rural Poverty
- Rich countries and corporations stealing from developing countries through trade mis-invoicing and fake invoices
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– Following the end of almost 50 years of military rule in Myanmar and the release of the Nobel Laureate leader Aung San Suu Kyi in 2011, the quasi-civilian new government brought some hope for a return to democracy as well as economic progress. Even with rich natural resources including land, forests, minerals, oil and gas, the country remained poor and could achieve a per capita income of only $1,197 in 2011. The country embraced economic openness and initiated reforms in areas such as currency exchange rates, taxation, foreign investment laws and anti-corruption. Several countries, including those which isolated the nation through economic sanctions such as the US and the European Union, saw opportunities to rebuild economic ties with Myanmar. Political leaders from the US, Europe, Japan, Australia, China, India, Thailand, Bangladesh and many other countries flew in, investors rushed and businessmen flocked into the country to explore its untapped resources. International endorsements revived the country’s confidence and growth prospects. Its GDP grew by more than 7 percent in the last couple of years.
Ingrid Gercaman, IRIN, 8 Nov 2016 It was an unusual day in Freetown, a West African city that loves to be loud. For three long minutes yesterday, it was eerily quiet. The reason was that a year ago, on 7 November, Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free. The virus had killed 3,580 people and terrorised the nation for 18 months. The three-minute silence was organised by the government to remember those who lost their lives. Continue reading
8 juin, RFI: La Guinée se frotte les mains une nouvelle fois et célèbre la fin de la résurgence de l’épidémie à virus Ebola sur son sol. Deux ans durant, cette terrible épidémie avait fait des ravages avec plus de 25 000 morts rien qu’en Guinée et plus de 11 000 dans la sous-région, essentiellement en Guinée, au Liberia et en Sierra-Léone. Continue reading
Tom Murphy, Humanosphere, 8 June 2016: Recovery is still under way in Nepal one year after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed more than 8,700 people and destroyed 750,000 homes. Yet, problems persist as rubble remains and people continue to live in temporary shelters. It is an all-too common situation after a major disaster, and aid groups working in Nepal are concerned by the lack of international support and slow action by the Nepalese government that leaves people vulnerable. Continue reading
20 April 2016: Solo Sandeng, an opposition activist in The Gambia has died in detention, following his arrest during street protests, and there are calls for an enquiry into his death. Another activist Fatoumata Jawara, who was detained with Mr Sandeng during protests on Thursday, is believed to have serious injuries. Several senior opposition leaders were arrested on Saturday after demanding answers from the authorities.There has been no comment yet from the Gambian government. Continue reading
20 January 2016: Burmese authorities should immediately drop all politically motivated charges against hundreds of detainees and unconditionally release them, Human Rights Watch said today. President Thein Sein should fulfill pledges he made over three years ago to free all of the country’s political prisoners.
Civil society groups in South Asia have strongly condemned the Indian government’s intervention in Nepal and its unofficial blockage of the border, now in its second week. The groups says: “We deplore the Indian government’s arm-twisting tactics and demand that it stop punishing the common people of Nepal and immediately withdraw the blockage”. Continue reading
ABU DHABI, Sep 28 2015 (IPS) – (WAM) – A report from the Yemeni Coalition to Monitor Human Rights Violations (YCMHRV) operating in Yemen says that human rights violations have reached unprecedented levels, with more than 3,000 people murdered by the insurgent Houthi militia and its allies in Yemen. The report Yemen, outlines the atrocities committed over the past year in Sana’a, the capital, Aden, Taiz, Lahej, Hodiedah, Addali’e, Abyan, Dhamar and Shabwa governorates. Continue reading
Bikash Sangraula, CSM, 28 Sept, 2015. A week after adopting a federal Constitution, Nepal is facing what it calls an economic blockade by India as retribution for the Constitution’s treatment of a Hindi-speaking ethnic minority along it’s border with India. Protests erupted here Monday against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom protestors say is trying to coerce a sovereign nation and unfairly aid a minority that shares its beliefs and interests. Public television officials Monday cancelled all India-based programming.
India has made no secret that it believes Nepal’s constitution should give greater powers to the ethnic Madhesi minority, who are culturally close to Indians and share linguistic and family ties. But India denies conducting a formal blockade, blaming the disruption of road transportation into Nepal on insecurity along the border.
Gas, diesel, kerosene, aviation fuel, and cooking gas are sparsely available, and the government is asking people to drive cars only on alternate days. Authorities have called for families to switch to charcoal and firewood for cooking, and for international airlines to refuel abroad.
“Indian security personnel have prevented cargo trucks from crossing the border,” Home Ministry Spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said. He added: “Among thousands of trucks stuck on the Indian side of the border are nearly 400 fuel tankers, and trucks carrying cooking gas.”
Nepal is fully dependent on India for overland trade after routes with China were closed by landslides triggered by devastating earthquakes in the spring, the worst in 80 years. India blames the supply disruption on “unrest, protests and demonstrations on the Nepalese side, by sections of their population,” and on Indian truck drivers unwilling to brave the crossing.
Ahead of the Sept. 16 vote on the new constitution, the Madhesi ethnic minority in and along Nepal’s border had protested violently for weeks, and continue to do so. Some 40 people have died.
The charter was agreed by a rare show of unity between Maoists and the main ruling parties in Nepal. Unlike the past, India played no key role in the shaping and ratification of the document, which was approved by a vote of 507 to 25.
The Madhesi minority is using the blockade to ratchet up its demands for a bigger state. The constitution guarantees a seven-state federal structure, ending Nepal’s unitary structure. One of the states has been carved out specifically for the Madhesis.
Most Nepali analysts argue that India is supporting the group’s demands. “This is a blockade done through official connivance of the Indian government,” says Kanak Mani Dixit, publisher of Himal Southasian. “Indian customs officials, Indian border police, and Indian Oil Corp., the monopoly supplier to Nepal, have all worked together to block the border citing orders from New Delhi.”
On Sept. 18, two days before the vote on the constitution, India’s foreign secretary visited Kathmandu to lobby for the Madhesis. Since then, India hasn’t welcomed the new charter, only saying Sept. 20 that, “We note the promulgation in Nepal today of a Constitution.”
Mr. Dixit says that India is more resentful of the process rather than the content of Nepal’s new constitution. He says India feels it should be consulted about change in the region and that it may want clear access to natural resources in Nepal. “Indian bureaucrats and intelligence officials, on whose hands Nepal policy is by and large left by New Delhi, feel irritated” by Nepal’s self-driven adoption of its own charter, he adds.
Efforts are underway to reopen the Nepal-China trading routes. However, the mountain passes are narrow and few in number; imports are limited mostly to garments and electronics. Nepal’s government has called for dialogue with the protesting Madhesis and proposed that parliament can pass constitutional amendments next month.
24 September 2015: LDC Watch, the umbrella group for civil society organisations from Least Developed Countries has insisted that the Sustainable Development Goals will not succeed unless there are additional measures to help LDCs. These include an increase in ODI to LDCs, debt cancellation, technology transfer without intellectual property rights, measures to protect against the plunder of LDCs’ natural resources, common but differentied responsibilities and immediate finance to mitigate the effects of climate change. Continue reading