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Wonder: For Wonder Lights Up Your Soul

 

  VII London Poetry Festival 2019: October 14-15

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The World Leaders Won’t Change Their Approach to Education For All Unless People Rise to Demand It So That It Becomes Politically Unsustainable For These Leaders to Defy: Until That Happens All the Reports of the World Can Scream and Nothing Shall Change and the Robbers Will Keep on Robbing and Looting Billions Dollars of Public Funds and Fatten Themselves While These Leaders Keep on Serving Their Rich Masters As the Poor Keep on Paying the Price

 

|| Monday: January 20: 2020 || ά. A new Report from the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, shows that a third of adolescent girls from the poorest households have never been to school and spending on education is heavily skewed towards wealthier households. The Study, ‘Addressing the Learning Crisis: An Urgent Need to Better Finance Education for the Poorest Children’, was published on Monday to coincide with a meeting of education ministers, gathered at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Excluding the poorest children from education, says the Report, perpetuates poverty and is a key driver of the global learning crisis. Obstacles they face include discrimination due to gender, disability, ethnic origin and poor infrastructure. Those, who do make it to school, may, then, find themselves faced with large class sizes, poorly trained teachers, a  lack of education materials and poor school infrastructure. This has an adverse impact on attendance, enrolment and learning.

“Countries everywhere are failing the world’s poorest children and, in doing so, failing themselves.” said UNICEF Executive Director Ms Henrietta Fore. “As long as public education spending is disproportionately skewed towards children from the richest households, the poorest will have little hope of escaping poverty”.

According to the Report, the lack of resources available for the poorest children, is exacerbating a crippling learning crisis, as schools fail to provide quality education for their students. According to the World Bank, more than half of children living in countries of low and middle income can not read or understand a simple story by the end of primary school.

10 countries across Africa account for the highest disparities in education spending: in Guinea and the Central African Republic, countries with some of the world’s highest rates of out of school children, the richest children benefit from nine and six times, respectively, the amount of public education funds than the poorest children.

Only five countries included in the Study, which looked at 42 countries with available data, ensure that education is funded equally between the richest and poorest households: Barbados, Denmark, Ireland, Norway and Sweden.

The Report calls for all countries to follow this example, prioritise public funding for lower levels of education and provide, at least, one year of universal pre-primary education for every child.

“We are at a critical juncture. If, we invest wisely and equitably in children’s education, we have the best possible chance of lifting children out of poverty by empowering them with the skills they need to access opportunities and create new ones for themselves.” said Ms Fore.

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The State of the World: China’s Government Sees Human Rights As an Existential Threat: Its Reaction Could Pose an existential Threat to the Rights of People Worldwide

 

 

|| Thursday: January 16: 2020: Kenneth Roth Writing || ά. ::: It doesn’t matter where I am, or what passport I hold: Chinese authorities will terrorise me anywhere and I have no way to fight that: Uyghur Muslim with European citizenship, Washington, September 2019 :::

China’s government sees human rights as an existential threat. Its reaction could pose an existential threat to the rights of people worldwide. At home, the Chinese Communist Party, worried that permitting political freedom would jeopardise its grasp on power, has constructed an Orwellian high-tech surveillance state and a sophisticated internet censorship system to monitor and suppress public criticism. Abroad, it uses its growing economic clout to silence critics and to carry out the most intense attack on the global system for enforcing human rights since that system began to emerge in the mid-20th century.

Beijing was long focused on building a “Great Firewall” to prevent the people of China from being exposed to any criticism of the government from abroad. Now the government is increasingly attacking the critics themselves, whether they represent a foreign government, are part of an overseas company or university, or join real or virtual avenues of public protest. No other government is simultaneously detaining a million members of an ethnic minority for forced indoctrination and attacking anyone who dares to challenge its repression. And while other governments commit serious human rights violations, no other government flexes its political muscles with such vigour and determination to undermine the international human rights standards and institutions that could hold it to account.

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Carnage for Humanity: Over the Past Six Years At Least 15,000 Children Women and Men Have Lost Their Lives Trying to Reach Europe by Boat: Athens Urged to Fast Track Asylum Seekers Amid Island Shelters Crisis: UNHCR

 

 

|| Tuesday: October 01: 2019 || ά. A rise in the number of refugees, reaching Greek island reception centres, is likely to worsen the situation in, already, dangerously overcrowded facilities there, UNHCR said on Tuesday. In a call for asylum seekers to be moved urgently to the mainland by the central Government in Athens, UNHCR reported that sea arrivals in September rose to more than 10,000,  the highest monthly level since 2016. Over the past six years, at least 15,000 men, women and children have lost their lives trying to reach Europe by boat, a situation that the UN agency likened to ‘carnage at sea’.

How many more thousands will have drown in the deadly see before the world humanity decides that each of these death is a death of a part of the whole humanity, which gets diminished by each death by as much and do something to about this so to eradicate politics out of treating humanity with humanity? The development follows a fire on Sunday in a housing container at Moria reception centre in Lesvos, in which a woman died, reportedly, sparking a violent protest. “This spike has added to, has worsened what were, already, extremely difficult conditions on the Greek islands in the reception centres, which is why we are underscoring, it is so important that urgent measures are taken now to get people, who can be transferred off the islands to the mainland.” UNHCR Spokesperson Ms Liz Throssell told journalists in Geneva.

According to the UN agency, there are more than 4,400 unaccompanied children on the islands, out of at least 30,000 people seeking shelter in total. Of that number, 500 youngsters have, also, been housed with unrelated adults in a large warehouse-style tent. UNHCR describes the situation on Lesvos, Samos and Kos as ‘critical’.

Highlighting the need for urgent steps from the Greek authorities, Ms Throssell appealed to them to fast-track the transfer of more than 5,000 asylum-seekers, who, already, have permission to continue their asylum procedure on the mainland.

On Lesvos, the official reception centre in Moria is at five times capacity, with 12,600 people, according to the agency, while, at a nearby informal settlement, more than 100 people share a single toilet. On Samos, the Vathy facility houses 5,500 people, eight times over capacity and on Kos, some 3,000 people live in a space meant for just 700.

Most of those seeking shelter are from Afghanistan and Syria, along with Iraq and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Previous comments by the Greek Government about wanting to alleviate pressure on the islands and protect unaccompanied children were welcome, the agency said in a statement.

According to UNHCR, Greece has received 45,600 of the 77,400 people crossing the Mediterranean Sea this year, more than Spain, Italy, Malta and Cyprus combined. Meanwhile, for the sixth year in a row, 1,000 people are believed to have drowned in Mediterranean Sea crossings, the UN migration agency, IOM, said on Tuesday.

Citing a recent spate of shipwrecks along the main migratory routes to Europe which have contributed to the toll, the agency highlighted an incident off the Moroccan coast at the weekend, in which as many as 40 migrants are feared drowned.

Over the past six years, at least 15,000 men, women and children have lost their lives trying to reach Europe by boat, a situation that the UN agency likened to ‘carnage at sea’. According to IOM data, the deadliest sea crossing is the central Mediterranean route from North Africa to Italy, with 659 migrant or refugee lives lost so far this year.

Nearly 270 others perished, trying to reach Spain from North Africa, while 66 victims were recorded in the waters between Turkey, Syria and Greece.

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Education Must Be Made a Universal Foundational Human Right: Their World Is Sentenced to Be Dark Forever Without an Education: These 260 Million Children: Join Their World to Make It a Reality That All Humanity’s Children Get to School

 

 

|| Monday: September 30: 2019 || ά. A not for profit organisation, founded by Ms Sarah Brown, who Chairs it, Their World, dedicated to exposing the severity of the global education crisis, has been inviting delegates to the UN General Assembly inside a compact mirrored installation this week, to drive home the reality that around 260 million children are missing from classrooms around the world.

Education should be a Foundational Human Right of all humanity, particularly, the children across the earth. Let alone it being Foundational Human Right, it is at the bottom of everything, being a means to ensure the downright condemnation of all these 260 million children into a life of perishing away in the darkness of no education. What kind of an existence this world is sentencing these 260 million children, that’s a quarter of a billion young people? How can capitalism continue this abandonment of such a large number of human beings without education?

It is capitalism, by which the world’s states and governments are conducted, that does this to humanity. How long can this dereliction of duty to the young will be tolerated by the rest of humanity? If, the adult world has a moral duty to keep our young safe and offer them life-long protection from harms, are we not failing in this most vital duty when we fail to provide them an education. This state of the world is not acceptable and the world humanity must rise to demand that education is made into a Foundational Human Rights and that the world’s states find the funds from their GDPs and invest in education. They find hundreds of trillions of dollars every year to burn in maintaining and increasing their weapons, arsenal, bombs and guns; why not stop this callous waste and invest a fragment of that to educate these 260 million children! This happens because the world does not do anything about it. It is time this rises up the political agenda.

Beginning on September 22 through the end of next week, the Infinity Classroom Exhibition by Their world, will sit in the UN Plaza, open to visitors. The mirrored room is filled with what appear to be an infinite number of empty school desks, representing the millions of children out of school every day.

The station is the centrepiece of Their World’s Write The Wrong campaign, geared at building awareness of the global crisis and mobilising the political will and financial support, that are needed to give every child a chance to achieve their potential. 

The Founder and Chair of Their World, Ms Sarah Brown, said on Thursday, “The world has the largest number of refugees and displaced people since the Second World War, half of whom are children., speaking to UN News, on a panel for the UN’s annual discussion series, dubbed the SDG Media Zone.

“We owe them what we want for our kids: a safe place to learn. That’s why we’re calling on all countries and international institutions to make education a priority.’’ Ms. Brown said. 

More than a thousand visitors have passed through the Infinity Classroom, during the UN’s high-level week, including, heads of government, senior officials, activists and celebrities. On Wednesday donors and foundations announced more than $200 million for the global fund, Education Cannot Wait, to make school possible for millions of children caught up in conflicts, disasters and displacement crises.

In addition, guarantees of $500 million and grants of $100 million for the International Finance Facility for Education:IFFEd, another education funding resource, will allow an additional $02 billion to be mobilised to get children into school inthe missing middle, countries, which lie between the developing world and rich nations.

"This is the largest amount unlocked for education in a single day because IFFEd multiplies donor resources and unleashes new funding streams." said Their World President Mr Justin van Fleet.He sounded an optimistic note that it was entirely within our reach to end the global education crisis.”

“If, nothing changes, by 2030, more than half of the world’s 01.6 billion children won’t have basic skills to get an entry-level job or participate in society. We are at a crossroads and we must act. It is within our reach to end the global education crisis." 

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Help Create a More Inclusive Connected and Peaceful World: Not Much to Ask For But All-High to Keep at It When the World Seems Busy in Undoing All That Are Worth Advancing: Agreement of Co-operation Between City of Chicago and the Peres Centre for Peace and Innovation Signed to Foster Stronger Ties in Working Together

 

|| Monday: April 29: 2019 || ά. The City of Chicago, USA and the Peres Centre for Peace and Innovation, Israel, have entered into a memorandum of co-operation on April 15 to foster stronger collaboration, particularly, with respect to technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. It is the first such international partnership for the Peres.

“Shimon Peres believed in the transformative power of technology and innovation as a pathway to peace.” said the Mayor of Chicago Mr Emanuel. “Chicago is a global leader in innovation and stronger ties with researchers and entrepreneurs everywhere will help keep our city on the leading edge of discovery and help create a more inclusive, connected and peaceful world.”

“In today’s interconnected world, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship can and should be harnessed to build bridges between people and nations, promote prosperity for all and help create a better tomorrow.” Mr Chemi Peres said. “At the Peres Centre for Peace and Innovation we envision and work toward an Israel and a region where people from all walks of life come together in cooperation and partnership and innovatively and proactively design their future; a future of peace.

It is, therefore, fitting to establish the Peres Centre’s first international agreement in the city of Chicago, with its global outlook and reach but, uniquely, American story.”

About The Peres Centre for Peace and Innovation: The Peres Centre for Peace and Innovation, founded in 1996 by the late President of Israel, Shimon Peres, develops and implements impactful and meaningful programmes with a focus on promoting a prosperous Israel, nurturing and highlighting Israeli innovation and paving the way for shared-living between all of Israel's citizens and lasting peace between Israel and its neighbours.

Caption: Brooke E Collins, Photographer, Office of the Mayor of Chicago:::ω.

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South Sudan: WHO Provides Life-saving Health Care Services to Displaced Populations and Host Communities

 

 

|| February 18: 2019 || ά. To increase access and strengthen the capacity of emergency life-saving health care services, focusing on outbreak response for epidemic-prone and vaccine-preventable diseases, the World Health Organisation:WHO has been procuring, storing and distributing medical emergency kits to support humanitarian response in South Sudan. The protracted crises in South Sudan, coupled with frequent disease outbreaks and a high burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases including, mental and psycho-social conditions, has resulted in the deterioration of the health status of the population.

In addition, supplies of medicines and medical commodities have been irregular and inadequate, leading to frequent stock-outs and interruptions of essential service delivery. In addition, WHO in collaboration with UNICEF and UNFPA conducted a joint harmonised training on forecasting, procurement, distribution and rational use of medical emergency kits, non-communicable disease kits, reproductive health kits and emergency vaccines to familiarize Health Cluster partners on the types and contents of the different kits to prevent needless illness or death because of time-critical health problems and ensure accountability to beneficiaries, health cluster, WHO, Ministry of Health and donors.

With funding from the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund and European Union Humanitarian Aid, WHO aims to provide critical life-saving interventions in Kapoeta South, Magwi, Ayod, Bor South, Duk, Fangak, Nyirol, Pibor, Uror, Koch, Leer, Mayendit, Panyijiar, Rubkona, Fashoda, Longochuk, Luakpiny:Nasir, Maiwut, Malakal, Wau, Tambura and Juba, through the provision of emergency kits for crisis-affected populations and host communities to ensure access to critical medicines and treatments.

‘’Provision of medical emergency kits for essential life-saving health interventions is vital to investigate suspected disease outbreaks and respond in a timely manner and save the lives of displaced populations.’’ said Dr Olushayo Olu, WHO Representative for South Sudan.

As part of the on-going efforts to ensure that health service is provided without drugs stock outs, a total of 24 participants drawn from 20 health cluster partners, national and international NGOs, were trained on requisition, distribution and rational use of emergency kits from February 11-12. Similar training will be conducted from February 21-22, targeting 36 precipitants from 30 Health Cluster partners to optimise the distribution and rational use of life-saving medicines.

An emergency health kit is a reliable, standardised complete set of drugs, supplies and equipment needed to provide basic health care service to the population in need.:::ω.

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The Cruel Politics of Life and Death in Gaza: The World Health Organisation Calls for the Protection and Fulfilment of the Right to Health for All Palestinians

 

 

 

|| February 06: 2019 || ά. After being diagnosed with cancer, patients in Gaza, may, often, have to wait for months before being able to receive treatment. Getting a permit to access the health care needed can be a stressful and unpredictable process and many apply multiple times before being able to exit. Even, then, some patients are never able to secure the permits they need to access care. The ability of Gaza’s hospitals to provide adequate diagnosis and treatment to cancer patients is severely limited due to chronic shortages of medicines and lack of medical equipment.

Nuclear medicine scanning needed for staging cancers, radiotherapy equipment and some specialised surgeries are unavailable. More than half of essential chemotherapy drugs were at less than a month’s supply throughout 2018. Many patients need health care elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territory or abroad. But to leave the Gaza Strip for treatment, they, must, obtain a permit from Israeli authorities. This process can take up to several months and, even, then, some patients, may be, unsuccessful in securing access to travel for health care. In 2018, 39% of patient applications for permits to exit Gaza for health care were unsuccessful.

64-year-old Ms Samira was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2016. She underwent surgery but, then, required follow-up treatment, that was unavailable in Gaza. Doctors referred Ms Samira for radiotherapy to East Jerusalem. It took her more than six months and five permit applications to finally exit Gaza in June 2018. “All this time I was suffering from abnormal bleeding. It was a matter of life and death. Why was I denied a permit?’’ she asks.

Proper cancer diagnosis and effective treatment are essential to improve the prognosis of patients and their chance of survival. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer can exceed 80%, if, early detection and essential treatment services are available and accessible. In Gaza, however, it is, significantly, lower, only, 65% of women with breast cancer survive five years after diagnosis.

Ms Khadijah, a 32-year-old mother of four, noticed something unusual with her breast in December 2017. Soon doctors confirmed that she had breast cancer. In January 2018, she applied for a permit to go to Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem for a specialised investigation to see whether the cancer had spread and, if, so, how far. Her permit application was denied. She started receiving chemotherapy in Gaza but for optimal treatment surgery was needed. In July, Ms Khadijah reapplied for a permit and again was denied. She decided to change her treatment destination to Egypt. Her second attempt to leave Gaza to Egypt was finally successful. She had surgery in August 2018, seven months after diagnosis.

Every cancer patient has the right to health. This means being able to access quality and acceptable health care and to enjoy the conditions of life, that support staying healthy. Restrictions to accessing essential health services are one of the major barriers to the right to health for Palestinians, living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Restrictions affect cancer patients at a vulnerable point in their lives, when they need specialist care and services for diagnosis and treatment. The World Health Organisation calls for the protection and fulfilment of the right to health for all Palestinians.:::ω.

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Save the Children: Save Humanity

 

|| February 05: 2019 || ά. The United Nations and its aid partners, together with the interim Government of Libya, launched on Tuesday a humanitarian response plan:HRP, appealing for $202 million to bring urgent life-saving assistance to some 550,000 people, including, around 248,000 children, affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The protracted political crisis, that started in 2011 with demonstrations and western intervention, that abandoned Libya afterwards, that led to the fall of long-time Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi, has developed into an armed conflict, forcing tens of thousands of families into displacement and driving over a million people to depend on aid to survive as they are unable to afford the most basic things.

“Years of instability and insecurity have taken a toll on the well-being of many children, women and men in Libya. Each passing year, people struggle to withstand the impact of a crisis, that has destabilised the country, put them in harm’s way and ravaged the economy.” said Ms Ribeiro. In the foreword to the HRP, Ms Ribeiro stressed, ‘’Libya is now producing well over one million barrels of oil a day. However, this has not yet translated into tangible benefits for people. Many Libyans get poorer every year. Basic health and education services decay and frustrated citizens can not understand why oil production and increased government revenue does not lead to improved living standards, security and well-being for all in Libya.”

According to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs:OCHA, today, some 823,000 people, including, around 248,000 children, are still in need of humanitarian assistance. This includes internally displaced persons and returnees, conflict-affected people, host communities and refugees and migrants, who face grave human rights violations and abuse in the absence of rule of law.

The majority of the people in need are in highly populated urban areas in the western and eastern regions of Libya. However, people with the most critical and severe needs are in the coastal area of Sirt and in the southern parts of the country, Murzuq, Sebha and Alkufra, where access is difficult due to violence and instability.

The funds required in the 2019 HRP are meant to provide food, health care, protection, especially, from buried explosive hazards, which threaten the lives of entire communities, water and sanitation services, shelter, basic household items and emergency education support for the most vulnerable.

In terms of food, the plan aims to provide immediate life-saving food supplies but, also, support longer term recovery with the distribution of seeds, tools and other inputs for farming and fishing communities. If, adequately funded, humanitarian agencies will set up emergency medical teams and dispatch mobile teams to areas, where medical staff is limited, to reinforce disease surveillance and control.

Water and sanitation are high priorities in detention centres, which are crowded and unsanitary, schools in marginalised areas and camps for internally displaced people and refugees. Families in need of shelter will receive construction materials and cash assistance, in the form of emergency grants, rental subsidies and actual cash.

“Ultimately, the future of Libya is very much in the hands of the Libyans and many efforts are ongoing in this regard.” said Ms Ribeiro. “But, right now, while people are suffering, it is absolutely critical that the international community work together with national partners to make sure vulnerable people are supported and protected.”

Caption: Image: UNOCHA:Giles Clarke:::ω.

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