With just a couple of days left for Mother’s Day, a new global ranking of the best and worst places to be a mother, has revealed India as a tough place for mothers.
The State of the World’s Mothers’ report for 2015 by ‘Save the Children’ ranked India at a dismal 140, taking into consideration four different indicators: Under-five mortality rate, expected number of years of formal schooling, the gross national income per capita and participation of women in government.
The report found that children living in Delhi were subject to widespread inequality in health provisions for the poorest and the richest.
Robert Clay, vice-president for global health at Save the Children said, “It’s a tale of two cities: the wealthy who are doing well and then the marginalized who are largely living in slum-like conditions.”
“It’s the survival of the richest, they have the advantage and the poor are not getting access to essential services,” he further added.
As per the annual score card released by Save the Children foundation analyzing the world’s best places to be a mother, Norway tops the list beating all the top most countries of the world.
On the other hand, India has slipped to 140th position from last year’s 137th and stands behind the countries like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Iraq.
Millions of people in southern and eastern Africa are facing emergency food insecurity partly caused by climate change, half of them children, according to the charity Save the Children. The region has been hit by extreme cyclones, flooding and drought in recent months and scientists say it is warming much faster than other parts of the world.
Cyclone Idai smashed into Mozambique in March, killing more than 1,300 people. Villages were washed away and cities inundated, while farmers saw their crops and livestock destroyed. The cyclone one of the biggest on record is estimated to have caused more than $2 billion worth of damage across the region.
A month later, Mozambique was hit by another storm, Cyclone Kenneth, killing dozens more people. “Never before has this country been hit by two cyclones in the same season,” says Gabriella Waaijman, the global humanitarian director of Save the Children.
Waaijman says 2019 will be remembered as the year that the climate crisis devastated parts of eastern and southern Africa adding that at least 33 million people in the region face emergency levels of food insecurity, with about 16 million of them children.
“The link to climate change is actually the compounding effect of emergency after emergency after emergency,” Waaijman says, adding, “So the ability for people to recover from a shock, like a drought or a flood at the moment even, is getting less and less and less. And therefore their livelihoods are slowly but surely being eroded and literally washed away.”
A 2015 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows temperatures rising in southern Africa at twice the global rate. Save the Children says leaders of industrialized nations must commit to bigger cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and greater support for those most affected by climate change.
“If you are a child growing up in eastern or southern Africa, your chances of survival are currently being affected by actions that are taken by people in a completely different part of the world to which you have very little control or effect on,” Waaijman told VOA.
Twenty-nine thousand delegates are meeting in Madrid for the COP25 climate conference. U.S. President Donald Trump is not attending, having withdrawn from the landmark Paris climate agreement which he says would unfairly penalize the United States’ economy while other nations continue to emit greenhouse gases. (VOA)
Floods in India, Nepal and Bangladesh have claimed more than 1,300 lives in the last two months
According to UNICEF, over 16 million children in the three countries are in urgent need of life-saving support
Persistent rainfall has damaged school infrastructure, apart from depriving children of safe places to stay at, and necessities like drinking water and food
New Delhi, September 4, 2017 : Hurricane Harvey created havoc in Houston in August, claiming 15 lives and displacing tens of thousands of people. The event was largely covered by national and international media alike, keeping people abreast with the latest updates. However, the floods in South Asia, which are equally devastating, are yet to receive due coverage from international media. According to data released by UNICEF, the unusually heavy monsoon over the last several weeks has claimed more than 1,300 lives across India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
In its entirety, over 45 million people have suffered the direct impact of the rains and its resulting floods.
For over two months, incessant rains have submerged numerous villages thereby forcing vast numbers of people into evacuation centers and relief camps.
According to a UN Agency report, over 16 million children residing in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh are in dire need of life-saving support due to weeks of torrential monsoons that have given rise to ‘catastrophic’ floods in the three South Asian countries.
UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia, Jean Gough noted that millions of children have already been affected by these devastating floods as incessant rains continue to pose potential threat. “Children have lost their homes, schools, and even friends and loved ones. There is a danger the worst could still be to come as rains continue and flood waters move south,” she added, according to a report by PTI.
According to official figures, at least 1,288 deaths have been reported since mid-August.
Gough believes the persistent rainfall and the resulting water accumulation have damaged school infrastructure among other things which will hamper children from attending classes for weeks, or even months. According to her, “Getting children back into school is absolutely critical in establishing a sense of stability for children during times of crisis and provides a sense of normality when everything else is being turned upside down”
Among other urgent needs of these children are clean drinking water, sufficient food supplies, hygiene supplies to control and combat the spread of potential diseases and safe evacuation places for the children to stay at, study and play.
According to a report by PTI, in the northern part of the country, over 31 million people have been affected in four states due to the extensive flooding. Out of this, 12.33 million sufferers are believed to be children.
The tally of houses damaged by the floods has reached 805,183 while 15,455 schools have been damaged, that has disrupted the education of children.
Additionally, the heavy downpour in Mumbai has already claimed five deaths due to drowning while twelve people, including two children have died due to the collapse of a building.
More than 8 million people are reported to have been hit by the floods in Bangladesh, out of which 3 million are allegedly children. Primary and community educational institutions across the country have been terribly hit with as many as 2,292 schools reportedly damaged by the high water.
The country has also reported over 13,035 cases of water-borne diseases.
Devastation from floods in Nepal
Floods in Nepal have displaced 352,738 people from their homes, thus, affecting over 1.7 million people. The water has reportedly surfaced to dangerous levels, to escape which people are making use of makeshift rafts and elephants for rescue operations.
According to a report by PTI, damage to nearly 1,958 schools has affected the education of over 253,605 children.
Major media giants across the world are pledging their support to help combat the scale of destruction.
In a blog post, Google Vice-President of South East Asia and India wrote, “We are committing $1 million from Google.org and Google employees to Goonj and Save the Children for their relief efforts.”
The NGO, Goonj aims to offer assistance to over 75,000 affected families across India and provide them with basic needs like food, blankets and hygiene supply while on the other hand, Save the Children is focused on setting up child-friendly public spaces for the children to have access to educational material.
Similar organizations have taken up an active role to help rebuild infrastructure for the community like roads, bridges and physical infrastructures.
What causes floods in South Asia?
Apart from the high magnitude of rainfall received this year, the floods in south Asia are believed to have been aggravated by human actions such as reckless construction on floodplains and in the coastal areas, waterways clogged by garbage and a faulty drainage system
According to a report published by VOA, experts have pointed out the inefficiency of the governments of the three countries and have said that is has become increasingly evident that the South Asian governments were unprepared for the annual monsoon showers.
However, disaster management officials also assert that it will be unfair to criticize the governments in view of the magnitude of the floods this year.
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MOGADISHU, SOMALIA, April 21, 2017: Life-threatening child malnutrition rates are rising to alarming levels in drought-hit Somalia, the international aid group Save the Children said Thursday.
A new survey found “very critical” levels of severe malnutrition in two of six districts assessed in some of the worst-affected parts of Somalia.
“We are on the brink of a massive catastrophe in Somalia with the death of three quarters of the country’s livestock, a rapid increase of children suffering severe malnutrition and the depletion of water stores in dozens of communities,” said Hassan Saadi Noor, Save the Children’s Somalia country director, who said he fears seeing “children dying in significant numbers.”
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Less than 10 percent of children in Somalia are currently registered in a nutrition program according to the study, which warns that children could start dying “in the near future” unless immediate action is taken such as a major and rapid scaling up of feeding schemes.
“Donors have stepped up in recent months, however such is the scale of this crisis that even more funding is needed to address malnutrition directly, including improving access to food and water,” said Noor. “Children must be treated for malnutrition now … Famine is a distinct possibility for Somalia. It is an absolute travesty that this is even conceivable when just six years ago this same region was hit by a famine that killed over 250,000 people.”
The drought has left 6.2 million people – more than half of the population of Somalia – in need of immediate lifesaving assistance and a further 8.3 million in Kenya and Ethiopia are also need of urgent help, he said. (VOA)