The other threats of conflict – starvation and disease

The paradox: Nigeria is Africa’s 2nd richest nation. However, the Northeastern corner of the country has been marred by conflict and clashes with militants, causing it to be isolated from aid. Information about the crisis is also limited due to the lack of action by the government and  the lack of journalists and aid groups on the ground.

As the conflict continues, the people’s living conditions continue to worsen as food and basic medical supplies remain out of reach.

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Across the northeastern corner of this country, more than 3 million people displaced and isolated by the militants are facing one of the world’s biggest humanitarian disasters. Every day, more children are dying because there isn’t enough food. Curable illnesses are killing others. Even polio has returned.

About a million and a half of the victims have fled the Islamist extremists and are living in makeshift camps, bombed-out buildings and host communities, receiving minimal supplies from international organizations. An additional 2 million people, according to the United Nations, are still inaccessible because of the Boko Haram fighters, who control their villages or patrol the surrounding areas.

“We will see, I think, a famine unlike any we have ever seen anywhere,” unless immediate assistance is provided, said Toby Lanzer, the top U.N. official focused on humanitarian aid for the region.

The staggering hunger crisis created by the insurgents has been largely hidden from view, partly because it has been extremely dangerous for aid groups and journalists to visit the area. But institutional failures have exacerbated the situation: For over a year, the United Nations and humanitarian groups dramatically underestimated the size of the disaster, and the Nigerian government refused to acknowledge the huge number of people going hungry in Africa’s second-richest nation. Thousands of people have already died because of the inaction, aid experts say.

 Source: Washington Post
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Inside the Haiti Earthquake (interactive game)

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This interactive game simulates the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti Quake from the perspective of 3 stakeholders – Aid Worker, Survivor and Journalist.

Experience the difficulties of the groups in pursuing their goals and understand the implications of their choices and actions.

Flash is needed for this simulation.

Warning: the simulation contains graphic and disturbing imagery.

Source: http://www.insidedisaster.com/experience/

 

 

 

 

Singapore has ratified Paris Climate Agreement

The Republic on Wednesday (Sep 21) formalised its pledge to fight climate change, with Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan depositing Singapore’s instrument of ratification of the Paris Agreement at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York.

The Paris accord, sealed late last year in the French capital, commits countries to make plans to keep global warming at no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels to try to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Dr Balakrishnan signed the Paris Agreement on Apr 22 together with representatives of 174 other countries. According to a joint media statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) on Wednesday, the ratification is a “further affirmation of our support and commitment for climate action”.

By ratifying the agreement, Singapore formalises its pledge to reduce its emission intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and stabilise emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030. MFA said this “pledge builds on our existing commitment to reduce, by 2020, greenhouse gas emissions by 16 per cent from the business-as-usual level, which Singapore is on track to meet”.

In July, Singapore released its Climate Action Plan, outlining the various measures to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and enhance resilience to climate change.

Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-ratifies-paris-climate-agreement-at-un/3145320.html

What are our main actions to meet the pledge?

The Climate Action Plan says this:

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Source: https://www.nccs.gov.sg/sites/nccs/files/NCCS_Mitigation_FA_webview%2027-06-16.pdf

What about Copenhagen Accord and the Kyoto Protocol?

Simply put, all these international agreements are similar. The Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Copenhagen Accord (2009) are older agreements for the same purpose of fighting climate change.

However, the most recent Paris Climate Agreement is one that is seen very positively especially in light of the progress in negotiations in Dec 2015.

This Paris agreement is also hailed as a success, with the world’s biggests carbon emitters, USA and China, (finally) ratifying the accord as well – something that was not done in previous agreements.

What does ratification mean? Wasn’t the agreement made in Paris in Dec 2015 already?

The meetings in Paris only had representatives from the various nations coming in to discuss and come to a consensus as to what needs to be done. At the end of the meetings, representatives, upon coming to an agreement, will sign the accord. However, at this point of time, countries do not yet pledge to take action to meet the demands of the accord.

The next few months will see the representatives work with their respective governments to consider steps the country can and will take to meet the needs. Once the government agrees, they then ratify the agreement.

For the Kyoto Protocol, though USA signed the agreement, they did not ratify it.