Development and Humanitarian News
Vaccine roll out dashboard
Total number of vaccination doses (single) administered per 100 people in the total population (as of March 16):
Data will be updated regularly, Sources, are Our World in Data which shows the global roll-out of vaccines, with developing countries still lagging behind.
NZ must do more for Afghans fleeing or staying
With only days to go before evacuations from Kabul end, New Zealand must do everything it can to protect those Afghans and their families who worked with New Zealand aid charities.
CID called for an emergency increase in the refugee quota of 1000. In 2015 the Government increased the quota by 750 to allow Syria refugees to escape the bombing.
In normal times, New Zealand accepts 1,500 refugees per year. While that’s an increase on the previous quota of 1,000, this only keeps track with population growth since the quota began in 1987.
Since borders have been closed, New Zealand accepted 35 refugees in February, with 242 expected to have arrived by the end of our intake year — far short of our total commitment, writes the Conversation.
We can do more to increase humanitarian funding to those local charities staying in country to support the most vulnerable, particularly girls and women, as well as funds for countries who share a border, taking in Afghan refugees.
COVID crisis - displaced people will increase
The latest United Nation figures put people forcibly displaced by conflict at nearly 80 million — a record high, and 'a near doubling from ten years ago. Each minute of every day last year 21 people were separated from their friends, family and communities because of who they are or what they believe,' writes the Conversation.
COVID has closed borders to wealthier countries, but that has increased the number of people internally displaced, seeking refuge in country with little or no support and where they remain at risk.
Most are fleeing violence or famine, and it is the poorest countries (who share borders with those escaping) who are taking the most refugees. Developing countries hosted 86% of the world’s refugees.
So far this year, about 50,000 migrants have entered Panama through the Darién Gap — already more than the 20,000 that arrive in a typical year, Panamanian Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes tells Devex in an interview.
Haiti death toll over 2,200 with over 250 schools damaged or destroyed
At least 287 private and public schools were damaged or destroyed in the 7.2 magnitude quake on 14th August that killed over 2,200 people (with another 340 missing). Many of the education centres in Haiti – where public services and government assistance is largely non-existent – are run privately. Many of them have been destroyed, and almost all of them are uninsured.
“It will cost millions to rebuild our school, and we do not have it,” states Rev. Calixte Dorval, Evangelical Baptist rector. “The government doesn’t have it. Our only hope is foreign assistance, and we don’t know what will come. Without it, none of our schools will ever be rebuilt. And Haiti will always be a country stuck behind the bus, late and left behind.”
The Haitian government has also criticised international aid groups for widespread distribution of tents in 2010 — saying it led to sprawling tent cities that remained for years. Controversially, officials are asking aid organizations to refrain from large scale tent handouts now — a request aid agencies say they back. At the same time, the UN has called for additional support for secure humanitarian corridors through gang-held areas.
The inequality and inequity of access to covid vaccination is again highlighted by the hoarding the vaccine supply, the idea of wealthy countries like the US are now giving third doses while billions of people globally still can't access their first dose is yet.
The WHO and organizations like GAVI, MSF, and the ONE Campaign in calling for a hold on general booster shots — at least until health workers and other high-risk individuals in all countries are vaccinated, and a scientific consensus on the need for boosters and when is reached by the WHO and other credible health regulators.
WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said, “We believe clearly that the data today does not indicate that boosters are needed." A recent independent study led by Washington University also concluded that the mRNA vaccines widely used in rich countries may provide years of protection. Any decision on boosters should not be motivated by pharma companies with a financial interest in selling more doses to wealthy governments while the pandemic continues raging globally.