Rescuers and salvage workers have concluded a frantic search for victims in Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza, an eight-story garment factory complex that collapsed on April 24, killing an estimated 1,127 people. Sadly, there will be no more miraculous stories of survival like that of Reshma Begum, the 19-year-old seamstress who was pulled from the rubble 17 days after the collapse. Instead, the United Nations and leading experts like Muhammad Yunus are urging the international community to address this catastrophe’s underlying causes.
Last summer, after walking for days to a refugee camp across the South Sudan border, some Sudanese refugees reportedly chose to dig holes to reach muddy water rather than face the fist-fights breaking out around a failing tap. Boreholes dug by aid agencies collapsed in the crumbling soil. Even the coming rainy season brought more challenges than relief, washing out roads used by water tanker trucks and threatening the camp with flooding.
Vowing to end global poverty and tackle looming environmental challenges within a generation, European leaders have unveiled their ambitions to shape the successor to the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.
As the deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, the United Nations is working to formulate a post-2015 developmental agenda. To that end, the organization recently solicited feedback and guidance through “The World We Want 2015,” an online discussion open to everyone.
With the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals fast approaching, the United Nations is already planning its post-2015 agenda. But rather than looking inward, it has partnered with various civil society organizations, including Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) and CIVICUS, to produce The World We Want 2015, a website that encourages discussion, solicits opinion and crowdsources on a global level. The conversations will be moderated, synthesized and presented to a high-level panel that will formulate an agenda based on this global feedback.
Perhaps there is no greater champion of economic empowerment than Muhammad Yunus. Since the mid-1970s, Yunus has dedicated his career toward developing the notion of microfinance or microcredit—providing microloans to impoverished entrepreneurs. Yunus’ groundbreaking work soon led to the establishment of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, which today has 8.5 million borrowers, 97 percent of who are women. While Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for helping hundreds of millions of people lift themselves out of poverty, his concept of microfinance has gone global.
The gunfire started as Dr. M’Pana Mohizi Onesime was making his rounds. He says armed men, flooding through a broken back door, began indiscriminately shooting people at his hospital in Ishasha, a town near the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern border. He snuck out and ran to his home. When he found it destroyed, he took off for Uganda.
Hurricane Sandy has been wreaking havoc in the UN's backyard and across much of the Eastern United States. The storm and its aftermath are grim reminders of the critical need for enhanced recovery efforts in the wake of natural disasters, not only in the U.S. but throughout the world. This seems particularly true regarding preparedness and recovery in developing nations, where natural disasters often take a disproportionately greater toll on women than men.