International Organizations

UNHCR. Global Trends Forced Displacement 2018.

The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million in 2018. This is the highest level that UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has seen in its almost 70 years.

Data from UNHCR’s annual Global Trends report, released today, shows that almost 70.8 million people are now forcibly displaced. To put this in perspective, this is double the level of 20 years ago, 2.3 million more than a year ago, and corresponds to a population between that of Thailand and Turkey.

The figure of 70.8 million is conservative, in particular as the crisis in Venezuela is still only partly reflected in this number. In all, some 4 million Venezuelans, according to data from governments receiving them, have left their country, making this among the world’s biggest recent displacement crises. Although the majority need international refugee protection, as of today only around half a million have taken the step of formally applying for asylum.

“What we are seeing in these figures is further confirmation of a longer-term rising trend in the number of people needing safety from war, conflict and persecution. While language around refugees and migrants is often divisive, we are also witnessing an outpouring of generosity and solidarity, especially by communities who are themselves hosting large numbers of refugees. We are also seeing unprecedented engagement by new actors including development actors, private businesses, and individuals, which not only reflects but also delivers the spirit of the Global Compact on Refugees,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugee Filippo Grandi. “We must build on these positive examples and redouble our solidarity with the many thousands of innocent people who are forced to flee their homes each day.”

Within the 70.8 million figure in the Global Trends report are three main groups. The first is refugees, meaning people forced to flee their country because of conflict, war or persecution. In 2018, the number of refugees reached 25.9 million worldwide, 500,000 more than in 2017. Included in this total are 5.5 million Palestine refugees who are under the care of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

The second group is asylum seekers – people outside their country of origin and receiving international protection, but awaiting the outcome of their claim to refugee status. At the end of 2018 there were 3.5 million asylum seekers globally.

The third and biggest group, at 41.3 million, is people displaced to other areas within their own country, a category commonly referred to as Internally Displaced People or IDPs.

Overall growth in displacement continued to exceed the rate at which solutions are being found for people who become displaced. With refugees, the best solution is being able to return home voluntarily, in safety and dignity. Other solutions include being integrated into the host community or being resettled to a third country. However, only 92,400 refugees were resettled in 2018, less than 7 per cent of those awaiting resettlement. Some 593,800 refugees were able to return home, while 62,600 became naturalized.

“With every refugee situation, wherever it is, however long it has been going on for, there has to be an enduring emphasis on solutions and removing obstacles to people being able to return home,” said Grandi. “This is complex work in which UNHCR is constantly engaged but which also requires all countries to come together for a common good. It is one of the great challenges of our times.”

 

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FAO. Global Report Food Crises 2019. 02 April 2019

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April 2019, Brussels – A Report presented today jointly by the European Union, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) finds that around 113 million people in 53 countries experienced acute food insecurity in 2018, compared to 124 million in 2017.

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said, “Food insecurity remains a global challenge. That’s why, from 2014 to 2020, the EU will have provided nearly €9 billion for initiatives on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture in over 60 countries. Today’s Global Report highlights the need for a strengthened cooperation between humanitarian, development and peace actors to reverse and prevent food crises. A stronger Global Network can help deliver change on the ground for the people who really need it.”

Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said “Food crises continue to be a global challenge, which requires our joint efforts. The EU continues to step up its humanitarian efforts. Over the last three years, the EU allocated the biggest humanitarian food and nutrition assistance budget ever, with nearly EUR 2 billion overall. Food crises are becoming more acute and complex and we need innovative ways to tackle and prevent them from happening. The Global Report provides a basis to formulate the next steps of the Global Network by improving our coordination mechanisms.”

Key findings:

  • The figure of 113 million people facing food crises is down slightly from the 124 million figure for 2017. However,the number of people in the world facing food crises has remained well over 100 million in the last three years, and the number of countries affected has risen. Moreover, an additional 143 million people in another 42 countries are just one step away from facing acute hunger.
  • Nearly two-thirds of those facing acute hunger are in just 8 countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. In 17 countries, acute hunger either remained the same or increased.
  • Climate and natural disasters pushed another 29 million people into acute food insecurity in 2018. And 13 countries – including North Korea and Venezuela – are not in the analysis because of data gaps.

“It is clear from the Global Report that despite a slight drop in 2018 in the number of people experiencing acute food insecurity – the most extreme form of hunger – the figure is still far too high. We must act at scale across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus to build the resilience of affected and vulnerable populations. To save lives, we also have to save livelihoods,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

“To truly end hunger, we must attack the root causes: conflict, instability, the impact of climate shocks. Boys and girls need to be well-nourished and educated, women need to be truly empowered, rural infrastructure must be strengthened in order to meet that Zero Hunger goal. Programmes that make a community resilient and more stable will also reduce the number of hungry people. And one thing we need world leaders to do as well: step up to the plate and help solve these conflicts, right now,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.

The report’s findings are a powerful call for strengthened cooperation that links together prevention, preparedness and response to address urgent humanitarian needs and root causes, which include climate change, economic shocks, conflict and displacement. It further highlights the need for a unified approach and action across the humanitarian and development dimensions of food crises, and for more investment in conflict mitigation and sustainable peace.

Background
The Global Report is produced each year by the Global Network Against Food Crises, which is made up of international humanitarian and development partners. This year’s report is being presented at a two-day high-level event, ‘Food and agriculture in times of crisis’, that begins in Brussels today and will look at innovative approaches and solutions for preventing and addressing food crises, plus a roadmap for joint future action. For more key findings from the report, see the Global Report fact sheet.

Acute food insecurity is when a person’s inability to consume adequate food puts their lives or livelihoods in immediate danger. It draws on internationally accepted measures of extreme hunger, such as the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) and the Cadre Harmonisé.

Chronic hunger is when a person is unable to consume enough food to maintain a normal, active lifestyle over an extended period. The FAO’s most recent State of Food Security and Nutrition report, in September 2018, found that 821 million people on the planet are going hungry.

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FAFCE. Stronger Families for a flourishing Society. Manifesto for the European Elections 23-26 May 2019

European Federation of Catholic Family Associations (FAFCE).

Stronger Families for a flourishing Society.

Manifesto for the European Elections 23-26 May 2019

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Today FAFCE, the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations, and its Members launch its EU wide campaign ahead of the European Elections (23-26 May 2019).

The campaign Vote for Family 2019 will be run in EU Members States and is the fruit of the joint work of all FAFCE Members, 26 Family Associations from 16 EU Member States. The Manifesto which is presented today reflects the major concerns of European families – states Vincenzo Bassi (Forum delle Famiglie, Italy), Vice-President of FAFCE – Based on these concerns, we propose to all the candidates, from all political parties, food for thought to consider more family-responsive policies within the framework of the EU competences: our Continent is getting older and older, we need to respond to the demographic challenge with an European pact for natality”.

Candidates will be invited to sign the Vote for Family Manifesto and their names will be published on 15 May, the International Day of the Family, when the Board Members of FAFCE will be gathered in Malta for their bi-annual Meeting. Every family in Europe is invited to take part in this campaign. Either directly, by using the campaign tools and taking an active part in the campaign, or indirectly through family associations and organizations, contacting the candidates in their constituency and asking them to sign the manifesto. Antoine Renard, FAFCE President, declares: “This is a campaign for all. And this is exactly in the spirit of our mission at the European level: FAFCE and its Members offer this campaign as a tool to raise awareness about the concrete needs of the families in our continent, which need a real demographic Spring”.

The Manifesto includes 10 points and touches all the areas of major concern for family associations in Europe during the last years. Like in 2014 and in the ongoing legislative period, after the elections elected candidates who signed the manifesto will be contacted, both at the national and European level, to support their commitments to family friendly policies and offer concrete proposals on what they can do as Members of the European Parliament.

The campaign will be presented by the FAFCE Members in their Countries and can be followed online on the dedicated website and on FAFCE social media. On the 2nd of April a press conference will take place in Brussels on the state of progress of the Vote For Family 2019 Campaign.

Nicola Speranza,

Secretary General

Open Doors USA: World Watch List 2019

OPEN DOORS USA

World Watch List 2019

Most Christians in the West understand that brothers and sisters around the world are persecuted for their faith. But often, it can be difficult to understand what reality is like on the ground for these oppressed Christians. What kinds of challenges do they face? What is day-to-day life like? And how can Christians in the United States stand with believers around the world in prayer and support?

Each year, the World Watch List provides a searing glimpse into the 50 places around the world where it costs the most to be a Christian. In some countries, familial and social pressure make it terribly difficult to follow Jesus, while in other places, faith in Christ is threatened by daily risk of violence and physical oppression.

1 Corinthians 12:26 says “If one part [of the Body of Christ] suffers, every part suffers with it.”  We invite you to explore the 2018 World Watch List and learn how the Body of Christ is hurting—and invite you to stand with God’s one, global Family.

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OXFAM. Public good or private wealth? January 2019

OXFAM

Public good or private wealth?

Universal health, education and other public services reduce the gap between rich and poor, and between women and men. Fairer taxation of the wealthiest can help pay for them.

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UN Report: The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018

 

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018

 

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New evidence continues to signal that the number of hungry people in the world is growing, reaching 821 million in 2017 or one in every nine people, according to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018  released today. Limited progress is also being made in addressing the multiple forms of malnutrition, ranging from child stunting to adult obesity, putting the health of hundreds of millions of people at risk.

Hunger has been on the rise over the past three years, returning to levels from a decade ago. This reversal in progress sends a clear warning that more must be done and urgently if the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger is to be achieved by 2030.

The situation is worsening in South America and most regions of Africa, while the decreasing trend in undernourishment that characterized Asia seems to be slowing down significantly.

The annual UN report found that climate variability affecting rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, and climate extremes such as droughts and floods, are among the key drivers behind the rise in hunger, together with conflict and economic slowdowns.

“The alarming signs of increasing food insecurity and high levels of different forms of malnutrition are a clear warning that there is considerable work to be done to make sure we ‘leave no one behind’ on the road towards achieving the SDG goals on food security and improved nutrition,” the heads of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) warned in their joint foreword to the Report.

“If we are to achieve a world without hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030, it is imperative that we accelerate and scale up actions to strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of food systems and people’s livelihoods in response to climate variability and extremes,” the leaders said.

The impact of climate variability and extremes on hunger

Changes in climate are already undermining production of major crops such as wheat, rice and maize in tropical and temperate regions and, without building climate resilience, this is expected to worsen as temperatures increase and become more extreme.

Analysis in the report shows that the prevalence and number of undernourished people tend to be higher in countries highly exposed to climate extremes. Undernourishment is higher again when exposure to climate extremes is compounded by a high proportion of the population depending on agricultural systems that are highly sensitive to rainfall and temperature variability.

Temperature anomalies over agricultural cropping areas continued to be higher than the long-term mean throughout 2011-2016, leading to more frequent spells of extreme heat in the last five years. The nature of rainfall seasons is also changing, such as the late or early start of rainy seasons and the unequal distribution of rainfall within a season.

The harm to agricultural production contributes to shortfalls in food availability, with knock-on effects causing food price hikes and income losses that reduce people’s access to food.

Slow progress on ending all forms of malnutrition

Poor progress has been made in reducing child stunting, the report says, with nearly 151 million children aged under five too short for their age due to malnutrition in 2017, compared to 165 million in 2012. Globally, Africa and Asia accounted for 39 percent and 55 percent of all stunted children, respectively.

Prevalence of child wasting remains extremely high in Asia where almost one in 10 children under five has low weight for their height, compared to just one in 100 in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The report describes as “shameful” the fact that one in three women of reproductive age globally is affected by anaemia, which has significant health and development consequences for both women and their children. No region has shown a decline in anaemia among women of reproductive age, and the prevalence in Africa and Asia is nearly three times higher than in North America.

Rates of exclusive breastfeeding in Africa and Asia are 1.5 times higher than those in North America where only 26 percent of infants under six months receive breastmilk exclusively.

The other side of hunger: obesity on the rise

Adult obesity is worsening, and more than one in eight adults in the world is obese. The problem is most significant in North America, but Africa and Asia are also experiencing an upward trend, the report shows.

Undernutrition and obesity coexist in many countries, and can even be seen side by side in the same household. Poor access to nutritious food due to its higher cost, the stress of living with food insecurity, and physiological adaptations to food deprivation help explain why food-insecure families may have a higher risk of overweight and obesity.

Call for action

The report calls for implementing and scaling up interventions aimed at guaranteeing access to nutritious foods and breaking the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition. Policies must pay special attention to groups who are the most vulnerable to the harmful consequences of poor food access: infants, children aged under five, school-aged children, adolescent girls, and women.

At the same time, a sustainable shift must be made towards nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food systems that can provide safe and high-quality food for all.

The report also calls for greater efforts to build climate resilience through policies that promote climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster risk reduction.

(Source:www.fao.org)