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How a Small Cup Promotes Women’s Employment

SNRD Africa - 27. Juni 2022 - 15:29

Menstrual cups making a difference in rural Malawi

The post How a Small Cup Promotes Women’s Employment appeared first on SNRD Africa.

Kategorien: english

Insights from an engineer working in development cooperation: ‘Having a technical background is always useful.’

GIZ Germany - 27. Juni 2022 - 10:53
: Thu, 03 Mar 2022 HH:mm:ss
In his role as a business scout, Ansgar Pinkowski is heavily involved in promoting green hydrogen in Brazil. In our interview, he talks about the path from theory to implementation.
Kategorien: english

Exploring the largest ocean reef restoration project in the Americas: ‘One Million Corals for Colombia’

UN #SDG News - 27. Juni 2022 - 10:11
The marine treasures of Colombia are often overlooked, as the country is known more for its mountains and the colourful towns that dot its coffee region. But just below the waves, a vibrant undersea world with over a thousand square kilometres of coral reef awaits those who take the plunge.
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Who to blame? The rough start for living income cocoa prices in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana

EADI Debating Development Research - 27. Juni 2022 - 9:27
By Felix Maile, Bernhard Tröster, Cornelia Staritz and Jan Grumiller Commodity price instability is a major challenge for commodity-dependent countries. This is also true for the major cocoa producer countries Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, which account for two thirds of world’s cocoa production. As we argue in a recent article in the EJDR , the two …
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First Person: The Barbadian entrepreneur turning sargassum into money

UN ECOSOC - 26. Juni 2022 - 6:40
Sargassum seaweed has blighted many of the beaches on Barbados for several years. Joshua Forte, a local entrepreneur, is convinced that it can be turned into a valuable commodity, and turned into highly effective, organic compost.
Kategorien: english

First Person: The Barbadian entrepreneur turning sargassum into money

UN ECOSOC - 26. Juni 2022 - 6:40
Sargassum seaweed has been blighting many of the beaches on Barbados for several years. Joshua Forte, a local entrepreneur, is convinced that it can be turned into a valuable commodity, and turned into highly effective, organic compost.
Kategorien: english

Seafarers' Day honours maritime journeys and voyages

UN #SDG News - 25. Juni 2022 - 6:40
The United Nations has underlined its support for the men and women working at sea, whose immeasurable contributions help to keep global trade moving.
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DIE becomes IDOS

D+C - 24. Juni 2022 - 14:13
IDOS (German Institute of Development and Sustainability) is the new name of the German Development Institute

The underlying idea is to emphasise the research institute’s grown international influence as well as its increasingly explicit focus on issues of sustainability.

The acronym IDOS (pronounced eîdos), has a long history in political philosophy. In Plato’s writing, it denoted  “idea”. Aristotle used it in the sense of  “form”. Henceforth, the institute will neither have a German name nor a German acronym.

It was founded in 1964. The shareholders are Germany’s Federal Government (75 %) and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (25 %). The institute is based in Bonn.

Svenja Schulze, Germany's federal minister for economic cooperation and development (BMZ), said: “Good development cooperation must be undergirded and supported by academic research, something the German Institute of Development and Sustainability has been engaged in for many years. In the current global environment especially, we need the expertise of the Institute in order to find long-term solutions to the challenges of our times.”

Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, minister of culture and science of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, pointed out: “IDOS is one of the world’s leading think tanks and research institutions examining issues of global development and sustainability policy. Its new name now emphasises its expertise even more clearly.” 

IDOS research is geared to answering question of great global relevance and urgency, including:

  • how to redesign economic and social systems in ways that stabilise the climate,      
  • how to provide global governance for indispensable global commons such as biodiversity, the climate and the seas,  
  • how to reform institutions and redefine polices in Germany, Europe and internationally to facilitate better and more effective cooperation, and 
  • how to promote trans-regional cooperation platforms for shaping a sustainable and peaceful future grounded in democratic values.

IDOS Director Anna-Katharina Hornidge (see our recent interview regarding global governance in times of war on www.dandc.eu) says: “Changing our name from the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik to the German Institute of Development and Sustainability emphasises that development and sustainability go hand in hand, require a transregionally networked research approach and are the responsibility of all policy fields." IDOS/D+C

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Domestic helpers are informally employed in many countries

D+C - 24. Juni 2022 - 12:05
Why men are closer to achieving a good work-life balance than women

People strive to satisfy various physical and psychological needs. Food, shelter and clothing are fundamental requirements, and so are rest, leisure and participation in social life. Entertainment and hobbies are important too. A good life requires an adequate balance between time spent in work and non-work activities.

Today, the eight-hour workday is considered to be normal for formally employed people, not only, but especially in high-income countries. Typically, they earn enough money to make ends meet. Things look different for those working in irregular employment or the informal sector. If working eight hours for five days per week does not suffice to fulfil their basic physical needs, they will have to work more and suffer what is called “time poverty”.

Time poverty in this sense must not be confused with opting to work hard to advance in a promising career. Achieving a position of leadership or substantial wealth may be desirable, but it is, by definition, not a basic need. Quite obviously, there can be enough food for everyone, but not everyone can be a team leader.

Time poverty is closely related to income poverty. Informal businesses, smallholder farms and subsistence agriculture are marked by both. Given that productivity is low, incomes tend to be very low too. Vacations and holidays are exceptions, not the norm. Labour legislation does not apply – or is not enforced.

It matters, of course, that many children do considerable work on family farms and family businesses. They too suffer time poverty – often with harsh impacts on their school careers. For reasons that will be spelled out below, girls are affected in particular. Education, however, is crucial for building skills and self-confidence. Graduating from school is thus indispensable for female empowerment (see my essay on www.dandc.eu).

Women’s plight

Like income poverty, time poverty is indeed gendered. Women are much more likely than men to experience it. An important reason is that traditional gender roles assign a disproportionate burden of domestic work to women. As work in the informal sector, it is not formally regulated and it is considered to be a personal affair of little public relevance.

Common terms for this work are “reproductive labour”, “home production” or “unpaid care and domestic work” (UCDW). The activities include:

  • procuring and preparing food,
  • taking care of children as well as elderly and ill relatives,
  • cleaning the home and washing clothes and
  • in poor households of developing countries and emerging markets, fetching water and firewood.

Recent research (Charmes, 2019) showed that, around the world, over two-thirds of the unpaid care work is done by women. In many countries, especially in the global south, the share is considerably higher. The same study indicated that the more the hours a woman spends doing unpaid care work, the less time she has for earning money.

Poor infrastructure makes matters worse, for instance when a household is not connected to water pipes. The farther a woman must go to fetch water, the more time constrained she becomes. If her home lacks electric power and she cannot rely on gas cannisters either, she will need additional time to collect fuelwood. To live in an informal settlement, therefore, means more time poverty, especially for women.

There are important economic and development implications. Having to spend long hours on low-productivity tasks reduces a person’s overall productivity. If it takes a woman an hour to fetch water, for example, she has an hour less for engaging in income generating work. Both in rural areas and unplanned urban settlements, that work will most likely be in a labour-intensive informal business with low remuneration.

To some degree, growing prosperity allows households to purchase vacuum cleaners, washing machines, dish washers and other labour-reducing machines. Technologies of this kind have helped women in the prosperous nations to participate in paid formal work.

However, there are rebound effects too. The availability of helpful tools has raised expectations. For example, people change into clean clothes more often than they did before the advent of the washing machine. Rebound effects, of course, mean more household work.

Exploited maids

In developing countries, by contrast, prosperous households tend to rely more on paid domestic helpers than household machinery. The women concerned typically do not have formal employment contracts, but they are expected to work very long hours. It is not uncommon for them to be expected to prepare breakfast in the morning and not leave before they have cleaned the dinner dishes. Some underage girls do this kind of time-consuming work too.

The incomes of domestic servants are low and they have very little personal autonomy. They are typically uneducated, and some have migrated from rural areas to urban ones, or even gone abroad (see, for example, Mona Naggar on www.dandc.eu). Many of the women concerned are not in touch with their families and lack any kind of protection. Sexual abuse happens all too often. During the Covid-19 pandemic, however, many suddenly lost their jobs and fell into desperate financial poverty.

To a certain degree, this kind of informal work is actually quite common in high-income countries. In Germany for example, even middle-class households often hire undocumented immigrants from Eastern Europe, for example, to do the cleaning. The women concerned normally do not have a written contract, do not get paid vacations as most employees do and do not benefit from Germany’s various social-protection schemes. Many of them live in constant fear of being found out, so they do not dare to go to the police even when people cheat or otherwise abuse them.

Health, education, skills, nutrition

Time poverty is not only a matter of inadequate rest and relaxation. It affects families’ lives. Time-constrained women in developing countries often depend on the support of their children, especially the daughters, to fulfil their household chores. Adolescent girls are then expected to look after younger siblings. Masses of them drop out of school before graduating.

Boys and girls may similarly be tasked with the collection of water and fuelwood. That too affects the time they have for attending school and doing schoolwork.

In a more fundamental sense, children’s welfare and development depend on the attention they get from their parents. Due to traditional gender roles, mothers are expected to rise to these responsibilities. Women experiencing time poverty may be unable to prepare healthy, nutritious and diverse diets for their children. Financial poverty, of course, exacerbates the problem. Obviously, hygiene and especially the sanitation situation matter too. If women are unable to maintain an adequate standard, children may suffer from repeated incidences of diarrhoea, worms or other diseases that affect their nutrition and physical and cognitive development.

No data, no problem?

There is a dearth of robust empirical research quantifying the potential impacts of women’s time constraints on their children’s prospects. There are many reasons behind the scarcity of empirical evidence. A core problem is that unregulated and unregistered activities in general remain undocumented almost by definition. Even prosperous nations with highly-developed statistical systems have no trustworthy data on how many illegal immigrants do how much domestic work for what meagre pay in private households.

It is a fallacy to believe that there is no serious problem simply because the problem does not show up in statistics. There is a case for doing more research as well as for investing in technologies and services that reduce women’s time burdens in developing countries and emerging markets. Prudent regulation and law enforcement would help too – not least in terms of changing deeply entrenched attitudes regarding gender roles.

Reference
Charmes, J., 2019: The unpaid care work and the labour market. ILO, Geneva.

Sundus Saleemi is a senior researcher at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) of Bonn University.
sundus.saleemi@gmail.com

Kategorien: english

The precarity of ODA budgets in times of crisis

CSO Partnership - 24. Juni 2022 - 11:03

There is an emerging constant in the world of development cooperation: if a crisis emerges, the official development assistance (ODA) is reliably there to soften the impact. But at what cost and to whom?

In these last few years of crisis after crisis, we have witnessed two distinct phenomena when it comes to ODA budgets – inflation and diversion. The COVID-19 pandemic and the distribution of excess vaccines being counted as ODA has made ODA figures look much greater than they are.  More recently, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting refugee crisis has some providers reallocating existing resources as opposed to increasing them. The consequences for Low-Income Countries who depend on ODA in some cases for up to two-thirds of external development financing cannot be understated.

Susanna Moorehead, Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee recently said, “Multiple crises mean multiple demands on ODA. ODA must support people in need in all partner countries – those forced to flee because of conflict, those who are hungry and those who are particularly poor and vulnerable, especially women and children who suffer most.” ODA remains the most stable form of external finance to developing countries and its integrity and purpose must be safeguarded.

When the OECD-DAC released its ODA Figures for 2021, there was some relief that ODA had increased to an all-time high. This relief was only due to the earlier perceived risk that ODA might contract as a consequence of changes in country GNI levels being hampered by the pandemic. Yet, the numbers are still far off from the 0.7% commitment and nowhere near the levels needed to meet demands of the moment. CSOs argue that the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical, conflict and climate crises, requires the DAC community to considerably increase its ODA levels.

Unfortunately, what we are seeing, when there is fresh urgency to deliver on ODA commitments, are providers missing the mark. Amid the war in Ukraine, some governments have given indications that support to refugees will come at the expense of ODA budgets. This is by no means a way to suggest that Ukrainians fleeing a heinous act of aggression by the Russian government should not be supported, but rather to insist that ODA budgets are not sacrificed.

Beyond the immediate support to refugees and the impact this will have on ODA, in the medium- to long-term significant resources are also likely to support reconstruction efforts. This will have possible implications to public budgets with governments indicating that they will be heightening defense spending as a result of the invasion.

CPDE, and civil society organisations (CSOs) in general, are sounding the alarm bells about the impact of these short-sighted measures on the medium- and long-term development outlooks for countries highly dependent upon ODA. The sustainable development goals (SDGs) were already off-track and under threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Further cuts to development financing only worsen the world’s odds of delivering the Agenda 2030. #

Photo by Ichsan Wikacsono from Unsplash

The post The precarity of ODA budgets in times of crisis appeared first on CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Invite Yourself

SNRD Africa - 24. Juni 2022 - 10:28

Farmers are key stakeholders in food systems — they need a seat at the table

The post Invite Yourself appeared first on SNRD Africa.

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Mainstreaming Nutrition

SNRD Africa - 23. Juni 2022 - 17:39

Quick tips for programme planners

The post Mainstreaming Nutrition appeared first on SNRD Africa.

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Working together on global supply chains can help prevent climate disaster

OECD - 23. Juni 2022 - 16:29

Climate change is a global problem that needs global solutions. It is not just about implementing environmental and climate policies in developed countries. We have to be aware of the risk that companies in these countries could move carbon-intensive production to countries with a less strict approach.
For decarbonisation to be effective, we need a regulatory regime that sets appropriate standards, tracks progress and performance against those standards, and establishes a transparent mechanism for reporting emissions and avoiding “greenwashing”.

The post Working together on global supply chains can help prevent climate disaster appeared first on Development Matters.

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Deep-rooted Power

SNRD Africa - 23. Juni 2022 - 15:04

Protecting mangrove forests helps secure prospects for life

The post Deep-rooted Power appeared first on SNRD Africa.

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“Democratic states do not wage war on one another”

D+C - 23. Juni 2022 - 14:40
In global arena, irrational aspirations are pitted against reasoned deliberation

Humanity is facing global challenges that nation states on their own cannot rise to. Three examples are the climate crisis, disease control and ensuring a peaceful rule-based order. Has the concept of national sovereignty therefore become obsolete?
No, it has not. Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine shows that we need a joint understanding of sacrosanct borders. Peace is a precondition for achieving each and every one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They spell out a vision of the global common good that was adopted unanimously by all UN members.

However, the multilateral order is too weak to guarantee peace. When the aggressor is a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and wields veto power, we see multilateral stalemate.
Yes, I think a reform of the UNSC is necessary, but hard to achieve. There probably should be no veto power at all. A good step in that direction is the decision that governments which use the veto right have to explain that step in the UN General Assembly. Moreover, it is important to make sure that the UNSC becomes more regionally representative. Africa and Latin America currently do not have permanent members at all, and the G7 are overrepresented. This imbalance reflects the state of global politics at the end of World War II, when decolonisation was only just beginning in Asia and had not started in Africa. This imbalance thwarts the legitimacy of the UNSC.

Even if the UNSC decided against Russia, sanctions would be hard to impose on a nuclear power.
Well, it would be wise not to try to stop the war by military means, but economic sanctions are evidently feasible. In this wider sense, the war is affecting the whole world. Western economic sanctions are biting, while Russia is using hunger strategically. In this setting, a UNSC decision against Russia would actually be useful in the information war, which is being fought not only, but especially in the digital sphere.

The implication is that sovereignty must go along with obligations today. It is no longer the same concept that helped to end the devastating Thirty Years War in Germany four centuries ago. The idea then was that whoever was the lord of a special area was free to do as he pleased – there was no she among them. Mustn’t global interests override national interests today?
Putting a check on global problems is actually in every nation’s properly understood self-interest. If humanity does not rise to the multitude of global challenges we are facing, every single country will fare worse. Opting out leads to disaster, so we need more cooperation. Only a stronger multilateral system will help us negotiate shared solutions and implement policies in a coherent manner.

Building such a system is obviously very difficult, but we cannot keep postponing action.
Yes indeed, and that is why we see various international alliances or clubs arising. They are supposed to deal with specific problems. At this point, there is no alternative to forming such alliances, but policymakers must pay attention to design them in an inclusive manner and not letting them undermine the existing multilateral system.

So what should policymakers do?
They should keep the alliances open and welcome new partners, including private-sector initiatives, civil-society organisations and subnational institutions. Alliances, moreover, must not define solutions in small circles and then try to impose their decisions on the rest of the world. In this sense, climate-justice partnerships like the one that was formed with South Africa at the Glasgow climate summit last year are quite promising. The partnership is in line with multilateral decision making in the context of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), but much more specific than what global negotiations have spelt out so far.

What are we going to do about reckless politicians and media propagandists who build careers on claiming that global forces are suppressing their nation? Right-wing populists in many countries thrive on pretending they are protecting the people against vicious international powers. They are a threat to democracy, which is why I think we do not show the whole picture when we say that the war in Ukraine is a war waged by despotism on democracy. The conflict is taking place within many countries, including EU members and the USA.
Yes indeed. We were lucky that Emmanuel Macron was reelected in France and that Italy looks more stable than many expected. The situation in Hungary and Poland is difficult, to put it mildly, and recent developments in the Philippines, India and Brazil are worrying. It is important to point out that the conflict between despotism and democracy is not raging only in Ukraine. It is actually a conflict between narrow-minded egotism and the common good, or if you like, between ratio and irratio. Just consider Vladimir Putin’s claim that Ukraine does not really exist because of Russia’s historical roots in Kyiv many centuries ago. By that logic, the city of Rome could lay claim to half of Europe, North Africa and large parts of the Middle East.

What about Putin’s claim that NATO expansion hurts legitimate Russian interests?
Well, that claim only makes sense if one accepts that Russia is entitled to a sphere of influence which it controls and which, not coincidentally, largely coincides with the tsarist empire of the 19th century. NATO expansion was not the result of US imperialism. Because of their historical experiences with Russia, the acceding countries demanded to become members. We should bear in mind, moreover, that history shows that democratic states do not wage war on one another.

But elected governments do sometimes start wars. In 2003, the USA and Britain, for example, led a “coalition of the willing” to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein…
This war was a big mistake and indeed illegal, and not only because there was no explicit UNSC mandate. But the war would have probably not happened had Iraq’s leader been accountable to Iraqis. An elected government would most likely have agreed to letting international inspectors look for weapons of mass destruction. It would have had to pay attention to what people think, and they do generally not want to die for a dictator’s military ambitions.

So why do so many governments in low and middle income countries hesitate to take sides against Russia today?
I think their ambivalence is more about not trusting western governments than having faith in Russia. There are many reasons. The western countries are – to a large part – the former colonial powers, and the Soviet Union supported liberation struggles in many places. Western countries’ track record of promising things they later only hesitantly and incompletely deliver may matter even more. Just consider official development assistance, climate finance or vaccine supplies. Western governments tend to emphasise cooperative global governance when it suits them, but act in pursuit of national interests when they can. They also keep stressing human rights, but, when it comes to refugees, all too often disregard those rights. Russia’s regime has a pattern of perpetual and blatant lies, but western governments’ hypocrisy has destroyed trust too. In many people’s eyes, it is equivalent.

But Russia’s disregard for human rights and welfare is glaring.
Indeed, and it is not only evident in terms of Ukrainian suffering. Equally appalling is how the Russian leadership carelessly sacrifices the lives of thousands and thousands of its own young men. That is typical of undemocratic governance. Putin’s nationalism has strong self-destructive tendencies.

What can western governments do to build trust, not least with an eye to forging the global alliances we need to rise to global challenges – and eventually reform the UN system?
First and foremost, they must keep their promises. Just one example: last year’s G7 summit in Cornwall promised to make $ 1 billion available for vaccine provision internationally, and by January only 30 % had been disbursed. That was in the midst of a global pandemic, as we spelled out in a joint paper prepared by several think tanks recently (Kickbusch et al, 2022). If you don’t live up to what you solemnly pledge, you can’t expect others to trust you. This challenge is probably greater than many western policymakers realise. Their counterparts in developing countries know that their peoples are increasingly suffering climate impacts, and that the prosperous nations, which have contributed most to the problem, did not reduce carbon emissions as rigorously as they should have in the 30 years since the ­UNFCCC was agreed in Rio de Janeiro. Policy coherence is crucial for building trust. Western governments must act convincingly in the global arena, and that includes policy implementation at home. They must accelerate their own transformation towards sustainability.

Link
Kickbusch, I., A.-K. Hornidge, Gitahi, G, and Kamradt-Scott, A., 2022: G7 Measures to enhance global health, equity and security
https://www.think7.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/issuepaper_Health_G7-Measures-to-enhance-Global-Health-Equity-and-Security_Kickbusch_Hornidge_Gitahi_Kamradt-Scott.pdf

Anna-Katharina Hornidge is the director of the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS), which was formerly called German Development Institute. She is also professor for global sustainable development at the University of Bonn.
Twitter: @AnnaK_Hornidge
www.idos-rearch.de

Kategorien: english

Hello world!

#C20 18 - 23. Juni 2022 - 14:31

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

Kategorien: english, Ticker

„In jeder Situation gibt es auch Chancen"

GDI Briefing - 23. Juni 2022 - 13:55

In Elmau werden viele verschiedene Krisen verhandelt. Was bedeutet das fürs Regierungshandeln? Anna-Katharina Hornidge ist Co-Leiterin von Think7 – dem Zusammenschluss von führenden Denkfabriken. Sie sieht im Gipfel auch die Chance für einen großen Wurf. Ein Interview von Journalist Jan Rübel.

Kategorien: english

‘Everyone benefits from hydrogen as an energy source’

GIZ Germany - 23. Juni 2022 - 10:38
: Tue, 21 Jun 2022 HH:mm:ss
Frank Mischler works in Brussels to support the energy transition. In this interview, he reports on new developments and the potential role of GIZ.
Kategorien: english

Ethnic Violence is Escalating in Ethiopia

UN Dispatch - 23. Juni 2022 - 10:10

On June 19th, reports began to emerge of a mass atrocity in the Ethiopian region of Oromia committed against members of the Amhara ethnic group. This latest attack fits into a broader pattern of ethnic violence in Ethiopia since the outbreak of civil war in November 2020.

Laetitia Bader is the Horn of Africa Director at Human Rights Watch. She contributed to a joint Human Rights Watch-Amnesty International report titled “We Will Erase You from This Land:  Crimes Against Humanity and Ethnic Cleansing in Ethiopia’s Western Tigray Zone.” The report finds evidence of an organized campaign of ethnic cleansing against Tigrayan people, which is occurring in the context of Ethiopia’s ongoing civil war.

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Transcript lightly edited for clarity

What is the State of Ethnic Violence in Ethiopia Today?

Laetitia Bader [00:02:59] It’s been very difficult to get information from that area. Now, Western Oromia has actually been the site of a lot of violence for almost three years now. There has been a very abusive counterinsurgency operation by both federal governments, but also regional government forces there. There have been other bouts of very large-scale attacks on minority communities, notably Amhara communities in Western Oromia in the last few years. So, these are unfortunately trends which have been happening for some time. This incident and the little information which has come out so far suggests that this is really a horrific and very large-scale attack, but it is happening in a context in which civilians, and this is both the Oromo population, but also the Amhara minority communities in Oromia, have been caught very much between a rock and a hard place between armed groups and also security forces. This is happening at a time where the events there have really fallen off the radar of the world. People have been ignoring Oromia more generally for the last two years, as a lot of the attention has been for very real reasons as well, on the very serious abuses which have been happening in the context of the conflict and in northern Ethiopia but the suffering of the communities and a lot of fear among the communities there has been very real. One of the trends we have repeatedly highlighted has been a context of impunity for bouts of previous violence against minority communities, but also attacks on the Oromo community there by security forces and also by armed groups there as well.

What happened in the recent attack of Amhara people in Oromia?

Mark L. Goldberg [00:05:12] So if indeed this was a massacre of Amhara civilians perpetrated by Oromo armed groups, which is what is being reported and alleged at this point, it would fit into a broader pattern in the region.

Laetitia Bader [00:05:31] Yes. I mean, there has been a complexity to some of the attacks on the Amhara minority communities there in the past so it’s not the first large scale attack which has been blamed on the Oromo Liberation Army. They have denied involvement. This isn’t the first time. They’ve denied involvement in these abuses in the past, but there is very little information coming out of what happens there and so the complexity is key. And ensuring that there is a context in which there can be independent investigations is so critical as well because narratives play such a key part in shaping the mindsets of many communities. And I think making sure that there is a space in which you get to the truth is absolutely key to ensure there aren’t new cycles of grievances. So yes, it does fit into previous trends, but there have also been other types of attacks involving other actors. What is very clear is that civilians have not been protected. This is an area where for a long-time communication was actually shut off in early 2020. This was really at the time when COVID was really taking off and a lot of our concerns was that key public health messaging, because the government would shut off the communications in that area where they were undertaking often quite abusive counterinsurgency operations, comms had been shut off. And so not only was there very little information coming out on what was happening, but also communities there were not receiving critical security, but also health information at the time. So, this is this is a region within a region which has been neglected and civilians have paid a high price as a result.

Mark L. Goldberg [00:07:28] What will you be looking towards in the coming days to help you gather more information about what exactly happened and who might be responsible?

Laetitia Bader [00:07:41] I mean, obviously, given our human rights mandate, what’s key is understanding the trends in that area. Had there been any warning signs? Had security forces responded if they had come up? Had had there been moments when there could have been a response to better protect civilians? So, understanding what the needs and the demands of that community before the attack were happened is obviously key. But of course, understanding their current situation, testimonies of actually what happened in the attacks and understanding the cost. What are their requests? What are they asking for of the government and of others at a time when, you know, so many lives have been turned upside down?

What are the demographics of Western Tigray?

Mark L. Goldberg [00:08:32] So this recent incident, if indeed confirmed, would fit into a broader pattern of increasing ethnic violence in Ethiopia that’s accelerated since the outbreak of the conflict in Tigray in November 2020. We were scheduled to speak before news of this latest incident erupted about your report into abuses in Western Tigray. Could you situate Western Tigray for us, both geographically and demographically?

Laetitia Bader [00:09:08] So Western Tigray is on the border of the Tigray region with Eritrea and Sudan. This is actually a very fertile region. There’s a lot of sesame plantations there. There’s a lot of seasonal laborers coming from other parts of Tigray, but also the Amhara region and further afield that would come to this area in the key harvest seasons. So, this was in many ways quite a vibrant area, quite a fertile and wealthy area, but has also been an area which has been contested for decades.

Mark L. Goldberg [00:09:48] And what are the main ethnic groups that have resided in this area?

Laetitia Bader [00:09:56] I mean, predominantly there have been both ethnic Tigrayans, ethnic Amhara communities and also Wolkait communities which are much more of a mix and in many ways, there have been a range of definitions and self-identification both with the Amhara community and with the Tigrayan community and within their own communities as well. So, these are in many ways the key communities around which a lot of the contestation and the demands and the related abuses have been happening.

What does increased ethnic violence look like in Western Tigray?

Mark L. Goldberg [00:10:37] So take us back to November 2020 when the conflict in Tigray starts. How is this conflict experienced in Western Tigray specifically, where your report focused?

Laetitia Bader [00:10:51] Well Western Tigray is very much one of the first area where the conflict broke out. We traveled to Sudan in December 2020, so about one month after this conflict in Tigray had started and we mainly spoke to individuals and communities that had fled from Western Tigray and really kind of described how much their lives had been turned upside down in the space of a few days. No one was expecting what was about to happen. And so, some really incredible testimonies of, you know, an individual bathing in a lake, an individual in their kitchen cooking what they were about to eat when the fighting just completely caught them off guard. So, one of the first areas affected by the fighting and where the fighting broke out now very quickly in the space of a few weeks, the federal government forces with allied forces from the Amhara region and also militia from the Amhara region took control of Western Tigray, a lot of the special forces, of the Tigrayan forces and also local militia in towns in Western Tigray actually retreated very quickly from this area. And as we describe what then happened was very quickly Amhara regional officials and new administrations were established in Western Tigray going back to late November 2020 and December 2020.

What happened to Tigrayans in Ethiopia after Amhara forces took control of Western Tigray in 2020?

Mark L. Goldberg [00:12:35] So whereas previously this area was administered by the TPLF, that entity had been defeated on the battlefield, so to speak, and had retreated to other parts of Tigray. So, Amhara forces took control. What then happened to ethnic Tigrayans living under this new administrative control?

Laetitia Bader [00:13:00] So what we found — and we really started to document the waves of abuses and so our report looks at what has been 15 months of different waves of what we have found to be an ethnic cleansing campaign — is a very organized series of very serious crimes. So, we documented sexual violence against Tigrayan communities there, expropriation of land and property, mass roundups of Tigrayans of all walks of life, and what our reporting really highlights is this wasn’t just happening in one or two towns. The abuses were rolled out in a very organized fashion by the administration and the security forces in Western Tigray across at least 14 towns so a really large geographic area. And what we found was that these measures, so they also included denying Tigrayans to speak Tigrayan in the streets and signs in Tigrayan were removed in the streets, people’s property was taken away from them, Tigrayans were denied the little humanitarian assistance, the food, that was coming into this zone was distributed by the Federal Government’s Main Food Assistance Agency, and that was being denied to Tigrayans at a time where they were also losing all their other means of survival. They were denied new administration I.D. cards, which made it very difficult for them to move around. I mean, imagine this was very much a period where very militarized checkpoints everywhere and you have this community increasingly living in fear and unable to move around. Massive sexual violence, extrajudicial executions, especially of Tigrayan men, but also boys, and what we really started to document from late December 2020 was an organized, forced expulsions of Tigrayans. And this is really when we started to see hundreds of thousands of Tigrayans from Western Tigray arriving in other parts of Tigray. So that happened in two ways. Many thousands of Tigrayans were forcibly expulsed directly from detention facilities. So, as I was describing, you had the federal government forces, the Amhara forces, that were sweeping Tigrayans into these informal formal detention facilities throughout that area.

Who is enacting the ethnic violence in Western Tigray and across Ethiopia?

Mark L. Goldberg [00:15:47] Basically just like big open-air prisons.

Laetitia Bader [00:15:50] A mixture. Some were warehouses, some were homes, some were police stations, some were prison. So, a real mixture of different security forces controlling different detention facilities.

Mark L. Goldberg [00:16:04] But you do have evidence that it was an alliance of the Amhara regional forces and the federal government that were participating in this mass roundup.

Laetitia Bader [00:16:14] Absolutely. I mean, in our report, we document the specific abuses we found in which the federal government forces were involved, I mean, especially war crimes that were committed in the first two months. But federal government forces have been involved and participated in the mass roundups, which continued for over 15 months, but also in the forced expulsions. So, what we saw were those thousands of people from detention facilities being put in buses and basically bussed away from their land. But we also saw what is coerced expulsions where people’s lives were made so, so difficult, the intimidation, the ongoing killings, the sexual violence, the ethnic slurs that were being on a daily basis, they were warnings. They were basically warnings being made in town halls by the new administration saying Tigrayans have to leave. This is not land belonging to Tigrayans. There were leaflets that were appearing on the streets of several towns at the same time. And so, you also then saw organized bussing. So, people, the administration were actually putting forward busses that, of course, people then had to pay for to actually be bused to other parts of Tigray. And so, this organized, forced expulsion was very central to this ethnic cleansing campaign. And I think it is important to underline here, this is a government organized ethnic cleansing campaign, which is very different in many ways to bouts of ethnic violence, which are involving non-state actors, armed groups. This was a state orchestrated campaign against a particular population.

How is the Ethiopian government cleansing Western Tigray of ethnic Tigrayans?

Mark L. Goldberg [00:17:59] Are there any individual stories you could share from your reporting that are illustrative of this organized campaign? What were victims of this campaign telling you, telling other human rights researchers about what happened to them as individuals?

Laetitia Bader [00:18:24] I mean, there were a whole range of themes that came up again and again. I mean, one was how dehumanized people felt and especially those who were held in these mass detention facilities. I mean, the waves of detention have continued to date and in many ways it’s one of the biggest concerns we have is that we believe hundreds, if not thousands of Tigrayans are still detained. And what we found was that the conditions in those detention facilities were deteriorating. Individuals would describe how they were being denied increasingly access to food. They were increasingly being beaten. They were being told, you know, the most dehumanizing things within the context of this kind of ethnic hatred and slurs and we had testimonies of individuals starting to question whether they were humans, given what they were being told and the way they were being treated and the way they were being made to feel. You know, I interviewed an old man who was actually rounded up in one of the later phases that we documented. So, these roundups continued into November, December through to January this year. And an old man of 70 was picked up in Woomera town purely for being a Tigrayan and he was brought to a detention facility in Woomera town where we know of at least two facilities where hundreds if not more of people are still being detained. And he was held there. He was so badly beaten; he saw two other older men beaten to death in the two weeks he was in those detention facilities. And he told me he believes the only reason he was eventually freed and actually put on a bus and expulsed into other parts of Tigray was because they thought he was about to die. And so horrible, dehumanizing stories. I think his story in many ways is just so illustrative of the ongoing suffering of this community. He was actually bused across the Tekeze river, which is seen as the natural boundary between Western Tigray and other parts of Tigray. He then ended up in a displaced persons camp, which was then hit by a drone strike. And so, I was speaking to him not only because of his experience in Western Tigray Zone to understand how he’d ended up in this displaced people’s camp, but also as a survivor of a horrific drone strike which killed dozens of people who had just been forcibly expelled as part of this ethnic cleansing campaign.

Why was there a drone strike taken out on a displaced persons camp in Tigray?

Mark L. Goldberg [00:21:11] And this was a drone strike on a displaced persons camp.

Laetitia Bader [00:21:15] Yes.

Mark L. Goldberg [00:21:16] So deliberately targeting civilians.

Laetitia Bader [00:21:19] There are absolutely real questions about why. The victims were predominantly women, children, very young children, and elderly people, because what we were seeing in Western Tigray at the time was it was mainly older people and women with young children who were basically being forcibly expulsed, whereas boys of the age of 15 through to 50-year-old men were being detained. And so, these were the people in that displaced camp, which was targeted on what was an Orthodox Christian Christmas night while they were sleeping.

Why is the government of Ethiopia engaging in an ethnic cleansing campaign against Tigrayans?

Mark L. Goldberg [00:22:03] So what you’ve described to me is not the spontaneous eruption of communal violence, but as you described, a really organized campaign of ethnic cleansing on the part of the government in partnership with the Amhara regional forces. What would you suspect is the perhaps strategic logic for organizing this kind of ethnic cleansing campaign? Why would the government want to do this?

Laetitia Bader [00:22:41] This has been an area which has been contested for decades and when the conflict started, this area was given very much, and the Amhara regional forces and administration were given the opportunity to establish an administration in this zone. This was happening in a context where communications had been shut off. There was very little information coming out from Tigray as a whole. There were serious abuses happening in other parts of Tigray at the time as well, but Western Tigray Zone was also one where there were very, very few independent eyes on the ground. There was a very little humanitarian presence in the area and so this also created a context which was conducive to rolling out this organized policy and these abuses.

What is happening in Tigray today?

Mark L. Goldberg [00:23:47] So there has been mass displacement, a massive humanitarian crisis that has unfolded throughout Tigray since November 2020. Can you just describe the state of the conflict today?

Laetitia Bader [00:24:03] At the moment there are areas where there are still and there have been continued skirmishes over recent months. We are still talking about a situation in which there are massive humanitarian needs, real issues around humanitarian access. Now, this is predominantly for the Tigray region, where for almost a year now the government has been effectively ceding the region. So, since April, we have definitely seen an increase in goods and supplies, humanitarian goods and supplies which were allowed into the region, but services are still cut off. And this remains a policy and a strategy of harm against civilians in that area. So, we are still seeing massive suffering. Some of the key trends which all warring parties have committed in northern Ethiopia have been widespread sexual violence, but also targeted attacks and deliberate attacks on health care. We saw this very clearly and starkly in the first nine months of the conflict in the Tigray region. We’ve seen similar patterns in the Amhara region in late 2021, but also in the Afar region. Now that has an ongoing and long-term impact on communities in these areas, even when the fighting isn’t happening. So, we really are talking about a context of massive need. We have seen directly how the lack of accountability for these abuses have resulted in new cycles of abuses, of reprisal attacks by Tigrayan forces against other forces because of the behavior in Tigray so really talking about a context of ongoing suffering.

What can the international community do to support the end of ethnic cleansing in Ethiopia?

Mark L. Goldberg [00:26:19] So is there anything sort of realistic that the international community can do at this point to both support accountability for ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, war crimes that have been committed in the context of the Tigray conflict and also anything more the international community can be doing to support both increased access to besieged regions and also support a more comprehensive cessation of hostilities or peace agreement?

Laetitia Bader [00:26:54] So let’s start with Western Tigray Zone, because in many ways the needs there are quite specific. In the report we identify three individuals with command responsibility roles and also involvement in direct participation in the crimes we documented in this report. So, it is absolutely essential that the international community is calling for investigations and serious prosecutions for the crimes they have committed. They have overseen and continued to oversee these abuses, and their ongoing involvement and presence in the region is contributing to harm there. So, both in terms of calling for investigations, accountability, but also taking measures such as individual targeted sanctions against these individuals, there can be no business as usual by the international community with individuals such as those. And at the same time, there are absolutely pressing protection needs so it’s key for the international community to continue to press for there to be independent actors able to access detention facilities. As I described, the conditions in the detention facilities deteriorated in the second half of last year. We believe the crimes and the abuses there could amount to the crime of extermination and so that is an absolute need. Given that this is an area where there is likely to be a protracted political process which needs to happen, it’s also absolutely key that there is a protection presence in the area. So that can happen in many ways. First of all, there needs to be a much stronger humanitarian presence there to ensure that all communities, and we’re not only talking about Tigrayans, but others as well, are accessing assistance, but a presence which is really protection led and where there is stringent oversight. The international community needs to make sure that assistance going into Western Tigray Zone is not further instrumentalized in this ethnic cleansing campaign. But we’ve also said that as part of any negotiated settlement among the warring parties, there should be an agreement to deploy an A.U. led protection force to this area. There are real, concrete physical protection needs.

Mark L. Goldberg [00:29:35] Basically peacekeepers from the African Union would be a useful way to protect civilians under threat?

Laetitia Bader [00:29:45] Absolutely. So, we’ve called for an A.U. led peacekeeping force, which would obviously need to have significant international support and participation, if possible, as well and it would play several roles. It would play a physical protection role. It should be playing a monitoring role. It could also help facilitate independent, unfettered humanitarian access into that area as well. One of the issues that came up in a lot of our discussions with the Tigrayans who had been cleansed from this area was, not across the board, I would say, you know, younger generations were feeling very angry and more reluctant to return home, but many of them want to return home. And so, it’s going to be absolutely critical that there is a safe environment and a conducive environment for them to return to. I mean, more broadly, it is absolutely key that international pressure doesn’t press for humanitarian access as a confidence building measure and we’ve really seen that shift in the last few months unfortunately. Last year, the call for humanitarian access to Tigray was very much put forward as a priority in itself but increasingly, the messaging has shifted and humanitarian access in many ways has been instrumentalized as a political tool when it isn’t. It is a responsibility of the warring parties to allow access. It is a responsibility of the Ethiopian federal government to be allowing populations on its territory to have access to assistance. And one final point there, I mean, humanitarian convoys and trucks getting in themselves are not going to resolve the massive humanitarian needs in Tigray right now, it is also absolutely critical for services to be restored. A lot of civil servants in the region haven’t received salaries in over a year. The banking system has been cut off. And so, it means there are also categories of the population there that have really been pushed over the edge because of the shutdown of basic services.

Mark L. Goldberg [00:32:15] Well, Laetitia, we’ll have to leave it there. Thank you so much for your time and for your indispensable reporting.

Laetitia Bader [00:32:25] Thank you very much.

Mark L. Goldberg [00:32:30] All right. Thank you all for listening. Thank you to Laetitia Bader for taking time to speak with me. And we scheduled this interview before news of that new mass atrocity broke in Oromia and I was very glad that she was able to offer us some context for helping us understand that event as we learn more about it in the coming days and weeks. All right. We’ll see you next time. Thanks, bye!

The post Ethnic Violence is Escalating in Ethiopia appeared first on UN Dispatch.

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Photo gallery: CPDE raises awareness on effective Covid recovery at EDD 2022

CSO Partnership - 23. Juni 2022 - 5:46

The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness joined the Global Village in this year’s European Development Days (EDD) with a stand titled: Partnering with Civil Society for an Effective COVID Recovery: Why Inclusive Partnerships with CSOs will ensure that the Effectiveness Principles support COVID Recovery.

Held 21st and 22nd of June at Brussels Expo, the EDD showcased projects, reports, and activities supported by the European Commission around the world. The theme for this year was “Global gateway: Building sustainable partnerships for a connected world.” The programme consisted of 90+ sessions co-created with the EDD community.

In line with this, CPDE focused on the role of partnerships in responding to the most pressing global challenge we face today: recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

CPDE’s stand received many visitors from international development networks, universities, media organisations, development consultancies, and other development actors. When visitors stopped at the stand, CPDE representatives introduced the platform’s work and spoke about the importance of partnering effectively with civil society to ensure robust recovery from the pandemic. They drew on CPDE’s comprehensive research study on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 response that was conducted in 2021. A QR code was displayed for visitors to easily access the study in English, Spanish or French. 

The research study in question, World in Lockdown, Development on Hold: A special CPDE report on the (in)effectiveness of the Covid-19 response, gathers stories from communities bearing the brunt of the pandemic and face the risk of being further marginalised. These stories compiled by our member CSOs expose how measures taken to mitigate the impact of the pandemic have been used to silence critical voices and hinder civil society participation. #

The post Photo gallery: CPDE raises awareness on effective Covid recovery at EDD 2022 appeared first on CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

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