Category Archives: Global development

‘It was heartbreaking’: the bleak truth behind Bafta-chasing migrant drama

Stark realities underpin Aamir, Vika Evdokimenko’s ostensibly fictional tale of a young migrant forced to fend for himself

Aamir is just 13. Like many teenagers, his coming of age is marked by a wispy moustache above his upper lip, a vulnerability in his hunched shoulders, a voice not yet broken.

But after soldiers break into his family home in Mosul and shoot and kill his father, Aamir must become a man. His mother sends him away with a few wads of cash and his father’s watch as insurance, hoping to give him a better life – one he might actually survive. But as the boy tries to find his feet all alone in a foreign world, will he end up losing his mind in the process?

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Source: gad

‘Unspeakable numbers’: 10,000 civilians killed or injured in Afghanistan in 2017

Casualties above 10,000 for the fourth consecutive year, despite small drop on 2016 figures, as UN describes ‘appalling human suffering’

More than 10,000 civilians were killed or injured in the violent attacks in the war in Afghanistan last year, the United Nations has said.

The annual report released on 15 February by the UN’s mission in Afghanistan (Unama) showed the figure had dropped by 9% in 2017, compared with the previous year.

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Source: gad

Charities colluding with traffickers? Fake news, says report

Study finds anti-migrant and pro-Trump groups spreading increasing number of false stories about aid agencies to weaken their reputation

Aid agencies and charities are increasingly the target of fake news aimed at undermining their credibility, according to a report by the International Broadcasting Trust.

In a week in which sexual exploitation in the aid sector hit the headlines, the new report – Faking It – examined the reputational impact of fake news, typically on social media, amid already declining public trust in NGOs.

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Source: gad

UN staff say they were urged to support official accused of sexual misconduct

Employees claim they were implored to sign letter vouching for senior UNAids figure, amid calls for the UK government to establish an independent inquiry into harassment allegations

Staff within a UN agency say they are being approached at their desks and asked to sign a letter in support of a senior official at the centre of a recent sexual harassment and assault investigation.

The letter asks employees to testify that Luiz Loures, deputy executive director of UNAids, behaves respectfully and is committed to advancing women’s rights.

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Source: gad

Oxfam scandal: Penny Mordaunt to meet National Crime Agency

Development secretary’s move comes amid mounting pressure over sexual misconduct revelations

The international development secretary, Penny Mordaunt, is to meet investigators from the National Crime Agency to discuss the Oxfam sexual misconduct scandal.

Speaking at a child protection summit in Stockholm, Mordaunt said she would attend an appointment with the NCA after meetings with charity leaders, regulators and experts in recent days.

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Source: gad

Many young African women with HIV unaware they are infected

Study across seven sub-Saharan countries shows less than half of young women carrying the virus were aware they had the disease

Less than half of young women with HIV in seven southern and east African countries are aware they are infected, according to a wide-ranging study.

The incidence of HIV infection among 15- to 24-year-old women in Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe is currently around 3.6% – some 1.5 million young and adolescent women – with an infection rate almost double that of their male counterparts.

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Source: gad

Kenya's 'Erin Brockovich' defies harassment to bring anti-pollution case to courts

Phyllis Omido is leading a landmark class action demanding a clean-up and compensation from a lead-smelting factory accused of poisoning local residents – including her own son

Eight years after her baby was lead-poisoned through breast milk, Kenya’s most prominent anti-pollution campaigner is set to finally get her day in court in a case that the UN hopes will prove a landmark for environmental defenders across Africa.

Phyllis Omido has been threatened by thugs, arrested by police and forced into hiding for organising opposition to a lead-smelting factory in Mombasa, which allegedly poisoned residents in the neighbouring shantytown of Owino Uhuru.

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Source: gad

Minnie Driver cuts ties with Oxfam over sex scandal

Actor had been an ambassador for the charity and said she was devastated by revelations

Minnie Driver has become the first celebrity patron of Oxfam to step down in the wake of the sexual misconduct scandal.

The 48-year-old actor, who was one of the charity’s 16 ambassadors, said she was “in no uncertain terms” withdrawing her support for the charity despite working with it for more than 20 years.

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Source: gad

'Tunisia is finished': smugglers profit as downturn drives European exodus

Growing unemployment, dwindling wages and tax hikes trigger rise in illegal migration and concerns over terrorism

Ahmed Souissi describes himself as a civil society activist. In a country where almost every job is unionised, Souissi is the leader of the Union of Unemployed Graduates on the island of Kerkennah: the departure point for Tunisians heading – legally and illegally – to Europe.

Souissi is now employed, but his union work continues. He has seen the illegal migration business take root and flourish on his island. He describes the old fishing boats – packed with desperate, predominantly young men from across the country – making their way out of the harbour in full view of the police and national guard, groups ostensibly charged with halting them.

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Source: gad

Atia Abawi: 'There were lifejackets everywhere. People died trying to live'

Her own experiences as a refugee did little to prepare the Afghan-American young adult novelist for the disturbing realities that greeted her in Lesbos while writing her new book about people fleeing Syria

Atia Abawi, a young adult novelist, was working on a very different book when an epiphany occurred.

Sitting in her apartment with her young son, she was watching news reports of Syrian refugees on the deadly smuggling routes to Europe. Suddenly, she knew she had to write about that experience instead.

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Source: gad