Archive for November 16th, 2014

16/11/2014

Internally Displaced or Refugees — Does It Really Matter?

At the Kawergosk camp, 25km away, Syrian refugees are doing the same. Yet their winter kits and food parcels will mostly likely contain different items and be delivered by different teams funded by different donors.

Both groups are fleeing what the international community now views as the same crisis, yet due to UN protocols and how funding is allocated, internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Iraq and refugees from Syria are being supported by, in some cases, completely separate programmes – despite their similar needs and geographical proximity.

This duplication is prompting experts to call for a rethink on how organizations in Iraq – and elsewhere – respond to dual caseloads of IDPs and refugees, with a strong push to prioritize based upon need rather than status.

read more »

16/11/2014

Christianity between Jewish and Islamic Banking

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*, November 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service

Protestant Liechtenstein recently held a conference on making banking shariah compatible, to attract capital from Muslim countries. And no doubt also because the big survivors of the 2008 crisis were China and Muslim countries; China because the focus is not only growth but lifting the bottom up–increasing domestic demand and less dependence on trade in 1991-2004–Muslim countries because of Islamic banking.

Johan Galtung

Johan Galtung

A common Western misunderstanding is that Islam forbids interest; what is forbidden are relations that are only monetary; they should be economic, social, more human, in a broad sense. Just to make money available against interest is out.

Purely financial deals selling and buying financial objects–derivatives at any level–for commissions are also out. Banks and other companies have to be in it together.

There is more to it. A bank has to be trustworthy, not at the brink of collapse. A leading Islamic banker in Malaysia said that his capital was 60% debt–deposits–20% securities, 20% liquidity; he felt confident that he could survive future crises with that portfolio and the solidity of “being in it together”.

Calculations for the big banks in the USA indicate operating 95% on debt and 5% on liquidity: highly vulnerable to going down, with depositors in the wake.

read more »

16/11/2014

Seven Key Facts About Child and Maternal Malnutrition

Human Wrongs Watch

Rome, 16 November 2014 — In the past two decades, child and maternal malnutrition has declined almost by half–yet, child undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies still impose the greatest nutrition related health burden at the global level, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports ahead of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) scheduled on 19-21 November 2014 at FAO Headquarters in Rome.

Source: FAO

Source: FAO

Undernutrition in children often results from poor quality diets in terms of variety, nutrient content and food safety during infancy and childhood combined with poor access to health services, sanitation and social care, FAO adds.

For pregnant women, hunger and malnutrition, especially deficiencies of iron and calcium, contribute substantially to maternal deaths. Children who are undernourished are more susceptible to infectious diseases and their cognitive development is compromised, hindering their performance in school and consequently their future job and income opportunities,” says FAO.

“Poor maternal and child nutrition is also the primary pathway by which poverty is transmitted from one generation to the next: stunted girls—whose height growth is slowed owing to poor nutrition—grow up to be short in stature as adults, and short maternal height is one of the strongest predictors for low birth weight children and future childhood stunting.”

read more »

16/11/2014

Ebola: School Classes Move to Radio

Human Wrongs Watch

MONROVIA/FREETOWN/DAKAR, 14 November 2014 (IRIN)* –– With the nationwide closure of schools in Liberia and Sierra Leone due to the Ebola outbreak, and with no immediate prospect of them reopening, a growing number of students are receiving their lessons via radio.

“Right now, in the midst of Ebola, the Ministry of Education has embarked on this programme – Teaching by Radio – because we want our children to be engaged academically,” said J. Maxim Blateen, the director of communications for Liberia’s Ministry of Education. “Our school-going children were just sitting at home, idle. So we wanted to bring them something to keep them learning.”

Radio is the most widespread and popular form of media in Liberia and Sierra Leone, where upwards of 80 percent of households have access to a radio.

More than one million people in Liberia have already tuned in to the lessons since the programme first aired in mid-September, when schools were supposed to open.

read more »

16/11/2014

Is ISIS Coming?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*, November, TRANSCEND Media Service 

IF ISIS had approached the borders of Israel this week, nobody in the country would have noticed. Israel was riveted to a court-room drama.

397px-uriavnery-e1353140505941

Uri Avnery

There, in the Jerusalem District Court, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert faced his erstwhile secretary, Shula Zaken. No one could take his or her eyes off them. It was the stuff soap operas are made of.

SHULA WAS a 17-year old Jerusalem girl when she first met Ehud. He was a fledgling advocate, she was a new secretary in the same office.

Since then, for more than 40 years, Shula was the shadow of Ehud, a fiercely loyal secretary who followed her ambitious boss from station to station – mayor of Jerusalem, then Minister of Trade, and finally Prime Minister. She was his closest associate, his confidante, everything.

And then it all blew up. Olmert was accused of several big corruption affairs and was forced to resign. For years now he has been a fixture in the court rooms and TV court reports. Shula Zaken, now a 57-year old rather stout matron, is his co-defendant. She supported him through thick and thin, until in his testimony he put all the blame on her. Shula was sent to prison for 11 months. Ehud was (again) acquitted.

That was the turning point. It appeared that for years the devout secretary had recorded her boss’s private conversations with her. According to her, because she could not live without being able to listen to his voice at any time. Others saw in it as a kind of life insurance.

read more »

%d bloggers like this: