COVID-19

3 min read

While COVID-19 is impacting everybody, everywhere, eye care is among the health interventions most significantly affected by the pandemic. Like many other “non-urgent” health services, eye health care was suspended in many countries to increase capacity to fight the pandemic.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted marginalised groups in China, particularly the disabled population of 85 million people. At the moment, advocacy for extra care for the disabled mainly focuses on access to medical care and financial benefits from the government. Little attention has been paid to long-term challenges linked to education and employment, which the pandemic has worsened.

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6 min read

COVID-19 has made very visible how climate change will affect us all on a global scale, which has stirred renewed energy to “build back better” through climate resiliency. Some of us, however, will be harder hit by climate change than others.

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In June, a forest community in northern Thailand was awarded the prestigious Equator Prize by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). With some support from RECOFTC and our partners, the Wetland Forest Conservation Group of the village Boon Rueang convinced the government to conserve the largest wetland forest in the Ing River basin rather than develop a special economic zone. Since that momentous achievement, made through advocacy and dialogue, the Group has pioneered a community forestry model that is successfully protecting biodiversity, storing carbon, providing food and livelihoods, and enabling the community to preserve its identity and culture. This model even helped the community successfully weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

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5 min read

There is an urgent need to educate the masses about the importance of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) for combating COVID-19. Based on learnings from the past pandemics, building awareness about executing the NPIs and promoting leadership at community level to ensure its compliance, may help in mitigating the crisis.

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6 min read

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the food nutrition security situation in Asia? The global pandemic of COVID-19 is affecting people all over the world. Beyond its impact on the health sector, the disease has had major implications on social, economic and psychological aspects of life. It has disrupted education, work, and food systems and shattered the livelihoods for millions of people globally. 

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Nutrition is a massively underfunded global social and health issue. In contrast to the over USD 500 billion spent per year on fossil fuel subsidies, the funders spend only about USD 3.9 billion annually on efforts to reduce malnutrition. In 2016, the World Bank estimated that governments and donors needed to spend an additional USD 7 billion annually for the next 10 years over the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016–2025)[1] to meet targets set by the World Health Assembly, a goal that remains unrealised. The scarcity of funding for nutrition is puzzling given its high social return on investment. Every USD 1 spent on basic nutrition gives back an estimated USD 16 to the local economy, comparable to investments in health, irrigation, and roads.

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4 min read

In the past months, measures taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus have led to greater isolation and severe financial distress for many. Researchers are warning that these measures could inflict long-lasting emotional trauma, and have an undeniable impact on mental health. As nations slowly recover from the pandemic, it will be important to ensure mental health impacts are taken into account. In fact, the effect of augmented stress in past epidemics and natural catastrophes has been proven to have long-term disastrous consequences.

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3 min read

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis that has reminded everyone of the fragile interconnectivity between human beings and the ecosystem, China is showing greater willingness to prioritize environmental protection. Beijing’s latest environmental guideline issued in March highlights collaboration efforts between the government, corporates and the public to build a “modernized environmental governance system”. Collaboration between the public and the private sector is a theme that SEE Foundation, one of only a few environmental grant-makers in China, is very familiar with as we have been contributing to the country’s environmental sustainability development over the last two decades.

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“COVID 19 has been seen as a test run for a major climate event. The parallels are clear: both are silent threats of global scale, they move quickly through borders, they do not discriminate between rich or poor, young or old or race or religion. Both are existential threats against humanity where complete solutions are still unclear. Although both threats are known, we have not taken them seriously enough and hence this urgent call to action,” says En Lee, Head of Sustainable and Impact Investments Asia, LGT.

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6 min read

2020 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action – the UN Women-led blueprint to advance women’s rights, when women empowerment should have achieved significant success. We are far from that, and will actually need another century to reach gender parity. That is certainly not helped by the ongoing pandemic, which threatens to negate even the limited gains made. Across every sphere, from education and health to economy and security, the impacts of COVID-19 have been exacerbated for women and girls.

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5 min read

Why Investment in Nutrition is Critical? Malnutrition is a global crisis. Poor nutrition has far-reaching implications. On an individual level, it causes people to be more susceptible to illnesses due to weakened immunities. From a wider perspective, malnutrition strains healthcare systems, and causes losses in human capital and workplace productivity. During his sharing, Martin Short, CEO of The Power of Nutrition emphasised that malnutrition costs an estimated US$3.5 trillion annually worldwide.

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