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The Upstream Journal

Journal

The World Bank disregards international human rights standards

The World Bank is planning to include a policy against discrimination in its new social safeguard standards. This is a big step forward for the institution, because it has refused to adopt explicit commitments to protect human rights in the past.

Human rights activists worldwide have criticized the World Bank for funding projects in states, such as Uzbekistan and Belarus, in which there are systemic violations of the human rights of their citizens. The Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline and the Narmada dam project in India are examples of projects the World Bank supported that critics argue were harmful to the environment and to human rights.

The Chad-Cameroon Pipeline that was more harmful than beneficial.  Photo by Ken Doerr.

The Chad-Cameroon Pipeline that was more harmful than beneficial. Photo by Ken Doerr.

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  • 2014 / May
  • By Par Laurie Druelle
  • 0
Journal

De la révolution à la crise : la réalité des femmes syriennes

 Une jeune révolutionnaire syrienne fait des graffitis sur les murs de Damas « l'armée syrienne libre arrive ».

Une jeune révolutionnaire syrienne fait des graffitis sur les murs de Damas
« l’armée syrienne libre arrive »

Depuis le début de la révolution syrienne et de la crise qui s’en suivit, les femmes syriennes ont multiplié leurs efforts pacifiques pour assurer la survie de leurs familles et communautés.

Yasmine et Lama* ont accepté de partager leur histoire malgré les probables représailles du gouvernement. Bien que ces deux syriennes ne se connaissent pas, leurs histoires ont plusieurs points communs et démontrent l’importance du rôle des femmes dans cette crise. *prénoms fictifs

Yasmine, de l’ « Assemblée de filles de Damas » est une révolutionnaire vivant à Damas, la capitale, encore contrôlée par le gouvernement.

Lama, de l’ « Assemblée de filles de Darayya » est en banlieue de la capitale et fait face aux combats constants entre l’armée d’état et l’Armée syrienne libre.

Toutes deux expliquent qu’à partir de 2011, les discussions entre collègues, professeurs et groupes d’amis se centraient de plus en plus autour de l’ouverture démocratique du pays. Lama et Yasmine, comme plusieurs autres femmes, ont alors rejoint les rangs des manifestants. Continue Reading

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Journal

Coûts élevés, petits avantages : les barrages supportés par la Banque Mondiale

 Inondations du au constructions du barrages de Yacyreta   Photo par: International Rivers


Inondations du au constructions du barrages de Yacyreta
Photo par: International Rivers

«La Banque Mondiale finance des projets de grands barrages, mais fait peu pour aider les personnes qui sont forcées de se déplacer pour faire place aux barrages. Selon le portfolio de la Banque, les statistiques plus récentes indiquent que 1.9 million de personnes on été déplacées et ces chiffres continuent d’augmenter.» (International Rivers)

Exemple du Passé

Argentine et Paraguay – Barrage de Yacyreta

  • En 1994, plus de 15,000 personnes on été forcées de déménager; plus récemment, encore 5,000 personnes on été déplacées pour faire place au barrage.
  • La Banque Mondiale a prêté presque 2 milliards de dollars pour ce projet en Argentine et au Paraguay.

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High Costs, Small Benefits – World Bank-Funded Dams

Floods due to constructions at Yacyreta dam Photo by: International Rivers

Floods due to constructions at Yacyreta dam
Photo by: International Rivers

“The World Bank funds large dam projects, but does little to help the displaced millions who are forced to relocate. The most recent data available indicates that 1.9 million people are being displaced by projects in the Bank’s current portfolio and that these numbers continue to grow.” (International Rivers)

Past Example

Argentina and Paraguay – Yacyreta Dam

  • In 1994, more than 15,000 people were forced out of their homes and an additional 5,000 people have been forcibly displaced for the construction of the Yacyreta dam.
  • The World Bank loaned nearly 2 billion dollars towards this joint project between Argentina and Paraguay.
  • Most of those forcibly displaced were not compensated for their losses or were moved to crumbling and shoddy resettlement colonies. The Yacyreta Dam did not bring about promised economic improvements and development but rather exacerbated ecological problems (including floods), food insecurity, and left much of the rural population homeless. (International Rivers)

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Journal

La sécurité alimentaire : Nécessaire mais insuffisante?

La souveraineté alimentaire est nécessaire pour les enfants qui souffrent de la faim. (Source: FMSC Distribution Partner - Kenya)

La souveraineté alimentaire est nécessaire pour les enfants qui souffrent de la faim.
(Source: FMSC Distribution Partner – Kenya)


Le débat sur la souveraineté alimentaire est polarisé. Dans le monde diplomatique, la solution à la faim tourne souvent autour de la sécurité alimentaire. Les mouvements populaires, en échange, revendique la souveraineté alimentaire qui vise à donner plus de pouvoirs aux fermiers à petite échelle. Un certain niveau de coopération entre ces deux point de vue à débuté au mois d’Octobre 2013. Regardez la vidéo sur la coopération entre la FAO et la Via Campesina :

Sécurité alimentaire

‘”La sécurité alimentaire existe lorsque tous les êtres humains ont, à tout moment, un accès physique et économique à une nourriture suffisante, saine et nutritive leur permettant de satisfaire leurs besoins énergétiques et leurs préférences alimentaires pour mener une vie saine et active.” (FAO, 1996) Continue Reading

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Journal

Food Security: Is It Necessary But Not Enough?

Food sovereignty is mandate for the starving children (Source: FMSC Distribution Partner - Kenya)

Food sovereignty is mandatory for the starving children
(Source: FMSC Distribution Partner – Kenya)

The debate over food is polarized. In the diplomatic world, hunger is more often discussed in terms of food security. Grassroots movements, on the other hand, are more concerned with food sovereignty as they aim at empowering small-scale farmers.

Nonetheless, cooperation between both sides began in October 2013. Watch the video on the FAO and Via Campesina cooperation.

Food security

“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” (FAO, 1996) Continue Reading

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Jamaica – Skyrocketing debt, poverty and even more austerity

Waving Jamaican Flag (Photograph by- John D. Mcdonald)

Waving Jamican Flag (Photograph by- John D. Mcdonald)

With public debt at 143% of GDP, Jamaica is one of the most highly indebted countries in the world. Jamaica has the third highest debt-to-GDP ratio, after Japan and Greece. Decades of low growth and high debt have led to persistently high poverty and unemployment as well as the departure of many Jamaicans for better opportunities abroad.

The IMF recently approved a 4-year loan agreement with Jamaica under which Jamaica will receive up to US$ 932 million. This will unlock additional funding from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank of around $510 million each. Canada has promised to contribute to program financing by supplying technical and bilateral assistance. The IMF agreement aims to put Jamaica’s public debt on the path to dropping to 96% of GDP by the end of March 2020. Continue Reading

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The neglected diseases of poverty

The last week of April is World Immunization Week, promoting vaccines as powerful tools for protecting people against some of the most deadly diseases. However, there are no effective vaccines for many of what are called “Neglected Tropical Diseases” – NTDs. And where there are few vaccines and treatments available, people remain trapped in a cycle of poverty and disease.

NTDs include seventeen parasitic, bacterial and viral infections that infect more than a billion people across the world. They include diseases such as leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, dengue and sleeping sickness.

Despite the name ‘tropical’ the NTDs thrive far beyond the tropics and represent a great health burden worldwide. These preventable “diseases of poverty” primarily affect the world’s poorest people and can cause severe lifelong disabilities such as blindness, deformities, and debilitation. However, the devastating impact of these diseases is often overshadowed by the “big three” – HIV, tuberculosis and malaria – leaving them neglected in discussions of global health, investment, and research.

"Velayuthan pillai (Age 69), a tailor. Elephantiasis turned his life into misery by taking away both his legs. Having lost his legs and job, he returned back to his home town and joined as a guard for a temple for the pay of (Rupess 800) 17.60$ per month. With the help of this little income he's struggling to make both ends in life along with his wife." Photo by Rajvinoth Jothineelakandan.

“Velayuthan pillai (Age 69), a tailor. Elephantiasis turned his life into misery by taking away both his legs. Having lost his legs and job, he returned back to his home town and joined as a guard for a temple for the pay of (Rupess 800) 17.60$ per month. With the help of this little income he’s struggling to make both ends in life along with his wife.” Photo by Rajvinoth Jothineelakandan.

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Journal

International Day of Peasants’ Struggles

Did you know that two thirds of the world’s people get their food supply from small-scale farmers? Did you know that small-scale farmers use only 30% of the world arable land? Or that women produce 70% of the food on earth?
April 17th - Day of Peasant's Struggles. Source: La Via Campesina.

April 17th – Day of Peasant’s Struggles. Source: La Via Campesina

April 17th – Day of Peasant’s Struggles. Source: La Via Campesina.

La Via Campesina, also known as the Peasants’ Movement, stands for 200 million farmers globally, including small and medium-size farmers, indigenous people, women farmers, landless workers, migrants and agricultural workers. It represents 164 organizations from 73 countries, according to its website.

Women produce 70% of the food on earth, but they are severely marginalized, making gender equality an important issue when talking about the rights of small-scale farmers.

More than two thirds of the world’s people are dependent for their food on small-scale farmers, who use only 30% of the world arable land, according to the article written by World Development Movement’s policy officer, Christine Haigh. However, most small-scale farmers struggle to establish their rights to use and manage land, water, seeds, livestock and biodiversity.
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The critical voice of South Sudan: Mading Ngor

Mading Ngor was one of the “Lost Boys” of Sudan who fled the infamous massacres of Darfur. He left his village in 1991, when his father was killed. He eventually arrived at a Kenyan refugee camp in 1995, where he remained until he got a visa for Canada in 2001. He went to high school in New Westminster, B.C., studied journalism at Edmonton’s Grant MacEwan University, and then earned his BA in Professional Communication at Royal Roads University in Victoria, when he co-founded a news website, New Sudan Vision. After a brief period working as a freelancer for the Calgary Herald in 2011, Mading returned to South Sudan and became a radio journalist on a popular morning show called Wake Up Juba! Today, he is an international correspondent with Reuters and The Huffington Post, as well as a production assistant with the BBC.

Growing up during the civil war and fleeing Sudan

You were born in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state in 1983. What was your childhood like?

A critical voice in a new country

A critical voice in a new country

My people are cattle rearing, so life around me when I was young was all about cattle because that’s the Dinka tradition. Even my name Mading is the name of a bull and most of the Dinka names are all about cattle. So I used to take care of the cattle, used to swim by a nearby lake and go hunting with my dog. To me it was a normal childhood. But that all changed when the massacre in 1991 happened in my village and changed my life irretrievably.

We were forced to flee on bare feet. When I say ‘we’ I mean my mother, siblings and other relatives. We ran to the bush, hiding and running away from the enemy. Th ere was loud sound everywhere and we just kept on running. My mum was our guide and we ate wild fruits because we had no food. We were begging, depending on the generosity of others. We came back to Bor and it was a ghost town. Everywhere you found dead human, dead cow. Everywhere you went there was stench, it was just unbearable.
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