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The Upstream Journal

Journal

“The worst of times” – asylum seekers in Australia

Protest in melbourne

Refugee Action Protest in Melbourne. Photo Credit: John Englart.

2013 was the first time since World War II that the number of asylum seekers and displaced people in the world reached more than fifty million. In light of the masses of people seeking asylum, Australia’s policy towards asylum seekers has been one of deterrence.
Since the 1990s, Australia has had a policy of mandatory detention of anyone in the country illegally – the only country in the world to do so. International human rights organizations have repeatedly criticized the detention camps, in which it is claimed that human rights violations regularly occur. Continue Reading

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Journal

Aid and debt follow natural disaster

Marcos

Bust of Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator who embezzled $10 billion. International creditors still collect payments from the people of the Philippines because of their loans to his corrupt regime.

After super typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, nations and charities were praised for their quick response. The United Kingdom offered more than $110 million in grants and humanitarian assistance, and the US promised $90.5 million.  They did not offer to cancel debt payments.

In 2014 it is estimated that the Philippines will have to spend $8.8 billion on debt service, almost as much as the $8.99 billion it will spend on infrastructure projects and reconstruction.

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Journal

The World Bank disregards international human rights standards

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

The Chad-Cameroon pipeline, a World Bank project that critics say was more harmful than beneficial. Photo by Ken Doerr.

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.

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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. 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) Continue Reading

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Journal

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) Continue Reading

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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. 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. Continue Reading

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Journal

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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Journal

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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