Real Realm Collaborations for the best Gaming Experience

SINGAPORE, Nov. 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Real Realm (RISE Studio) is a Free–to–earn blockchain–based war strategy game that enables the players to enjoy the gameplay with various NFTs into relentless battles. Along with diverse features, various battle modes, players emerge themselves in Real Realm Universe to experience the great game while earning enormous benefits.

Real Realm would like to introduce you to our partnership portfolio today. This way of cooperation and collaboration is one of the key elements in the Real Realm business development strategy.

Partners Portfolio

Real Realm team is a connection of skillful members who are experts in the field of game development as well as Blockchain technology with the cooperation of passionate individuals.

With Real Realm, we wanted to combine blockchain technology and the gaming mechanism, inside of the game users will be using the Real tokens to purchase new things. That will be one of our features.

We also offer tournaments, NFT battles where users can bet on who'll be the winner and at the end earn more tokens if they win.

We're confident about our rich content with many different types of NFT heroes, battle modes, runes. The game has so much variety of features.

From technical development to media strategy, we have a broad portfolio of partners. Because in Real Realm we believe partnership is one of the important keys to a successful product.

We also would like to mention more about our recent partner Lotus Capital.

Lotus Capital

Lotus Capital is the leading Crypto Fund in the Middle East. It's an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, engineers, researchers and academics.

They have unparalleled access to the most innovative projects in the blockchain space. Some of their great features are;

Deep Network
Obtain Institutional, Enterprise and Government partnerships in the Middle East and Globally

Geographical Distribution
Direct access to a community of 30k crypto users in the Middle East

Node Running
Geographical Validator Nodes & Staking Solutions

Arabic Marketing
Marketing and growth hacking efforts in MENA region and in online forums

We're very glad to sign a partnership agreement with them also please let us know, what do you think about our recent partnership deals and with which companies do you like us to make a partnership deal.

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/e67f26bb–1b3b–4ff8–8aab–12144932bde2


Real Realm Collaborations for the best Gaming Experience

SINGAPORE, Nov. 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Real Realm (RISE Studio) is a Free–to–earn blockchain–based war strategy game that enables the players to enjoy the gameplay with various NFTs into relentless battles. Along with diverse features, various battle modes, players emerge themselves in Real Realm Universe to experience the great game while earning enormous benefits.

Real Realm would like to introduce you to our partnership portfolio today. This way of cooperation and collaboration is one of the key elements in the Real Realm business development strategy.

Partners Portfolio

Real Realm team is a connection of skillful members who are experts in the field of game development as well as Blockchain technology with the cooperation of passionate individuals.

With Real Realm, we wanted to combine blockchain technology and the gaming mechanism, inside of the game users will be using the Real tokens to purchase new things. That will be one of our features.

We also offer tournaments, NFT battles where users can bet on who'll be the winner and at the end earn more tokens if they win.

We're confident about our rich content with many different types of NFT heroes, battle modes, runes. The game has so much variety of features.

From technical development to media strategy, we have a broad portfolio of partners. Because in Real Realm we believe partnership is one of the important keys to a successful product.

We also would like to mention more about our recent partner Lotus Capital.

Lotus Capital

Lotus Capital is the leading Crypto Fund in the Middle East. It's an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, engineers, researchers and academics.

They have unparalleled access to the most innovative projects in the blockchain space. Some of their great features are;

Deep Network
Obtain Institutional, Enterprise and Government partnerships in the Middle East and Globally

Geographical Distribution
Direct access to a community of 30k crypto users in the Middle East

Node Running
Geographical Validator Nodes & Staking Solutions

Arabic Marketing
Marketing and growth hacking efforts in MENA region and in online forums

We're very glad to sign a partnership agreement with them also please let us know, what do you think about our recent partnership deals and with which companies do you like us to make a partnership deal.

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/e67f26bb–1b3b–4ff8–8aab–12144932bde2


Campaigners Petition UN to Investigate Racial and Gender Discriminations in Global COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-Out

US, UK, Germany, Norway, and Switzerland in violation of international human rights law in “prolonging the pandemic” ahead of vital World Trade Organisation meeting

By External Source
GENEVA, Nov 10 2021 (IPS-Partners)

An international coalition of human rights law groups, public health experts, and civil society organisations is taking legal action against the US, UK, Germany, Norway, and Switzerland, on the grounds that these countries are in violation of international human rights law by failing to intervene on what has been an inequitable and racially discriminatory roll-out of the vaccine and other COVID healthcare technologies.

In an appeal to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the coalition charges that by failing to lift intellectual property barriers on all COVID-19 medical technologies through a TRIPS waiver (or to effectively implement it through technology transfers), the US, UK, Germany, Norway, and Switzerland are in violation of the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, a human rights convention ratified by nearly all countries in the world.

Because the rich countries currently making and hoarding vaccines are majority white, and the formerly colonized countries suffering due to vaccines being withheld are majority Black, indigenous, or other people of colour, the current inequitable vaccine rollout is a textbook example of structural racial discrimination.

The International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination requires that countries take effective measures “to review governmental, national and local policies, and to amend, rescind or nullify any laws or regulations which have the effect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination wherever it exists.” Countries have an obligation under the convention to “prevent, prohibit and eradicate” all practices of racial discrimination particularly “racial segregation and apartheid.”

Yet the US, UK, Germany, Norway, and Switzerland have opposed or willfully failed to take all available measures to increase global supply of and equitable access to vaccines and other COVID-19 medical technologies, a violation of their obligations under the human rights convention.

Globally, 73% of all COVID-19 vaccine doses have gone to just 10 countries. Rich countries have administered 61 times more doses per capita than poorer countries and delivered only 14% of the 1.8 billion doses promised to poor countries. Just 5.8% of Africans have been vaccinated. The top 10 high-income countries will have hoarded 870 million excess doses of vaccines by the end of 2021. Countries in the Global South stand to lose $2.3 trillion from now until 2025 if they can’t vaccinate 60% of their population by mid-2022.

The appeal asks the CERD Committee to compel the US, UK, Germany, Norway, and Switzerland to “respect, protect and fulfil their human rights obligations,” as well as to take several immediate actions, including:

    • Demand that the Respondent States immediately support, implement, and enforce a temporary waiver of the intellectual property barriers on COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments currently imposed by the World Trade Organisation’s Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS), as requested by India and South Africa in October 2020, and
    • Mandate technology and knowledge transfers from the relevant pharmaceutical corporations to the many manufacturers around the world standing by to ramp up production of these lifesaving medical technologies.
    The CERD meets from November 15 in a weeks-long session coinciding with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting on November 30. The WTO ministerial is a key opportunity to resolve the year-long impasse on the proposal to break the corporate monopoly control of COVID-19 healthcare technologies by granting the TRIPS waiver.

Tian Johnson, Founder & Lead Strategist, African Alliance and member of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, said: “As a consequence of neocolonial economic and social policies in Africa, fragile health systems impact communities’ access to health services in much of the continent. Africa will become known as the continent of COVID-19 – not because of vaccine hesitancy but because of the inequity, greed, and inaction of pharmaceutical companies and political leaders of the North. Having to rely only on the continent’s own capacity and resources will not be enough to save African lives. Nor should it be. African lives matter, just as much as lives in Berlin, Washington, Tel Aviv, Geneva, London, Toronto or Brussels. COVID-19 is a global crisis that requires global action, whose response all countries should be able to share equally.”

Paula Litvachky, from the Center for Legal and Social Studies in Argentina, said: “Latin America has been extremely affected by the pandemic. It concentrates almost 25 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in a continent that is less than 10 percent of the world’s population. Although there is regional industrial capacity, many States have had problems accessing vaccines. Groups such as indigenous peoples, Afro descendants and racialized sectors are harder hit than others, both by the virus and by the dramatic social and economic crises it is provoking.”

Anele Yawa, General Secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign and a member of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, said: “Big Pharma has prioritized excessive profits over protecting people’s health for too long. Often they are aided and abetted by governments in the Global North through their inaction or opposition to a more just system. We have repeatedly seen this occur in many fights for access to affordable medicines, from the fight for HIV medicines in the early 2000s and more recently in our fight to Fix the Patent Laws to ensure more affordable medicines for cancer, TB, mental health and beyond. Yet again now with COVID-19, we are seeing Big Pharma greed being prioritized over people’s lives all over the world. Governments must fulfil their international obligations and help prioritize people over profits by ensuring vaccine equity for all, irrespective of where you were born, poverty, gender or immigration status.”

Joshua Castellino, Executive Director of Minority Rights Group International, said: “COVID-19 has hit people of colour, women, indigenous people, and other minority and discriminated groups harder in terms of infections, deaths, lack of access to healthcare, resultant poverty, and even violence and emotional trauma. The discrimination of the virus is being revisited by vaccine discrimination, as rich nations deliberately withhold and deny these same groups of people equitable access to it.”

Meena Jagannath, coordinator of the Global Network of Movement Lawyers at Movement Law Lab, said: “We have tabled an evidenced-based challenge to the UN, an institution meant to embody the spirit of multilateral cooperation. Our evidence points to specific actions by the named states in perpetuating structural divisions between the global north and the global south that are rooted in historical colonialism, all in the service of profit and the corporate capture of power. This contravenes their legal obligations under international covenants and agreements they’ve ratified. This is a test-of-our-times for the UN system to engage and correct. We are deadly serious in our resolve to seek justice and redress.”

Mandivavarira Mudarikwa, Attorney, Women’s Legal Centre, South Africa, a member of ESCR-Net – International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, said: “It is undeniable that women in their diversity, especially those of colour, have disproportionately been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including in shouldering the greatest burden of healthcare and unpaid care work. The inequitable availability of access to health care, personal protective equipment and the distribution of vaccines, and other lifesaving treatments has laid bare the ongoing discrimination that women face in their daily lives. Critical, transformative action is needed immediately if we are to substantively effect change and bring about just and equal access to the right to health. We therefore support the submission of the CERD urgent action appeal aimed at addressing the gender and racial injustice that persists and hope that others will join in this collective action.”

The petition urges CERD to find that these countries must prioritise actions that will protect people’s lives instead of the corporate-controlled intellectual property of the vaccine. They should be supporting — rather than blocking — a proposal at the WTO to waive these intellectual property monopolies, so that more countries are able to make more and cheaper vaccines and other COVID healthcare technologies.

Germany, the UK, Norway and Switzerland have actively opposed moves to waive intellectual property barriers on all COVID-19 vaccine technologies at the WTO. The US has declared support but only for a narrow waiver on the vaccine alone, while failing to use other mechanisms at its disposal e.g. mandating technology transfers through use of the Defense Production Act.

The petition is also strengthened by a separate legal brief signed by jurists around the world which finds that these “blocking” states are also, by their actions, breaching a number of covenant and treaty obligations under international human rights law. The brief says these countries are violating both the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, along with a number of treaties they have signed as members of the WTO, including their legal obligations of international cooperation. A broad legal coalition is also advancing additional complaints in other forums, including a submission to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to surface the gender discrimination.

The petitioning groups include African Alliance, Center for Economic and Social Rights, Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales, Minority Rights Group, Oxfam International and Treatment Action Campaign. The petition was coordinated by Global Network of Movement Lawyers (of Movement Law Lab) and ESCR-Net, and is supported by SECTION27 and other organizations within the People’s Vaccine Alliance.

Excerpt:

US, UK, Germany, Norway, and Switzerland in violation of international human rights law in “prolonging the pandemic” ahead of vital World Trade Organisation meeting

COP26: Avoiding Carbon Tunnel Vision: Action on Climate Change Needs an Inter-connected Response

Forestry loss: Up to 65 per cent of productive land is degraded, while desertification affects 45 per cent of Africa’s land area. Credit: FAO/Luis Tato.
Meanwhile, well over 100 countries (representing over 85% of the world’s forests) have signed the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, committing to work collectively to halt and reverse forestry loss and land degradation by 2030, while promoting an inclusive rural transformation.

By Tina Nybo Jensen
AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands, Nov 10 2021 – With the UN climate change conference – COP26 – continuing this week in Glasgow, it’s obvious that there is consensus among a majority of world leaders and key stakeholders that much more needs to be done, if the ambition of keeping global warming to a 1.5-degree increase is to have any chance of being met. Yet talk, as they say, is cheap. Or, in the words of Greta: too much “blah, blah, blah” and not enough action.

Responding to the global climate crisis demands a global response, with public commitments backed up by resources and collaboration. We cannot have countries or organizations working in silos.

And we cannot de-couple climate considerations from the broader sustainability agenda, as exemplified by the Sustainable Development Goals – and SDG 13 (climate action), in particular.

Widening perspectives to understand all impacts

A catch-phrase doing the rounds on social media lately, coined by Jan Konietzko of Cognizant, is ‘carbon tunnel vision’. A clever play on words, yes, but beyond that it is a highly pertinent observation.

If we achieve net-zero emissions yet overlook human rights, or fail to safeguard biodiversity, what will this mean for the wellbeing of people and planet?

At Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), we provide the global common language for organizations to communicate their impacts. The GRI Standards broadly address a company’s impacts on the economy, environment and people, in a holistic and comprehensive way.

That is why, through GRI’s engagements at COP26 we have focused on how sustainability reporting can inform decision-making that achieves faster action on climate change and related sustainability issues.

At the heart of this is strengthening and highlighting the synergies between the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda. It will only be through concerted and connected action on these commitments, informed by evidence and data, that we can seize the opportunities for an inclusive and sustainable future for all.

Collaboration between public and private sectors

Alongside transnational coordination between governments, we need to further engage the private sector as a key partner in the realization and implementation of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. Working closely with the UN Global Compact and other international organizations, GRI strives to highlight and increase the importance of corporate sustainability reporting for the SDGs.

Encouragingly, the Climate Confidence Barometer, published in September by WBCSD and FREUDS, highlights that 98% of companies surveyed reported confidence that they will meet net-zero targets by 2050. In addition, 55% are confident that the global business community will do so as well.

However, the transition does not stop at emissions; as identified in a recent report from the Future of Sustainable Data Alliance, there is a ‘ESG data hole’ when it comes to biodiversity and nature. KPMG research from December 2020 also found that less than a quarter of large companies at risk from biodiversity loss disclose on the topic.

In this context, GRI’s plans to launch a new Biodiversity Standard in 2022 are timely and much needed, while October’s UN Biodiversity Conference set the stage for work to resume next year to adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

Action that delivers tangible results

However, it is encouraging that well over 100 countries (representing over 85% of the world’s forests) have signed the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, committing to work collectively to halt and reverse forestry loss and land degradation by 2030, while promoting an inclusive rural transformation.

This is a commendable vision – but we need to hold all parties to these commitments.

To secure tangible results – from safeguarding the environment to wider progress on the sustainability agenda – the action needs to start today. It cannot become a carte blanche to maintain ‘business as usual’ until 2030.

Regular and comprehensive reporting on sustainability impacts, with accountability from all organizations with an involvement, is essential to measure progress.

Effective sustainability reporting offers a unique perspective on the role of the private sector, helping countries to work towards the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda. While a multi-faceted approach is needed to reach these goals, we should be no means downplay the significance of reaching net-zero.

It is not a matter of either/or – we need to dramatically cut emissions and secure broader sustainable development in the process.

It’s time for true leadership

There are strong signs that business is already convinced of the urgency of the situation – and is, in fact, pressing governments to do much more. The We Mean Business Coalition call to action urges the G20 to limit average global temperature rise to 1.5°C. It has been signed so far by 778 business leaders – representing US$2.7 trillion in annual revenue. Furthermore, one-in-five companies around the world have set net-zero targets.

Last week, WBCSD launched a manifesto that calls for a new ‘Corporate Determined Contributions’ mechanism to measure the private sector’s role in the global climate recovery. With a core focus on the imperatives to reduce, remove and report GHG emissions, this reflects a growing and welcome trend of responsible companies pressing for greater influence in support of climate action.

As COP26 draws to close, GRI calls on all stakeholders to raise their ambitions, act now on their commitments, and work together to deliver a holistic approach to the challenges of climate change. One that takes account of the environment and society – cutting emissions while also securing sustainable development. Failure on either front will mean tragic consequences for all.

Tina Nybo Jensen is International Policy Manager at Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). She leads on the development, management and implementation of GRI’s Sustainable Development Program, with a special focus on the SDGs and engagement with multilateral organizations.

Prior to joining GRI in 2014, Tina worked for the Danish Red Cross Youth in Jordan and the Westbank, and at the Danish Embassy in Thailand. She holds Master’s Degrees in Development & International Relations (Aalborg University, Denmark), and Political Science with Specialisation in Environmental Governance & International Relations (Vrije University Amsterdam, the Netherlands).

 


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FXCM Pro and Integral Launch First Cleared CFD Platform

LONDON and SYDNEY, Australia and JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Nov. 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — FXCM Pro, the institutional arm of the leading international provider of online foreign exchange trading, CFD trading and related services, and Integral, a leading financial technology company, have today announced the launch of a centrally cleared platform for CFDs (Contracts for difference).

Through this new service, the first cleared contract for CFD users was executed with liquidity for the transaction provided by Jump Trading, a global leader in FX and CFD market making.

The CFD Prime platform brings all the widely recognized benefits of Prime Brokerage to the CFD market, including consolidated margin, account opening and netting, resulting in reduced transacting costs. Through Integral's market leading technology, users are able to trade in standardized CFD products including major indices, commodities and crypto currencies, utilizing the prime brokerage services of FXCM Pro in conjunction with liquidity from market makers including Jump Trading.

FXCM Pro will provide its balance sheet along with its battle–tested post–trade infrastructure to provide clients with the margin and operational benefits of a single account, while Integral's technology platform allows clients to use a single connection to get aggregated prices and transact with multiple liquidity providers without having to form multiple bilateral relationships.

Brendan Callan, CEO of FXCM Group, commented: "We are committed to upgrading the trading experiences of our clients, and our new CFD Prime service is the latest in the long line of our innovations designed to do exactly that. We're harnessing 20 years of experience, as well as leveraging the latest advancements in technology to pave the way for a more diverse and vibrant global CFD trading community on our platform."

Harpal Sandhu, Founder and CEO of Integral, said: "Integral's innovations have always been centered on providing clients with unrivalled access to credit and liquidity. Unlocking direct access to leading CFD market makers through a single credit and technology relationship is a big step forward in what has been a bilateral market, until now."

Bo Bjurgert, Head of Business Development at Jump Trading, added: "This innovation is a truly ground–breaking development in the CFD market structure. By enabling LPs and customers to trade directly with each other, without the burden of managing multiple bilateral relationships, traders of CFD products will realize significant liquidity and cost benefits."

Disclaimers:

This communication is intended for institutional and professional clients only.

About FXCM

FXCM is a leading provider of online foreign exchange (FX) trading, CFD trading, and related services. Founded in 1999, the company's mission is to provide global traders with access to the world's largest and most liquid market by offering innovative trading tools, hiring excellent trading educators, meeting strict financial standards and striving for the best online trading experience in the market. Clients have the advantage of mobile trading, one–click order execution and trading from real–time charts. In addition, FXCM offers educational courses on FX trading and provides trading tools, proprietary data and premium resources. FXCM Pro provides retail brokers, small hedge funds and emerging market banks access to wholesale execution and liquidity, while providing high and medium frequency funds access to prime brokerage services via FXCM Prime. FXCM is a Leucadia Company. Trading Forex/CFDs on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors.

Leverage can work against you. The products are intended for retail, professional and eligible counterparty clients. Retail clients who maintain account(s) with Forex Capital Markets Limited

(“FXCM LTD”), could sustain a total loss of deposited funds but are not subject to subsequent payment obligations beyond the deposited funds but professional clients and eligible counterparty clients could sustain losses in excess of deposits. Prior to trading any products offered by FXCM LTD or other firms within the FXCM group of companies [collectively the “FXCM Group”], carefully consider your financial situation and experience level. If you decide to trade products offered by FXCM Australia Pty. Limited ("FXCM AU") (AFSL 309763), you must read and understand the Financial Services Guide, Product Disclosure Statement, Target Market Determination and Terms of Business. Our FX and CFD prices are set by us, are not made on an Exchange and are not governed under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act. The FXCM Group may provide general commentary, which is not intended as investment advice and must not be construed as such. Seek advice from a separate financial advisor. The FXCM Group assumes no liability for errors, inaccuracies or omissions; does not warrant the accuracy, completeness of information, text, graphics, links or other items contained within these materials. Read and understand the Terms and Conditions on the FXCM Group's websites prior to taking further action.

About Integral
Integral is a financial technology company that helps its customers""banks, brokers, and asset managers""outperform their competition in the foreign exchange market through innovative solutions for workflow management and advanced execution. This powerful cloud–based platform is the industry's only answer for FX institutions that want to design and deliver complete solutions tailored to their businesses. Integral's modern approach of addressing the entire FX lifecycle with an intelligent platform allows its customers to achieve the lowest transaction costs, greatest operational efficiency, and highest yield. Founded in 1993, Integral maintains development, support, and sales offices in Palo Alto, New York, London, Tokyo, Singapore and Bangalore.

2021 Integral Development Corp. All rights reserved. Integral technology is protected under U.S. Patent Nos. 6,347,307; 7,882,011; 8,417,622; 8,862,507, 9,412,134; 9,836,789; 10,387,952 and patent pending applications and related intellectual property. Additional information is available at https://www.integral.com

FXCM Media contact:

Chatsworth Communications
+44 (0) 20 7440 9780
fxcm@chatsworthcommunications.com

Integral Media contact:

Aspectus
+44 (0) 20 7242 8867
Integral@aspectusgroup.com


Commonwealth Secretary-General Urges Leaders to “Dig Deeper” in Climate Talks for the Sake of Vulnerable Nations

By External Source
Nov 10 2021 (IPS-Partners)

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has appealed to world leaders attending the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 to close the gap in ongoing negotiations this week in Glasgow, with millions of lives and livelihoods on the line in climate-vulnerable countries.

Secretary-General Scotland delivered her statement today to the resumed high-level segment of the conference, hours after a draft outcome document was released by the United Kingdom, as chair of the summit.

She said: “If we lose vulnerable nations who have battled with courage and resilience, we lose the fight against climate change.”

“If the gaps on emissions are not closed, if improved access to climate finance does not materialise, we risk the most vulnerable nations amongst us being subsumed by sea level rises and being engulfed by debt, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“Do not grow weary and lose heart. Dig deeper, come together, and close the gap in these negotiations.”

More than 2.5 billion people live in the Commonwealth’s 54 member countries, 60 percent of whom are under age 30. That includes 32 small states and 14 of the least developed countries of the world which are facing the brunt of the climate change impacts.

The Secretary-General added: “Millions are already losing lives and livelihoods from the impacts of climate change, but they are fighting. We must too.

“They know that, without action, the force and frequency of violent weather, fire, shortages of food, water and the threat of rising seas will continue to intensify until it overwhelms them. They require inclusive, just and equitable actions.”

Climate-related disasters in the Commonwealth doubled in number from the period 1980-1990 (431) to the period 2010-2020 (815), with economic damages increasing from US$39 billion to $189 billion over the same time frames.

In earlier discussions at COP26, the Secretary-General reiterated the call for developed countries to deliver the promised US$100 billion in annual climate finance to support developing nations, both for adaptation as well as mitigation purposes.

She added that funds also need to be accessible to the smallest and most vulnerable countries, who currently have difficulties tapping into finance due to lack of capacity and data.

She highlighted key Commonwealth initiatives responding to the climate crisis, including the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub, the Commonwealth Blue Charter, the Call for Action on Living Lands and the Disaster Risk Finance Portal.

Education Cannot Wait Investments Change Lives for Children, Including At-Risk Girls, Children with Disabilities and Teachers in South Sudan

Girls at Malual Agai School in South Sudan are having a lesson about menstrual hygiene. The school is one of the beneficiaries from Multi-Year Resilience Programme (MYRP) funded by Education Cannot Wait (ECW). The fund aims to keep girls at school by supporting them and providing them with dignity kits. Credit: ECW

By Charlton Doki
Juba, South Sudan, Nov 10 2021 – Ayom Wol sits under a tree in South Sudan in the scorching midday sun. He is a newly-trained teacher, preparing for tomorrow’s lessons. His school principal says he has to prepare while at school because there is no electricity at home.

The 29-year-old Wol teaches English and Science in Mitor Primary School in Gogrial West County of Warrap state. The school is among hundreds benefiting from a Multi-Year Resilience Programme (MYRP) funded by Education Cannot Wait (ECW).

Wol is among the teachers who have received teacher training with ECW funding, and the training has greatly improved his skills and capacity to prepare lesson plans and teaching materials.

Education Cannot Wait is the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. In January 2020, it launched the MYRP in collaboration with the South Sudan government and local and international aid and development agencies. The MYRP programme focuses on building resilience within education in South Sudan.

ECW director Yasmine Sherif. Credit: ECW

“With one of the lowest school enrolment rates in the world, children and adolescents in South Sudan continue to bear the heavy burden of the years of conflict that ravaged their country. Girls are disproportionally affected. They represent three-quarters of the out of school children in primary education, and it is even worse at the secondary level,” says Yasmine Sherif, the Director of Education Cannot Wait.

“Together with our partners in the government, communities, civil society and the UN, Education Cannot Wait’s investment in safe, inclusive quality education for the most marginalised children and adolescents in the country can finally turn the tide for the next generation of South Sudanese to thrive and become positive changemakers for their young nation.

The MYRP provides an opportunity for children to access education in six of South Sudan’s ten states: Jonglei, Upper Nile, Unity, Eastern Equatoria, Lakes and Warrap. ECW allocated US$30 million as seed funding to support the three-year MYRP, which targets children in 355 schools and learning centres across the six states. These learning centres include 69 early childhood development centres, 213 primary schools, 21 secondary schools and 52 alternative education system centres, both for ‘Accelerated Education Programmes’ and ‘Pastoralist Education Programmes’.

Out of 117,256 beneficiaries reached by the MYRP during the first year of implementation, 46,010 are girls, and 1,647 are children with disabilities.

A Back-to-School campaign in Riwoto primary school, Kapoeta North County. The school is supported by ECW is working to ensure that all children, including those with disabilities, are able to attend school. Credit: ECW

Even though he has taught for nine years, Wol says, he became a better teacher after attending training supported through the MYRP.

“I now know how to prepare a lesson plan and a scheme of work for any subject,” Wol says. “I have also learned from the training how to support children who are living with disabilities.”

Joseph Mogga, the Education Programme Manager for Christian Mission for Development in South Sudan’s Jonglei state, says the MYRP helps train teachers on how to handle inclusion, especially of children with disabilities, amongst other issues.

“We are going to train teachers on how they can teach in an inclusive setting. Here in South Sudan, vulnerability is more pronounced when the child with a disability is a girl,” he says, adding that this project supports an inclusive and safe learning environment for all girls and boys, including those with disabilities.

The Director-General for Gender Equity and Inclusive Education in the Ministry of General Education and Instruction, Esther Akumu Achire, says that some cultures and traditions in South Sudan deprive girls of their right to education, promoting harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage.

“This is very common among our people, and these are among the cultural barriers we are trying to change.”

Malual Agurpiny Primary School flooded. ECW is at the forefront of ensuring that children benefit from quality education even in crises. Credit: ECW

Long distances to schools and climate-change-induced floods also disrupt education.

“The long distances to get to school scares some parents from sending their children to school because they feel that the schools are too far, and there is conflict and insecurity. Sometimes, you hear about rape which scares the parents for their children.”

Achire says about 2.8 million children remain out of school. She is grateful for the MYRP initiative supporting the education sector in South Sudan.

“The MYRP is doing a good job. We have realised that the girls and the children with disabilities are taken care of. We are now trying to ensure that the girls, even young mothers, are now back to school and that they are learning well.”

Adolescent girls are given dignity kits, and children with disabilities are provided for. “Children with disabilities are given some assistive devices which help them continue learning,” Achire says. “In fact, with awareness-raising on children with disabilities and the importance of girls coming to school, the enrolment is going up.”
A critical aspect of the programme is the teacher training component.

“We could have the girls in schools, but if the teachers are not there or if they do not know how to teach, it becomes a problem. But with the MYRP, teacher training is being conducted,” she says, adding that the training also focuses on reducing gender-based violence.

ECW staff are hard at work despite the flooding to ensure the schools are functional. Credit: ECW

Ayuen Awien, a primary seven pupil at Keen Primary School in Gogrial West County, Warrap state, attests to the benefits of being involved in the ECW programme.

Early and forced marriages are common in her community, so she is considered vulnerable and eligible for support. Awien says the school environment offers her safety.

“I feel secure here because our teachers are against early and forced marriages,” says Awien. “I would probably have been forced to get married if I was not in school.”

Awien says she has received books, dignity kits, playing and learning materials and is quite comfortable in school. In the future, Awien says, she wants to be a doctor.

“I encourage other girls who are at home to enrol and stay in school. If you study, you will have a better life in future, and you will be able to help your parents as well,” she says.

The MYRP programme has distributed 1.2 million textbooks to all targeted counties to facilitate learning for all children targeted by the programme.

According to Mogga, the MYRP is probably the only programme highlighting the plight of children with disabilities.

“In Duk County, wheelchairs, crutches, hearing aids are distributed. Eyeglasses for children who need them so that they can attend classes and be able to see what’s written on the blackboard easily were also donated,” says Mogga.

The MYRP implementing partners are now looking at school infrastructure to assess whether the facilities are accessible to physically challenged learners.

Schools are often in inaccessible areas, but nevertheless, ECW staff ensure that the children get the provisions they need. Credit: ECW

Mogga explains that disruptions to children’s education include conflict, floods, loss of family members and traditional practices such as early marriage. Boys are also expected to look after the cattle when they are supposed to be at school.

“For boys and girls who have been out of school, there was no glimpse of hope,” Mogga says, adding that the ECW-supported programme is a “timely intervention in favour of promoting access to education for out-of-school children.”

To help ensure that girls enrol and stay in school, the MYRP addresses the challenges that force girls and young mothers to drop out.

Programme implementers say the support protects the girls from sexual abuse and exploitation, including sexual exploitation – trading sex to earn money to pay for school fees and meet other basic needs.

“This support also protects girls from early marriages. If a girl is supported with this scholarship, they are happy, and it prevents the risk of early marriage because once they are out of school, the next option is getting married. But by keeping them in school with a scholarship and money offered to them and providing them with basic items like school uniform it prevents them from getting married early,” says Alberto Maker, an education project manager at UNKEA, one of the agencies implementing the MYRP in Gogrial County of South Sudan’s Warrap state.

Implementers of the MYRP stress that several challenges hamper boys’ and girls’ access to safe, inclusive quality education – including climate-impact disasters like floods.

Jacob Masanso, Education Consortium Manager of the MYRP, says recent unprecedented flooding destroyed classrooms in 340 schools across the country, thus exacerbating the shortage of school infrastructure and resulting in health risks.

“Flooding also makes access to target schools and communities hard. For example, some roads are impassable, causing delays in the implementation of certain interventions,” added Masanso.

ECW assisted with COVID-19 preventative equipment so schools could reopen. Credit: ECW

The MYRP also supported school reopening in the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of children and teachers.

“We provided handwashing facilities and COVID-19 preventive materials when schools reopened officially on 3 May 2021. The MYRP implementing partners worked closely with the Ministry of General Education and Instruction and other stakeholders focused on supporting safe school reopening, community mobilisation and engagement,” says Grazia Paoleri, the MYRP Secretariat Coordinator.

“We did this to ensure that both children previously out-of-school prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 and closure of schools and those who were in-school before COVID-19 return to school and learn.”

Paoleri said the funding gap for the MYRP in South Sudan is estimated to be nearly US$190 million by 2022. The Ministry of General Education and Instruction, together with education partners, have developed a funding strategy that guides resource mobilisation efforts for closing this gap to ensure continued access to quality learning opportunities for girls and boys in the country.

  • The ECW-supported Multi-Year Resilience Programme (MYRP) in South Sudan is managed by a consortium of Save the Children, Finn Church Aid and Norwegian Refugee Council together with 17 implementing partners, including Christian Mission for Development (CMD), AVSI, SPEDP, Nile Hope, Food for the Hungry, SAADO, Oxfam, Plan International, CEF, Windle Trust, CINA, HESS, World Vision, Mercy Corps, UNIDOR, UNKEA, PCO.

 


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COP26 – New Toolkit to Boost Clean Energy Investments in Small Island Nations

Credit: Commonwealth Secretariat

By External Source
Nov 10 2021 (IPS-Partners)

A new toolkit launched in the margins of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 aims to unlock clean energy investments for small island nations, many of whom rely heavily on imported fossil fuels for power generation.

Small island developing states (SIDS) made a collective commitment in 2019 to achieve 100 percent renewable energy targets by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. However, they lack sufficient funding to achieve this transition, with private and public funders yet to step up investments in the clean energy sector.

The SIDS Clean Energy Toolkit, developed under a joint project by the Commonwealth Secretariat and Sustainable Energy For All (SEforAll), helps countries translate clean energy transition plans into investable business opportunities.

It supports analysis to help tackle hurdles such as the small size of projects and lack of interest from key international investors, the lack of adequate capital in local financial institutions and restrictive legal conditions for foreign investment. It enables users to carry out cost-benefit analyses and build robust business cases for energy investment in their countries.

Launching the toolkit, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said:

“Of the 38 countries classified by the UN as Small Island Developing States, 25 are Commonwealth countries. Despite significant clean energy resource potential, SIDS have a heavy dependence on imported fossil fuels that result in some of the highest electricity costs in the world, along with significant supply chain challenges that put pressure on already-strained economies.

“This toolkit can assist SIDS develop business cases and strategies to facilitate investment in clean energy projects, particularly in the power sector.”

The toolkit is being trialled in Seychelles. Using the toolkit, a country business case has been developed for Seychelles that identifies the scale of investment required to transition to clean energy. It also provides an objective basis for credible strategies to attract and maximise the investment required to achieve its clean energy goals.

Welcoming the opportunity, Minister for Finance, Economic Planning and Trade, Naadir Hassan, said: “I cannot stressed enough that there is an urgent need for us to prepare for the future and unless we invest in developing and exploiting renewable energy sources today, we might face a situation where we become victims of severe energy shortages. The cost of transitioning at that point may be beyond our means. The Call for Action is now.”

The launch event also included a roundtable for investors and financial institutions such as the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA), the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), who discussed the business case for investing in clean, affordable reliable electricity in Seychelles.