Bombardier Announces New Sales Team Appointments

MONTREAL, Jan. 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier today announced strategic changes to its international sales leadership team. The changes, which take effect immediately, are designed to further optimize Bombardier's worldwide sales experience and capitalize on robust demand for its market–leading, smooth–flying business jets.

Following his decision to leave the company to pursue personal opportunities, Christophe Degoumois, Vice President, Sales, International has transitioned leadership to multiple Sales team members. An accomplished sales leader, Christophe leaves behind a solid foundation on which Bombardier has built its customer–centric values.

"We are grateful for Christophe's 17 years of dedicated service at Bombardier, as well as the team he has built, now ready to take on broader responsibilities," said Peter Likoray, Senior Vice President, Sales, New Aircraft. "Christophe played an important role in creating a positive experience for our customers and instilling a sales culture where customers' needs are central to what we do. We thank him for his stellar leadership and wish him all the best in his new venture."

Ensuring a smooth transition, Emmanuel Bornand will take on the role of Vice President, Sales, Europe, Russia, CIS, Middle East and Africa. Since joining Bombardier in 2008, Emmanuel has established a strong track record. From his base in Europe, he will continue to leverage his extensive experience in different leadership roles to further strengthen relationships with clients and expand Bombardier's activity in the region.

Stphane Leroy will take over responsibility for sales in Asia Pacific and China in addition to his current role of Vice President, Sales, Specialized Aircraft. A 20–year veteran with Bombardier, Stphane's knowledge and industry expertise will allow him to continue to deliver strong results in his new expanded mandate. Stphane has spent eight years in Asia and cumulates over 30 years of experience in government–related sales activities.

Michael Anckner will add responsibility for sales in Latin America to his current responsibilities of fleet and corporate sales in his new role as Vice President, Sales, US Corporate Fleets, Specialized Aircraft & Latin America. Michael, who has been with Bombardier for 11 years and was previously a sales director in Latin America, will continue to leverage his extensive fleet experience and knowledge of the region to further grow sales in Latin America and expand customer relationships worldwide.

About Bombardier
Bombardier is a global leader in aviation, creating innovative and game–changing planes. Our products and services provide world–class experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montral, Canada, Bombardier is present in more than 12 countries including its production/engineering sites and its customer support network. The Corporation supports a worldwide fleet of over 4,900 aircraft in service with a wide variety of multinational corporations, charter and fractional ownership providers, governments and private individuals.

News and information is available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.
Visit the Bombardier Business Aircraft website for more information on our industry–leading products and services.

Bombardier is a registered trademark of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.


Break-Through Ultra-Precision Machining Platform Enables Realization of Next Generation AR/VR/MR, Camera Module, and Electric Vehicle Optical Designs

SWANZEY, N.H., Jan. 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Moore Nanotechnology Systems ("Nanotech"), a leading global supplier of ultra–precision machining systems, announced today the release of their next generation ultra–precision machining platform, the 250UPL MP. This solution is configurable for all sub–nanometer, ultra–precision Single Point Diamond Turning (SPDT), grinding and milling applications.

Optical mold–tool makers demand higher–quality surface finishes to support the fidelity of optical systems now common in smart phone, AR/VR/MR and automotive applications. The current generation of ultra–precision machines in use today have reached their maximum potential. A clean–sheet design was required to break through to the next level of performance, and Nanotech's 250UPL MP meets and exceeds these requirements.

Mark Boomgarden, Nanotech's President and CEO, explained, "We work with the leading camera–module and optical–component suppliers around the world to gain mid and long–term insight to their product and technology requirements, which is then used as input to our own multi–year development roadmap." Boomgarden continued, "It became clear that the industry needs a machine–tool platform that can extend the boundaries of ultra–precision machining capabilities, and they need it now. Building upon years of success in this segment, our technical staff stepped up to the challenge and delivered Nanotech's 250UPL MP. This is one of many new product innovations you will see from Nanotech over the next 12–18 months."

Paul Vermette, Nanotech's Vice President of Engineering and new product development, added, "Success in this market comes down to delivering a solution grounded in sound process knowledge. Our investment in a process development center, very near the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's campus, has been an invaluable component in our product and technology development." Vermette continued, "When we come to market with a new machine like the 250UPL MP, we know that we're delivering more than a machine, we're delivering a solution that solves real–world, complex challenges the optical tool–making industry faces daily."

Scott Gerhart, Nanotech's Vice President of Sales, commented further, "Over the last 6–months, we've been shipping the 250UPL MP to select market–leading companies around the world, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Simply stated, no other machine available today can achieve the surface finish and form accuracy demanded by the optical designs these companies are launching over the next 36 months." Gerhart continued, "We're excited to share the future of ultra–precision machining with all companies when we formally launch the 250UPL MP platform at Photonics West – January 25, 2022."

For more information, contact sales@nanotechsys.com.

Moore Nanotechnology Systems (Nanotech) was founded in Keene, NH in 1997 as a stand–alone subsidiary of the Moore Tool Company. Nanotech is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of state–of–the–art ultra–precision machine tools and associated processes (single point diamond turning, micro–milling, micro–grinding and glass press molding) for the production of advanced optical components in consumer electronics, space, defense, aerospace, lighting, medical and automotive sectors. Moore Tool, founded in 1924 and located in Bridgeport, Connecticut, has a long history in the precision and ultra–precision machine tool markets. Today, Moore Tool provides a complete line of high–performance CNC jig grinders, along with contract precision–manufacturing services certified to both ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D. Moore Nanotechnology and Moore Tool are vertically integrated under the PMT Group.

Moore Nanotechnology Systems: www.nanotechsys.com
Moore Tool, Inc: www.mooretool.com


Up to 70% of Children in Developing Countries to Be Left Unable to Read?

International Day of Education - Education is key to charting the course towards more justice and sustainability, but it is “failing millions of children, youth and adults, increasing their exposure to poverty, violence and exploitation,

Credit: Shafiqul Alam Kiron/IPS

By Baher Kamal
MADRID, Jan 24 2022 – “Unless we take action, the share of children leaving school in developing countries who are unable to read could increase from 53 to 70 percent.”

The alarm bell has been rung by the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, in his message on the International Day of Education, marked on 24 January 2022.

In fact, some 1.6 billion school and college students had their studies interrupted at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic — and it’s not over yet, said Guterres, adding that today, school closures continue to disrupt the lives of over 31 million students, “exacerbating a global learning crisis.”

“This generation of students now risk losing 17 trillion US dollars in lifetime earnings in present value, or about 14 percent of today’s global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as a result of COVID-19 pandemic-related school closures.”

The UN Education, Sciencia and Culture Organisation (UNESCO), the World Bank and the UN Children Fund (UNICEF) have quantified the economic dimension of this drama.

 

Giant losses

“This generation of students now risk losing 17 trillion US dollars in lifetime earnings in present value, or about 14 percent of today’s global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as a result of COVID-19 pandemic-related school closures.”

The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery report,  released in December 2021, shows that in low- and middle-income countries, the share of children living in Learning Poverty – already 53 percent before the pandemic – could potentially reach 70 percent given the long school closures and the ineffectiveness of remote learning to ensure full learning continuity during school closures.

According to the three world bodies’ report, simulations estimating that school closures resulted in significant learning losses are now being corroborated by real data.

And it provides some specific examples: regional evidence from Brazil, Pakistan, rural India, South Africa, and Mexico, among others, show substantial losses in maths and reading.

Analysis shows that in some countries, on average, learning losses are roughly proportional to the length of the closures. However, there was great heterogeneity across countries and by subject, students’ socioeconomic status, gender, and grade level.

“For example, results from two states in Mexico show significant learning losses in reading and in maths for students aged 10-15. The estimated learning losses were greater in maths than reading, and affected younger learners, students from low-income backgrounds, as well as girls disproportionately.”

 

Inequities of education, exacerbated

Learning to read is a milestone in every child’s life. Reading is a foundational skill, the report explains, adding that all children should be able to read by age 10. Reading is a gateway for learning as the child progresses through school – and conversely, an inability to read constraints opportunities for further learning.

“Beyond this, when children cannot read, it’s usually a clear indication that school systems aren’t well organised to help children learn in other areas such as maths, science, and the humanities either.”

And although it is possible to learn later in life with enough effort, children who don’t read by age 10 – or at the latest, by the end of primary school – usually fail to master reading later in their schooling career.

Even before COVID-19 disrupted education systems around the world, it was clear that many children around the world were not learning to read proficiently, according to the report. Even though the majority of children are in school, a large proportion are not acquiring fundamental skills.

“Moreover, 260 million children are not even in school. This is the leading edge of a learning crisis that threatens countries’ efforts to build human capital and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

 

No human capital

Without foundational learning, students often fail to thrive later in school or when they join the workforce.

“They don’t acquire the human capital they need to power their careers and economies once they leave school, or the skills that will help them become engaged citizens and nurture healthy, prosperous families. Importantly, a lack of foundational literacy skills in the early grades can lead to intergenerational transmission of poverty and vulnerability.”

As a major contributor to human capital deficits, the learning crisis undermines sustainable growth and poverty reduction.

To spotlight this crisis, the World Bank and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics jointly constructed the concept of Learning Poverty and an accompanying indicator.

“Learning poverty means being unable to read and understand a simple text by age 10.”

 

Aggravating global learning crisis

COVID-19 is now wreaking havoc on the lives of young children, students, and youth. The disruption of societies and economies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is aggravating the global learning crisis and impacting education in unprecedented ways.

 

Learning poverty to rise

With more than a complete year of schooling lost in many parts of the world, learning poverty is estimated to rise to 63 percent in developing countries.

 

Gaping inequalities

UNESCO says that this fourth International Day of Education is marked “as our world stands at a turning point: gaping inequalities, a damaged planet, growing polarisation and the devastating impact of the global pandemic put us before a generational choice: Continue on an unsustainable path or radically change course.”

Education is key to charting the course towards more justice and sustainability, but it is “failing millions of children, youth and adults, increasing their exposure to poverty, violence and exploitation,” adds UNESCO.

 

Education, a human right

And here goes a needed reminder: the right to education is enshrined in article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Declaration calls for “free and compulsory elementary education.”

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, goes further to stipulate that countries “shall make higher education accessible to all.”

 

Challenges

“Education offers children a ladder out of poverty and a path to a promising future.”

But about 258 million children and adolescents around the world do not have the opportunity to enter or complete school, and 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic maths…

And less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school and some four million children and youth refugees are out of school.

“Their right to education is being violated and it is unacceptable,” warns the United Nations.

“Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.”

The UN’s Vital Role in Afghanistan

A mother and her children fled conflict in Lashkargah and now live in a displaced persons camp in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan. Credit: UNICEF Afghanistan

By Sultan Barakat and Richard Ponzio
DOHA / WASHINGTON DC, Jan 24 2022 – On December 22, 2021, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to allow for more humanitarian assistance to reach vulnerable Afghans, while preventing the abuse of these funds by their Taliban rulers.

With more than half of Afghanistan’s 39 million citizens—afflicted by drought, disease, and decades of war—depending upon critical life-saving aid to survive the harsh winter months, the decision to carve out an exception in UN sanctions against the ruling regime is timely.

All the more so as Afghanistan quickly becomes ground zero for United Nations humanitarian operations worldwide.

At the same time, addressing the underlying political, cultural, and socioeconomic challenges that continue to fuel widespread deprivation, violence, and corruption in Afghanistan requires a strategy and targeted investments in development and peacebuilding too.

Fortunately, these are also areas where the UN maintains a decades-long track record in Afghanistan (including from 1996-2001, the last period of Taliban rule) and elsewhere.

Moreover, the Security Council’s recent request to Secretary-General António Guterres to provide “strategic and operational recommendations” on the future of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), by January 31, 2022, offers an opportunity to adapt the world body to the country’s fast-changing political, security, social, and economic context.

To channel fresh ideas and critical observations in advance of the Secretary-General’s presented proposals to the Security Council on Wednesday, January 26 and subsequent UNAMA mandate review in March, we convened this past October a group of experts and former Special Representatives of the Secretary-General to Afghanistan at our institutes, the Centre for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies in Doha and the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C.

Inspired by this thoughtful, unfiltered exchange, we personally arrived at several, time-sensitive recommendations elaborated upon in our new policy brief A Step-by-Step Roadmap for Action on Afghanistan: What the United Nations and International Community Can and Should Do:

First, the United Nations should aid in negotiating some conditionalities put forward by Western powers. Whilst a step-by-step roadmap for cooperation is needed, vital life-saving humanitarian aid should never be made conditional on the Taliban taking certain actions.

Given the acute differences between the Taliban and the international community, diverse mechanisms are needed for addressing distinct humanitarian and non-humanitarian issues alike. Both sides have made opposing demands that essentially negate one another, while the needs of millions of innocent, vulnerable Afghans continue to grow.

In direct immediate support of malnutrition, urgent health services, and other kinds of emergency, life-saving support detailed in a new Humanitarian Response Plan, donor countries should take careful heed of the UN’s largest-ever humanitarian appeal for a single country, announced on 11 January 2022, requesting more than USD $5 billion this year for Afghanistan.

This follows from the USD 1.2 billion pledged by nearly 100 countries at a United Nations Secretary-General convened ministerial, on 13 September 2021 in Geneva, as well as subsequent additional pledges of humanitarian aid through international organizations, such as the World Food Program and UNDP, by South Korea, France, and Norway.

Second, there is a need to remain focused on the intersections of humanitarian, developmental, and peace challenges, rather than roll-out humanitarian-only models of response in Afghanistan. To advance more integrated approaches that break down the traditional siloes of the international aid system in responding to the Afghan crisis, the humanitarian-development-peace nexus offers a powerful framework.

The United Nations and other actors have implemented Triple Nexus programming in Afghanistan in recent years, including refugee return and reintegration, asset creation, and social safety net programming.

The world body can play a vital role as a convening power and knowledge broker, facilitating local-international and whole-of-society dialogue on how to adapt nexus programming concepts and approaches in the uncharted territories of Afghanistan’s fast evolving and highly challenging operating environment.

As bilateral aid likely recedes among most major donors, the UN could also serve as a chief oversight body and conduit of international assistance through multiple emergency trust funds. In doing so, it will provide de facto international development coordination assistance, with an eye to maintaining for all Afghan citizens the delivery of basic public services in such critical areas as healthcare, education, and power generation.

The world body is also well-placed to support the new Islamic Development Bank humanitarian trust fund and food security program for Afghanistan, announced on December 19, 2021 at a gathering of thirty Organization of Islamic Cooperation foreign ministers and deputy foreign ministers in Islamabad.

Third, durable peace in Afghanistan can only be reached through high-level political will that is best expressed through an empowered mandate and sufficient resources for UNAMA (ideally led by a Muslim diplomat with the gravitas and skills demonstrated by the UN trouble-shooter Lakhdar Brahimi).

For the UN to be truly catalytic, it is vital that it is entrusted with a comprehensive mandate to perform its full suite of well-known and field-tested functions, including in the areas of reconciliation, development coordination, and humanitarian action.

To get beyond the blame game and build trust between the Taliban and other Afghan parties, the world body must be allowed to provide its good offices and other peaceful settlement of dispute tools to resuscitate an intra-Afghan dialogue toward reconciliation and political reform.

At the same time, the Afghan Future Thought Forum, chaired by Fatima Gailani, continues to be the only independent platform that brings together influential and diverse Afghan stakeholders (men and women), including Taliban and former government officials, to produce practical solutions for long-term peace and recovery in Afghanistan.

With the support of the UN, this Afghan owned and led initiative can be leveraged to work toward a more representative governing structure that safeguards, for example, girls and women’s rights, freedom of moment, and against reprisals toward those who previously fought the Taliban.

Finally, the greatest obstacle to functioning relations between the Taliban and international community is the non-recognition of the new ruling regime in Kabul, which requires a medium to long-term vision to resolve. Although the Taliban are publicly seeking international recognition, these efforts are unlikely to bear fruit immediately.

Rather than continually seeking recognition, the Taliban interim administration should instead focus on governing Afghanistan and averting an economic and humanitarian catastrophe. Demonstrating some level of governing competence—as well as a desire to reconcile and share some governing authorities with past political rivals —through concerted action is the best way for the movement to gain slowly widespread international legitimacy and eventual recognition.

To avoid Afghanistan becoming once again an operating base for international terrorist groups or an even greater source of refugees—both vital interests of the international community, including the Western powers—a multi-faceted strategy that also deploys targeted resources beyond solely humanitarian aid is needed urgently.

With thousands of staff dedicated to alleviating human suffering across Afghanistan, coupled with the West’s almost non-existent political leverage with the Taliban regime, the United Nations must resume its central development and peacebuilding roles, in addition to delivering and coordinating immediate life-saving humanitarian aid.

With the backing of major global and regional powers and the cooperation of both Taliban and non-Taliban factions alike, the UN can help to place Afghanistan on a new development and political path toward a more stable country that, over time, improves the prospects for all Afghan citizens.

Sultan Barakat is Director of the Centre for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies in Doha, Qatar and Honorary Professor of Politics at the University of York. He also taught at York University (U.K.). Richard Ponzio is Senior Fellow and Director of the Global Governance, Justice & Security Program at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C.

The authors wish to thank Muznah Siddiqui for her helpful research assistance for this commentary.

 


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Community Organization and Solidarity in Peru Tackle Hunger in Pandemic

Fortunata Palomino is an experienced community organizer from Carabayllo and general coordinator of the Network of Soup Kitchens of Metropolitan Lima, which includes 2,247 soup kitchens. She is critical of the neglect by the authorities and hopes that women will be trained, certified and incorporated into the labor market with respect for their rights. CREDIT: Mariela Jara/IPS

Fortunata Palomino is an experienced community organizer from Carabayllo and general coordinator of the Network of Soup Kitchens of Metropolitan Lima, which includes 2,247 soup kitchens. She is critical of the neglect by the authorities and hopes that women will be trained, certified and incorporated into the labor market with respect for their rights. CREDIT: Mariela Jara/IPS

By Mariela Jara
LIMA, Jan 24 2022 – It’s nine o’clock in the morning and Mauricia Rodríguez is already peeling garlic to season the day’s lunch at the Network of Organized Women of Villa Torreblanca, one of more than 2,400 solidarity-based soup kitchens that have emerged in the Peruvian capital in response to the worsening poverty caused by the partial or total halt of economic activities in the country due to COVID-19.

Up to Mar. 16, 2020 – when the government of then President Martin Vizcarra declared a state of national emergency in an attempt to curb the pandemic – Mauricia made a living selling snacks and meals at a school, while her husband drove a rented motorcycle cab, with which he provided local transportation services. But from one day to the next, they were left without their livelihood.

They were not alone. In this Andean country of 33 million people with solid macroeconomic fundamentals, the pandemic exposed structural flaws that cause deep inequality gaps. For example, seven out of 10 workers were working in the informal sector as of 2019, lacking pensions, health insurance and other labor rights, and with no possibility of saving money, like Mauricia and her husband.

As a result of the health emergency measures and the pandemic more than six million people became unemployed in 2020, most of them in the informal sector in the areas of commerce and services, where women play a predominant role. In Latin America, 34 million jobs were lost that year, according to the International Labor Organization.

In addition, according to a report by the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI), poverty had climbed 10 percentage points to 30 percent, pushing another 3.33 million people into a precarious situation, who could no longer afford the basic basket of goods, estimated at 360 soles (92 dollars) a month.

Families in impoverished neighborhoods in the capital were among the hardest hit.

“The already existing poverty was aggravated by the pandemic. We saw people getting desperate, they had nothing to eat,” Esther Alvarez, a lawyer in charge of advocacy at the non-governmental CENCA Urban Development Institute, which has been working for more than 40 years in poor neighborhoods on the outskirts of Lima, such as those in the San Juan de Lurigancho district, told IPS by telephone.

Soup kitchens spontaneously emerged thanks to food donations and community organization based on solidarity, reciprocity and a humanitarian and rights-based approach, combining efforts with the local parishes, to address the growing hunger in areas invisible to the authorities, in the country’s capital itself.

In Lima, where a third of the national population is concentrated -almost 10 million inhabitants- poverty climbed from 14.2 percent to 27.5 percent, and it is estimated that with the crisis another 250,000 people have fallen into extreme poverty, unable to afford a basic food basket of 196 soles (49 dollars) a month.

Alvarez explained that in alliance with other civil society institutions, they organized the soup kitchens that emerged in different districts of Lima, creating a permanent online communication space, which continues to this day, while promoting the formation of the Network of Soup Kitchens of Metropolitan Lima.

The network and online communication space enable interaction between the organizers of the soup kitchens, mainly women, who have emerged as leaders in the fight against hunger and for the right to food, issues that should be addressed by the authorities.

Three women community organizers whose solidarity and efforts contribute to the food security of impoverished families in the area. From left to right, Mauricia Rodríguez, Fortunata Palomino and Elizabeth Huachilla. During the visit by IPS, the menu, cooked with firewood because of the lack of cooking gas, consisted of rice with panamito beans and fried bonito, a fish rich in Omega 3. CREDIT: Mariela Jara/IPS

Three women community organizers whose solidarity and efforts contribute to the food security of impoverished families in the area stand outside their local soup kitchen. From left to right, Mauricia Rodríguez, Fortunata Palomino and Elizabeth Huachilla. During the visit by IPS, the menu, cooked with firewood because of the lack of cooking gas, consisted of rice with panamito beans and fried bonito, a fish rich in Omega 3. CREDIT: Mariela Jara/IPS

Solidarity-based community efforts for a better life

The Network of Organized Women of Villa Torreblanca soup kitchen emerged in the upper part of the district of Carabayllo, located on the slopes of hills in the northern part of the capital. A few days after the national pandemic emergency was declared, it began to operate in the wooden house of Elizabeth Huachillo.

A native of Ayabaca in the northern highlands of Peru, she came to Lima at the age of 15 to find work and today, 40 years old and the mother of Lizbeth, 17, and Tracy, seven, she is the driving force behind the soup kitchen.

Huachillo drove a motorcycle taxi to support her family, but as a result of the lockdown she was unable to work and they were going hungry. “We had nothing to eat and I began to investigate how to create a soup kitchen. I looked up Señora Fortunata, who is a well-known and respected leader in the district, and together with her we launched it on Mar. 23,” 2020, she says while showing IPS the fish that will be served in today’s lunch.

Fortunata Palomino is 57 years old. From her native Ayacucho – a central Andean region devastated by the 1980-2000 internal armed conflict – she was sent to the capital by her parents when she was still a child. She went through many difficult situations to get ahead and put a roof over her head. She has four daughters who have managed to become professionals and she is proud she was able to make it possible for them to have an education.

While she and her husband ran their household, she became involved in different organizations to promote the rights of local people, including nutrition and a life free of violence for women and children.

She is familiar with the district and the plight of its people, especially in the shantytowns built on the hillsides where the houses are made of wood, families have no drinking water or sanitation and the roads are unpaved. “The authorites are absent here,” she complained.

She feels like a survivor when she thinks back to March 2020 and the terrible uncertainty, anxiety and fear that swept through the poorest families in her neighborhood.

“We were the first to start up a soup kitchen in Carabayllo, and many more followed suit, until there were 137,” she said.

In order to coordinate and strengthen their activities, they formed the Network of Soup Kitchens of Metropolitan Lima, of which she was elected general coordinator. As of November 2021, a total of 2,468 soup kitchens were registered there, feeding 257,000 people a day.

“Here in our soup kitchen we served 250 lunches a day at the peak of the crisis. Now we make 120 because some people have managed to return to their jobs as collectors, drivers or street vendors,” said Elizabeth Huachillo.

The solidarity price is two soles (51 cents). But nothing is charged in special cases, such as the elderly or people with tuberculosis. When the women find out someone has COVID, they leave the meals in plastic containers on their doorstep. And children orphaned by the death of their parents due to COVID-19 also receive free meals.

According to the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations, in 2021, there were 98,000 minors orphaned by the pandemic.

“We are doing what the authorities should be doing because we could not remain indifferent to such desperation. Despite our efforts, it has been a struggle to achieve legal recognition of the soup kitchens so they can access budget funds; the law was passed last year and now it is time for it to be implemented,” Huachillo said.

With the political instability that Peru has experienced in recent years, four governments have already managed the pandemic, and each one has made some achievements in coordination with civil society organizations and the Food Security Board of the Municipality of Lima, a multisectoral body that brings together social organizations, non-governmental institutions and the State.

Esther Álvarez of CENCA said the challenges for this year include achieving the implementation of the food emergency law and the allocation of a budget for the soup kitchens to address the food emergency, and to get the government to approve a regulatory framework that incorporates them into a Zero Hunger Program.

For her part, Fortunata Palomino is thinking about the post-pandemic world and suggests that the government should train and certify the women currently running the soup kitchens in various activities so that they can join the formal labor market in the future. “We need our own incomes with jobs that respect our rights,” she said.

Investing in a Child’s Education is Investing in all of Humanity, Says ECW’s Yasmine Sherif Welcoming Germany’s €200 million Donation

Students attending class at the Souza Gare school in the Littoral region, Cameroon. The school hosts displaced children who have fled the violence in the North-West and South-West regions. The school is supported by ECW.
Credit: ECW/Daniel Beloumou

By Busani Bafana
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Jan 24 2022 – Education lifts millions out of poverty, but because the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out gains made in recent decades, a holistic approach to providing education in crises is crucial, says German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze.

“Education is a human right and can provide stability and protection for children and adolescents in times of crisis. Yet education is often one of the first services to be suspended, and among the last to be resumed,” Schulze noted following Germany’s announcement of €200 million (US$228.3 million) in new, additional funding to Education Cannot Wait (ECW), a United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crisis.

“Through Germany’s additional contribution to Education Cannot Wait on the International Day of Education, we intend to make a strong call for more international solidarity to support the education of crisis-affected girls and boys worldwide,” Schulze told IPS. She urged other countries with strong economies, such as G7 partners and private donors to invest in and prioritize education in times of crisis.

German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze today announced €200 million (US$228.3 million) in new, additional funding to Education Cannot Wait. Credit: Stefanie Loos

Germany’s contribution brings ECW’s Trust Fund to $1.1 billion. Over $1 billion has been leveraged through ECW in-country programmes, making ECW a US$2 billion global fund in just a few years since its establishment in 2016. Appropriately the announcement was made on the International Day of Education with the theme: ‘Changing Course, Transforming Education’.

“This new funding brings Germany’s total contributions to ECW to over €318.8 million ($362.7 million),” ECW’s Director, Yasmine Sherif, told IPS.

“It is a shining example of multilateralism being both bold and results-driven. With this new multi-year announcement, Germany becomes ECW’s number one donor, and Germany becomes the leading donor to commit to multi-year funding,” Sherif says.

IPS reporter Busani Bafana spoke with Schulze and Sherif following the announcement of the new funding. He asked them about the impact of global investments in realizing inclusive and equitable quality education.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

IPS: Why is it important to Germany to invest in multi-year resilience programmes in education through Education Cannot Wait – particularly for vulnerable children and adolescents impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate-induced disasters, and protracted crises?

Schulze: Germany is committed to the guiding principle of the 2030 Agenda, Leave No One Behind. The international community has agreed to focus on the most vulnerable and reach those who are currently the furthest behind.

Today, one in four school-aged children and adolescents worldwide lives in a country affected by crises. ECW’s multi-year resilience programmes are an appropriate response to the educational needs of crisis-affected children because they bridge the divide between short-term humanitarian interventions and longer-term development cooperation. Education Cannot Wait – the name ECW points out so clearly: now, with COVID-19, we can see the serious consequences of disrupted education even in our own country. For children and youth living in countries affected by crises, the situation is much worse. They need our ongoing assistance, and we need their talents in these challenging times.

With today’s new, additional contribution to ECW, Germany has become ECW’s number one donor – congratulations! What is it about ECW’s mandate and its work with other strategic donors and partners in delivering quality education for crisis-affected children and youth that appeal to Germany? 

Schulze: In order to resolve today’s education challenges, we need multi-stakeholder partnerships. For Germany, ECW is a ground-breaking initiative because it brings together public and private actors in humanitarian aid and development cooperation. By combining innovative short-term and medium-term financing, ECW strengthens the international aid architecture to deliver quality education in emergencies.

Germany is also a strong partner of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). Last year, we launched the Support Her Education (SHE) Initiative with a pledge of €100 million towards GPE’s Girls’ Education Accelerator. The focus on girls’ education is a priority for us in development as we know that girls can be agents of change for entire societies – just think of Greta Thunberg and her outreach for climate change. As a former Environment Minister, I am very aware of this. So, this money is an investment with a high return. And we will continue to strengthen international partnerships and improve coordination amongst development partners.

IPS: Today, ECW and BMZ announced a major contribution to the ECW global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. Do you have a specific plan for this significant contribution? 

Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, pictured in Afghanistan during a recent visit, welcomed the donation saying it would give children living in protracted crises an opportunity to be educated.
Credit: ECW/ Omid Fazel

Sherif: The money will be pooled into the ECW Global Trust Fund and delivered via our Multi-Year Resilience Programmes (MYRPs). In all, ECW supports MYRPs in 24 countries along with fast-acting First Emergency Responses (FERs) in 35 countries worldwide. Since ECW was launched, a total of 42 emergency and protracted crisis countries have benefitted from the fund’s investments. Our goal is to scale up our responses to reach even more children and youth with the safety, hope, and opportunity of quality education. This significant and generous contribution by Germany will enable ECW to scale up its added value and results in achieving results-driven and impact-yielding multi-year investments based on the humanitarian-development nexus in crisis-impacted countries and to ensure sustainability, local empowerment, and the Grand Bargain for those left furthest behind.

Education is an inherent human right, but it remains inaccessible to millions of crisis-affected children and adolescents. How successful is ECW in ensuring that this human right becomes a reality?

Global leaders have committed to providing universal and equitable education by 2030 as outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG4). ECW supports our global efforts to achieve these goals, specifically for the 128 million children and adolescents whose education has been disrupted in their young lives due to conflict, forced displacement, and climate disasters.

Decades of progress in achieving SDG4 have been pushed aside by the multiplying impacts of armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate-induced disasters, COVID-19, and protracted crises. According to UNESCO, as many as 258 million children and youth don’t attend school worldwide. Two out of three students are still impacted by full or partial school closures from COVID-19. Girls are particularly at risk, with estimates projecting that between 11 million and 20 million girls will not return to school after the pandemic. And over 617 million children and adolescents cannot read or do basic math. That’s more than the total population of Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States combined.

As you mention, ECW has a $1 billion funding gap for education in emergencies and protracted crises. How do you plan to close this gap?

Sherif: In just five years, ECW has met and surpassed its goals for resource mobilization. Part of our mission is underscoring the value of education in achieving our global goals for sustainable development. For every $1 spent on girls’ education, we generate approximately $2.80 in return. Making sure girls finish secondary education could boost the GDP of developing countries by 10 percent over the next decade.

As we’ve seen from Germany’s generous contribution today, key public donors are rising to this challenge and prioritizing education in their official development or/and humanitarian assistance. Now it’s time for others to follow suit, and we certainly hope Germany’s leadership will inspire them to do so.

The private sector needs to step up too. In a world where football teams sell for billions of dollars and billionaires fly themselves into space, how is it possible that we are not finding the resources to send every child to school?

Investing in a child’s education means investing in all of humanity. It is time to transform our perception of the world, our priorities, and how we shoulder our responsibility as a human family. I encourage world leaders and the private sector to join ECW’s movement to support crisis-affected children to realize their human right to quality, inclusive education.

ECW recently approved a $91.7 million Multi-Year Resilience Programmes investment in Bangladesh, Burundi, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, and Sudan. How many children are being reached through these investments? 

Sherif: We recently announced a total of S$91.7 million in catalytic grant financing for new and expanded Multi-Year Resilience Programmes in Bangladesh, Burundi, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, and Sudan. All but Bangladesh are new multi-year investments, accelerating ECW’s growing expansion into countries impacted by protracted crises. These new multi-year investments announcements add to the multi-year catalytic grant announced earlier in 2021 for Iraq.

Across all countries, the catalytic grants aim to reach over 900,000 vulnerable children and adolescents, of whom 58 percent are girls. Half of the children and adolescents targeted are refugees or internally displaced, and 13 percent are children with disabilities.

These grants aim to leverage an additional US$250 million worth of public and private donors’ funding aligned to the multi-year programmes in these countries to reach a total of 3.3 million crisis-affected children.

You have traveled to schools where children access education in a safe environment for the first time. What impressed you most about the children, the teachers, and the parents?

Sherif: The vastness of human potential is what impresses me most when I meet with children, teachers, and their parents in places like Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, and beyond. If you teach a girl to read, she can lift up a nation. If you teach a boy to write, he can build a better world. In these places – truly the world’s toughest contexts – all that these children want is the opportunity to go to school, to learn, to grow, to thrive. When we deny their human right to an education, we are denying our own humanity. We can, and we must all do better for them, by working together.

We can still say Happy New Year … what is the biggest challenge for ECW at this stage in January 2022?

Sherif: Together with governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations, public donors, the private sector, and local communities, we need to transform the way we think about delivering education in emergencies and protracted crises. No single stakeholder can do it alone. At this year’s Transforming Education Summit, convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, we will ask ourselves how we can avert a generational catastrophe and rethink our education systems and financing to make good on our commitments and promises.

Are you optimistic that the world can achieve the SDGs, particularly SDG #4?

Sherif: Yes, I am optimistic by nature, but also realistic as this will require a global moonshot to achieve the SDGs by the 2030 deadline. We can do it. But every nation, every government, every person truly needs to come together to commit to them and deliver on our promises.

 

 


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