Thirty-two African states recently called on the EU to fully ban its ivory trade. The US and China fully outlawed it in 2016 and 2017 respectively, with China currently taking the normative lead and setting the agenda. The EU lags behind, still allowing partial trade while also hosting the world’s largest hub for ivory smuggling.
A surprising decision
As many as the residents in the Netherlands, roughly. Or like the combined population of Croatia, Ireland, Norway and Finland. As for its magnitude, the severe drought hitting the Horn of Africa and affecting more than 18 million of its people may end up being the worst in the last 50 years.
As the lights dimmed on the 8th World Water Forum on Friday 23 March 2018, the international community is urged to continue to pay the utmost attention to today’s climate-induced humanitarian crises that are affecting much of our world more frequently and more severely.
Two plights, both sunk into oblivion: climate change and humanitarian crises are two of the most neglected tragedies currently affecting Africa far and wide. In February FAO, the UN specialised agency for food and agriculture, declared that nearly 224 million Africans are suffering from malnutrition because of climate change and conflicts. Lately, the number has increased by over 20 million.
The war that has been ravaging South Sudan since 2013 has forced 3.5 million people to flee their homes: 1.7 million escaped to other countries (Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda) and 1.9 million sought refuge in other parts of the country. Figures from UNHCR (the United Nations High Commission for Refugees) are terrible. And even more so when you think that behind those numbers are personal tales of violence, exhaustion, uprooting, family strife and, above all, poverty.
The complex impacts of climate change on human mobility have gained increased attention, but an invisible and growing number of people are also being displaced – paradoxically – by the very measures taken in the name of addressing it.
In the last forty years the Lake Chad Basin has hosted one of the gravest humanitarian crises on the African continent.
Madagascar rarely makes the headlines of international media, except perhaps recently due to a plague epidemic which was unfortunately not the first in the country. However, one year ahead of a delicate general election, the Big Island deserves full attention from the international community which should play its role in preventing a new crisis which could have a devastating impact on an already impoverished population.