Crises overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic are now resurfacing, although they are counteracted by notable progress. While Latin America faces environmental and social issues, in Africa, the use of the law and of technology to protect populations is a step forward.
In Sudan, the government just criminalised female genital mutilation. The law aims to end the suffering of some 87% Sudanese women aged 14 to 49. However, activists say the tradition, deeply rooted in Sudanese culture, will take time to be altogether eradicated.
“ Sudan to outlaw female genital mutilation ” , The Guardian, May 1, 2020
As Latin America is the next epicenter of COVID-19, dengue is spreading in Bogotá. Patients suffering from the deadly viral infection stay undetected because of fear of exposition to the coronavirus in hospitals. But for Panamá City health official Yamileth Lopez: “dengue kills too.”
“ 'Dengue kills too' - Latin America faces two epidemics at once ” , Reuters, May 12, 2020
] The Amazon rainforest is disappearing. According to Brazil’s space research agency, in the first four months of 2020 the destruction of the forest was twice as high as it was in April 2018. The cause: illegal mining and extensive farming. The deforestation of the Amazon rainforest speeds up global warming.
“ Brazil's Amazon: Surge in deforestation as military prepares to deploy ” , BBC News, May 8, 2020
In Makoko, Nigeria, eviction is common for people living in waterfront communities. As their waterways are undetected on the digital maps available, planning for future development is a challenge. To resolve this problem, mapping is now used as a prevention strategy.
“ Mapping Makoko: How data could help legitimize Nigeria's informal settlements ” , Devex, May 12, 2020
The US government has tightened immigration restrictions “to protect the public health”. Migrants are systematically deported back to Mexico, where they are ping-ponged between detention centres. Overtly exposed to the coronavirus, their unique choice is to walk back home, alone and stranded in deserted areas.
“ With coronavirus spreading, Mexico vowed to empty detention centers – but migrants were thrust into chaos and danger ” , The Intercept, May 11, 2020
About this publication
Discover each month on ID4D the “Development News”, with a brief overview of a topical issue, and the “Press review”, with a selection of web articles, reflections and analyses.