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World Refugee Day

Each year on June 20, the world celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. This year, World Refugee Day focuses on the power of inclusion and solutions for refugees.

Including refugees in the communities where they have found safety after fleeing conflict and persecution is the most effective way to support them in restarting their lives and enable them to contribute to the countries hosting them. It’s also the best way to prepare them to return home and rebuild their countries, when conditions allow them to do so safely and voluntarily, or to thrive if they are resettled to another country.

"We Were Here" is an original documentary series produced by UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and YouTube. In support of World Refugee Day, these short videos aim to challenge stereotypes and perceptions about refugees by focussing on what unites us rather than sets us apart - our shared passions.

Click here to access the video series.


Richer countries like Canada must deliver proactive aid says head of UN rural food agency

Rich countries need to get their priorities straight if they want to stop "massively" increasing their spending on reactive humanitarian aid, says Alvaro Lario, head of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development.  He is urging Canada to consider tackling the root causes of some of the food crisis issues, rather than only trying to “put a Band-Aid on” regions facing conflicts over resources and forced migration.

"With the population growth we have, the trajectory is clear. So, unless you put some type of solution, in the form of much bigger investments and a much higher speed, we will end up in a much worse situation." 

Read more here.

Success at Nyarugusu: How one of the world’s largest refugee camps achieved zero maternal deaths in 2022

Progress in the global fight to safeguard the lives of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth has recently stagnated, and in 2020 an estimated 287,000 maternal deaths occurred worldwide.

Against this backdrop, thanks to the deployment of just 15 skilled nurse-midwives and the training of 47 health workers, last year, 6,235 women and girls safely gave birth at Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania. Not one of them died due to pregnancy or childbirth.  This is a remarkable achievement. 

Read more here.

Canada announces $84.6 million contribution to fight global malnutrition

Ending malnutrition is essential to improving and saving lives. Proper nutrition at the right time can mean the difference for a child learning in school, a girl pursuing her dreams in good health, or a woman participating fully in her work and community. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable, in particular, women and girls.” -- Minister of International Development Harjit Sajjan

To mark World Nutrition Day on May 28, Canada's Minister of International Development Harjit Sajjan has announced $84.6 million in funding to support the implementation of four new nutrition-specific projects by Canadian partner organizations.  Click here to read the full news release.

How Small-scale Farmers Can Save Africa's Degraded Lands

As Earth Day approaches, we want to celebrate hopeful stories such as the restoration of landscapes that have been degraded, and the many benefits this can provide for people, nature, and the climate.

Here is one such story from World Resources Institute:

Sadik Ibn Abdulai watched as overgrazing and unsustainable agricultural methods turned his family’s farmland in northern Ghana from lush fields to desert. He turned tragedy into triumph by starting Tilaa Ltd., a small business that helps women small-scale farmers grow resilient cashew trees and cultivate beehives beneath their shady canopies. The trees revitalize depleted soil, cool the air, and hold moisture in the ground, while the nut and honey harvests provide the farmers with steady incomes.
Sadik’s story isn’t just a heartwarming tale about improving his little corner of the world. Small, locally-led projects like Sadik’s are exactly what is needed to overcome Africa’s triple crises of climate change, ecosystem degradation, and poverty.  Read more here.

Why Women's Leadership is Vital in an Uncertain World

"Today we face a series of interlocking crises which have a direct impact on women’s lives, from conflict and the threat of nuclear weapons to climate change, pandemics and systematic inequality. ... What we need now is for women to have a direct impact on these crises, bringing a new wave of feminist solidarity and justice to create a better world for future generations. We need to reimagine what global leadership looks like so that women have the support and opportunity to be powerful agents for change."  -- Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson, first woman President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, now Chair of The Elders, recently gave a keynote address to the Women’s Empowerment Assembly in Tokyo on the importance of women's leadership in creating a peaceful, sustainable and equitable future. She calls on world leaders to confront prejudice and discrimination, and to hear and respect women's voices.  You can read her keynote address here.

Budget 2023: Canadian Government Fails to Deliver on Aid Commitment

For GRAN and more than 90 other civil society organizations focused on human rights, international development and humanitarian assistance, the Federal Budget on March 28th was a big disappointment.  In spite of the urgent needs around the world, particularly as we face a global hunger crisis, and in spite of their promise to increase international assistance spending year over year, the Canadian government actually reduced its investment in international aid as compared to last year's Budget.  Read this news release issued by the Bigger than our Borders coalition in response. 

World TB Day: Yes! We Can End TB!

World TB Day is observed annually on March 24 to raise awareness about TB and efforts to end the global epidemic, marking the day in 1882 when the bacterium causing TB was discovered.

TB is an ancient disease that is still with us. It is preventable and curable, and yet, worldwide, TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. Ending the TB epidemic in all countries by 2030 is one of the targets of UN Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being.

While TB is rare in most of Canada, that is not true in Canada’s north, where in recent years TB rates in Inuit communities have been as much as 300 times higher than those of non-Indigenous people born in Canada.

On this World TB Day, learn more about this disease and efforts to end it. Click here to learn more about TB in Canada’s north.  And here to find out more about global efforts to end TB.

International Women's Day 2023

International Women's Day -- March 8 -- is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.

This International Women’s Day, GRAN celebrates women who are changing the future of farming in Africa.

Click here to meet seven young women who are strengthening food security in their communities through sustainable agriculture initiatives.

Historic Announcement in Liberia Banning Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

In a groundbreaking declaration made on February 6, 2023, International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, Chief Zanzan Karwor, Chairperson of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders in Liberia, declared, “By the power vested in me by all the Paramount Chiefs of the 15 political divisions in Liberia and signed by myself… FGM is banned in Liberia.”  Read more here.