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Bangladesh has already demonstrated great success in disaster risk reduction. We have the National Development Framework that has powerful instructions for climate change and disaster risk reduction. We have our own local adaptation and mitigation strategy. But there is gap in translating those plans into concrete actions. So in order to advance toward the objectives of the 66th CSW, we need to be more action-oriented.
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Alison Davidian, Deputy Representative for UN Women in Afghanistan, breaks down what women in Afghanistan need most right now, what UN Women is doing for women in the country, and how the international community can support Afghan women now.
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Naw Moh Moh Than, 18, aspires to become a teacher but she has had her journey disrupted several times. When she was in secondary school, armed conflict in Kayin State forced her and her family to flee to a displaced persons camp. With the help of one her teachers, she resumed her schooling in the nearest town but then the COVID-19 pandemic forced all the schools to close since the start of 2020. Still, Naw Moh Moh Than remained determined. She joined a sewing training that UN Women organized in the camp and made cloth masks that humanitarian groups bought and distributed to women across Kayin State, which is mostly populated by the Karen ethnic minority.
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The review of an assessment tool used after a disaster is helping strengthen national mechanisms in responding to the needs of women, girls and vulnerable groups in Solomon Islands, following a humanitarian crisis.
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A total of 315 vulnerable women-headed households affected by the 2020 flooding and COVID-19 in four communes of Quang Tri province, central Viet Nam, received cash grants of VND 4 million (173 USD) each from UN Women to rebuild their livelihoods.
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When ventilators were becoming scarce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Somaya Faruqi, 17, led Afghanistan’s Girl’s Robotics Team as they developed a prototype ventilator to support their country’s health care system.
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[Press release] UN Women has been working since the first week of the pandemic to help recognize and address the specific challenges faced by women and girls across Asia and the Pacific. It has handed out cash to women in need, analysed social media for trends of domestic violence, and drawn up checklists that make sure shelters protect women from both COVID-19 and further abuse.
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UN Women Philippines continued its efforts in helping communities affected by Typhoon Ulysses (Typhoon Vamco), as part of its ongoing efforts in humanitarian aid initiated in November.
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UN Women and businesses mobilized by broadcast journalist Karen Davila have brought hygiene kits and other relief goods to hundreds of women and girls whose lives were upended by a typhoon in Rizal province on Luzon Island, Philippines.
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Supported by private-sector partners, UN Women has begun leading efforts to help thousands of people affected by a typhoon in Rizal province on Luzon Island, northern Philippines.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated gender discrimination and inequality among the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya living in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar and among the surrounding communities. Women and girls face increases in unpaid care work at home, safety risks inside and outside their homes, mental health problems, and simultaneously, less access to life-saving services and support.
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Begum (45) is a sex worker at Baniashanta brothel, in Dacoope, Khulna, a southern district of Bangladesh. Since Cyclone Amphan hit in May 20 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, she has lost everything, but not hope.
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Roshani Kumari Chaudhary is an inspiration to many in her village. For someone who made ends meet by working as a farmer and cooking meals for passersby sitting on a mud coated floor of a bamboo hut, she has certainly come a long way. She is now a community leader who commands respect and influence in her Municipality. She proudly shares, “I am now the Chairperson of a Jaldevi Women Farmer Group, a social activist and a member of the health community."
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Female leaders have called for greater efforts to promote women on the front lines in responding to humanitarian crises in Bangladesh.A diverse group of women front line-humanitarian workers and leaders from Rohingya and host communities spoke at an online forum on Feminism
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“The pandemic has completely transformed the ways we used to do things. Our Women Peace Café (WPC) work has been affected, everything has shifted to digital platforms, and the situations have changed at home. As soon as the university closed, I had to move back home. Because of the health crises, the number of chores increased at home and we had to do more cleaning and sanitizing to remain safe.
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At first, it was difficult for the women migrant returnees to settle into the quarantine centres and hold to physical distancing rules. Fear of stigmatisation of those who have stayed in quarantine facilities has also been a huge concern, so much so that some women hid or bribed taxi drivers to drive them directly to their home villages.
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There are still 840 million people still living without electricity – most of them in poor and remote areas. While those who can afford it will buy kerosene lamps or candles, many people live in complete darkness once night falls, and this figure will have increased during the pandemic when so many have lost their livelihoods. Kerosene and candles also offer poor quality light at a high cost to the environment – one kerosene lamp can emit one ton of carbon dioxide in five years.
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UN Women and the European Union (EU) handed over 3,000 units of personal protective equipment (PPE), hygiene kit, and information materials for preventing violence against women to the Ministry of Social Affairs. The kits will be distributed to returning Indonesian migrant workers as part of the joint commitment to support Government of Indonesia in its efforts towards containing COVID-19.
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“While everyone is trying to avoid touching surfaces, there is a group of workers who are contending with COVID-19 on the surfaces they are cleaning. Malinee Kongpan, one of the cleaners for the Bangkok Transit System, is working harder to keep all the surfaces at BTS stations hygienic.”
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During crises, volunteers play a vital role to provide support to people. Since the spread of COVID-19, they are working hard to help manage the situation. By doing so, they are staying at the frontline and are at high risk.