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Good News Agency

In spite of everything, a culture of peace is emerging in all fields of human endeavour

monthly, year 20th, no. 290 – 15th May 2020


Good News Agency carries positive and constructive news from all over the world relating to voluntary work, the work of the United Nations, non governmental organizations and institutions engaged in improving the quality of life – news that doesn’t “burn out” in the space of a day. It is distributed free of charge through Internet to media and editorial journalists, NGOs, service associations and high schools and colleges around the world.

It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, an educational charity associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information It is a supporter of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace. In the final report of the Decade for a Culture of Peace project (2001-2010) provided to the UN Secretary-General for presentation to the UN General Assembly, Good News Agency is included among the three NGOs that have been playing an active role in the field of Information through Internet.* 




International legislationHuman rightsEconomy and developmentSolidarity

Peace and securityHealthEnergy and SafetyEnvironment and wildlife

Religion and spiritualityCulture and education


International legislation


United Nations – Economic and Social Council – Economic Commission for Europe – World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe – Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes –  Fifth session.

28 April 2020 – Programme of work for 2020–2022 (…)

3. The Protocol is a powerful instrument for promoting and operationalizing the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the pan-European region. The Protocol was a precursor of the Sustainable Development Goals pertinent to water, sanitation and health. It placed the region on track by promoting the integration of policies in a holistic and preventive approach to achieve safely managed water and sanitation services and universal and equitable access for all, across all settings. (…)

4. The Protocol and the 2030 Agenda are mutually reinforcing. Countries have benefited from their joint implementation since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, which has led to the expansion of the scope of activities under the Protocol to fully align with the region’s needs. (…)

5. The Protocol offers a practical framework for planning and accountability to help countries translate the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda into tangible national objectives, targets and actions that take into account national circumstances while promoting an intersectoral approach. It provides guidance and practical tools that facilitate implementation of the 2030 Agenda’s goals and targets and technical capacity-building at the national and regional levels. (…)


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being and number 14- Life below Water


United Nations – General Assembly – Seventy-fourth session – Agenda item 123 –  Strengthening of the United Nations system – Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 20 April 2020 – International cooperation to ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19

21 April 2020 – The General Assembly (…)

3. Encourages Member States to work in partnership with all relevant stakeholders to increase research and development funding for vaccines and medicines, leverage digital technologies, and strengthen scientific international cooperation necessary to combat COVID-19 and to bolster coordination, including

with the private sector, towards rapid development, manufacturing and distribution of diagnostics, antiviral medicines, personal protective equipment and vaccines, adhering to the objectives of efficacy, safety, equity, accessibility, and affordability;

5. Requests the Secretary-General, in close collaboration with the World Health Organization, to take the necessary steps to effectively coordinate and follow up on the efforts of the United Nations system to promote and ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment needed to face COVID-19, (…)


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


United Nations – General Assembly – Human Rights Council – Forty-third session – Agenda item 3Adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to non-discrimination in this context

17 April 2020 - The Human Rights Council (…)

1. Calls upon States:

(a) To give due consideration to integrating the human right to adequate housing in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;

(b) To take urgent measures to address inadequate housing and to improve the living circumstances of persons residing in informal settlements, in compliance with international human rights law; (…)

(e) To work with affected communities and individuals to develop and promote environmentally sustainable and sound housing design, construction and maintenance to address the effects of climate change while ensuring the right to adequate housing; (…)

(i) To ensure women’s equal right to adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, in all aspects of housing strategies, (…)



COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION (EU) 2020/518 of 8 April 2020 on a common Union toolbox for the use of technology and data to combat and exit from the COVID-19 crisis, in particular concerning mobile applications and the use of anonymised mobility data



(1)  This recommendation sets up a process for developing a common approach, referred to as a Toolbox, to use digital means to address the crisis. The Toolbox will consist of practical measures for making effective use of technologies and data, with a focus on two areas in particular:

(1) A pan-European approach for the use of mobile applications, coordinated at Union level, for empowering citizens to take effective and more targeted social distancing measures, and for warning, preventing and contact tracing to help limit the propagation of the COVID-19 disease. This will involve a methodology monitoring and sharing assessments of effectiveness of these applications, their interoperability and cross-border implications, and their respect for security, privacy and data protection; and

(2) A common scheme for using anonymized and aggregated data on mobility of populations in order (i) to model and predict the evolution of the disease, (ii) to monitor the effectiveness of decision-making by Member States’ authorities on measures such as social distancing and confinement, and (iii) to inform a coordinated strategy for exiting from the COVID-19 crisis. (…)




Human rights


Human Rights first urges swift passage of bipartisan, bicameral "Protecting Human Rights during pandemic Act"

7 May 2020 - Today Human Rights First urged immediate passage of the ‘‘Protecting Human Rights During Pandemic Act,” bipartisan, bicameral legislation (available here) that would mandate that the U.S. government take important steps to respond to a global wave of actions imposed by foreign governments aimed at restricting internationally-recognized human rights in the wake of COVID-19. 



Natural Law and the Imperative of Timeless Principles.

(by Solène Tadié)

5 May 2020 - French philosopher Pierre Manent discusses the harms of the modern ideology of human rights and calls for a return of natural law to restore social cohesion within Western societies.

Western democratic systems are increasingly plagued by a war of individual rights that leads to a tyranny of minorities over majorities. Two centuries after Alexis de Tocqueville predicted — in Democracy in America — that democracy could lead to a tyranny of the majority through the judicial system, Western nations are now faced with a new threat, as law is more and more designed to respond to individual claims rather than ensuring the stability of the institutions and social cohesion. Such a system exclusively founded on the doctrine of human rights favors the rule of emotions and favor over reason and justice.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


World Press Freedom Day: COVID-19 must not be a pathogen of repression

(by Saad Hammadi

3 May 2020 – As COVID-19 spreads, repression and disinformation have generally followed in its wake. Governments around the world are justified in their concern that the pandemic is being exploited by some to spread dangerous misinformation about the disease and means to cure it, potentially harming the efforts to combat it. At the same time, however, some governments are themselves exploiting this moment – to suppress relevant information uncomfortable for the government or use the situation as a pretext to crack down on critical voices.



Addressing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women and girls

30 April 2020 – Because women and girls are already socioeconomically marginalized in many societies, they are especially vulnerable in emergencies. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, women and girls in developing countries face disproportionate hardships, and the progress being made to close existing gender gaps may falter or roll back. For that reason, it is important for the development organizations that serve them to apply a gender and social inclusion lens to their recovery responses. The COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis as well as a food security and economic crisis that strains supply chains, prevents agricultural activity, and causes economic slowdowns. Women make up a substantial proportion of agriculture producers and natural resource managers, and they tend to be over-represented in low-paid or informal jobs in economic sectors most affected by COVID-19. Today, ACDI/VOCA published gender and social inclusion recommendations for programming and internal operations during COVID-19, as many organizations aim to revive the agriculture sector and help economic market systems perform better in a new, socially distant world. (…)




Economy and development


FRANCE - Schneider Electric Foundation Joins #GivingTuesdayNow, a Global Day of Giving in Response to COVID-19

7 May 2020  Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation has announced that it will participate #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity, taking place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

This day is organized by GivingTuesday (promoted by United Nations Foundation) and is being held in addition to the annually scheduled GivingTuesday that will still take place on December 1, 2020. This global event aims to inspire grassroots generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation, and support for communities and non-profits around the world. #GivingTuesdayNow focuses on opportunities for connection and kindness to give back to COVID-19 impacted communities and causes, while practicing safe social distancing. To celebrate #GivingTuesdayNow, Schneider Electric Foundation encourages employees, suppliers, customers and partners all over the world to contribute to the “Tomorrow Rising Fund” launched in early April to support emergency response and relief activities post-Covid-19. This “Tomorrow Rising Fund” will help vulnerable, homeless and elderly people, and longer-term reconstruction activities and education and professional training for the most disadvantaged in our communities. Schneider Electric employees and partners can get involved by making financial donations or volunteering. All financial donations will be matched by Schneider Electric Foundation.

The Tomorrow Rising Fund focuses on three priorities:

Response: part of the money raised will go to the most vulnerable, homeless people and families struggling with poverty, who live close to Schneider entities.

Recovery: using funds raised to support education and professional training programs. Schneider Electric aims to train 1 million of the world’s most disadvantaged people before 2025 as a vital step to shape and rebuild the future of affected communities.

Resilience: by extending fundraising efforts beyond Schneider’s network of 130,000 employees to the broader ecosystem of partners and proposing digital voluntary missions. Every week, Schneider employees engage and celebrate colleagues, families and friends who make a positive impact. https://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/45122-Schneider-Electric-Foundation-Joins-GivingTuesdayNow-a-Global-Day-of-Giving-in-Response-to-COVID-19?tracking_source=rss


MEMPHIS - International Paper Supports Anheuser-Busch’s Donation of Hand Sanitizer to the American Red Cross

6 May 2020   As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches resources across the world, manufacturers are retooling their production lines to produce essential supplies. When one of our customers stepped up to make hand sanitizer for their facilities and the American Red Cross, they turned to International Paper, the leading producer of renewable fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper, to help transport the product to these critical operations and relief efforts. Anheuser-Busch, U.S.-based brewer of iconic beer brands such as Budweiser and Michelob Ultra, has put their capabilities and expertise to work by producing and distributing bottles of hand sanitizer to accommodate the growing need across the United States. The company’s sanitizer will be used at Red Cross blood donation centers and will support future relief efforts at emergency shelters.  Corrugated boxes are essential to the distribution of the product. International Paper has donated 5,500 boxes to Anheuser-Busch, enabling them to supply bottles of hand sanitizer to their facilities, the Red Cross and other government relief efforts across the country.  Both companies are members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP), which provides essential contributions in advance of disasters, powering the organization with strong infrastructure, trained volunteers, innovative technology and critical resources necessary to provide immediate relief and support to those in crisis. https://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/45099-International-Paper-Supports-Anheuser-Busch-s-Donation-of-Hand-Sanitizer-to-the-American-Red-Cross?tracking_source=rss

News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


New IFAD fund launched to help prevent rural food crisis in wake of COVID-19

20 April 2020, Rome - With the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown threatening the lives and livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people, the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today committed US$40 million, and launched an urgent appeal for additional funds, to support farmers and rural communities to continue growing and selling food. IFAD’s new multi-donor fund, the COVID-19 Rural Poor Stimulus Facility, will mitigate the effects of the pandemic on food production, market access and rural employment. As part of the broader UN socio-economic response framework, the Facility will ensure that farmers in the most vulnerable countries have timely access to inputs, information, markets and liquidity. On top of its own contribution, IFAD aims to raise at least $200 million more from Member States, foundations and the private sector. With their movements restricted to contain further spread of the virus, many small-scale farmers are unable to access markets to sell produce or to buy inputs, such as seeds or fertilizer. Closures of major transport routes and export bans are also likely to affect food systems adversely. As entire production chains are disrupted and unemployment rises, the most vulnerable include daily labourers, small businesses and informal workers, who are very often women and young people. The return of workers from cities affected by lockdowns will put further strain on rural households, which will also stop receiving much needed remittances. About 80% of the world’s poorest and most food insecure people live in rural areas. Even before the outbreak, more than 820 million people were going hungry every day. A recent United Nations University study warned that in a worst-case scenario, the economic impact of the pandemic could push a further half-billion people into poverty.


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty and number 2-Zero Hunger





The Role of Civil Society in Times of Crisis

(by Nikhil Dey)

8 May 2020 - The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shown us something that most of us haven’t seen in our lifetimes: Large numbers of people unable to have two meals a day.  The tragedy is that the government has enough and more foodgrains to feed people during this time; the real issue is of distribution—both in terms of broken supply chains, as well as the insistence of the government to limit distribution to beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), ie, priority ration card holders. This approach is flawed because the NFSA has many exclusions, with some of the poorest of the poor, nomadic or Adivasi communities, and the urban poor being left out. Moreover, ration cards are of no use to migrant workers stuck outside their home state.  Build a network of civil society. Civil society will have to build a network that cuts across the country. We will need to map the different organisations and groups providing relief in every district, block, and down to every village. We can do this because we have volunteers and workers—from field staff of nonprofits to government school teachers—all over the country, and we know whom we can contact for any information or assistance at any place. The strength of civil society lies in knowing and being the small, decentralised units that have taken responsibility for their entire area—identifying the number of people in the area, the relief needed, the gaps in government relief, the challenges on the ground, and so on. By bringing them together and forming a network, we can enable these units to call upon each other for assistance, such as procuring material or rebuilding supply chains. Most importantly, the network can have a voice at the national-level that says everyone is entitled to benefits, even if they are not ration card holders or active workers under NREGA.



The United Arab Emirates supports the establishment of a global humanitarian lifeline to nations most exposed to COVID-19

4 May 2020, Rome/Abu Dhabi – The United Arab Emirates (UAE), in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), has launched an international air bridge operation that will provide a lifeline of essential health and humanitarian supplies to nations around the world grappling with the impact of COVID-19. In support of WFP’s role providing critical logistics services for the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the global humanitarian community, the UAE will dedicate a fleet of three aircraft to enable the movement of life-saving cargo and personnel where they are needed most until the end of the year. As the COVID-19 pandemic collapses overstretched health systems and creates devastating social and economic impact, this support will supply millions of medical items and thousands of tons of critical humanitarian cargo to vulnerable communities and frontline workers in more than 100 countries in the months to come. This UAE initiative comes as WFP warns of a global humanitarian catastrophe facing communities on the edge of survival in parts of the world already dealing with economic shocks, conflict and natural disaster. Now more than ever, getting assistance to these communities is a matter of life or death.  The first airlift departed Abu Dhabi carrying important medical equipment from Oslo to various locations. The fleet of three aircraft will operate on rotation between the UAE and key locations across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The UAE-WFP air bridge operation will represent a major contribution to the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan launched by the UN Secretary General at the end of March.



ADRA launches more than 37 projects worldwide to respond to the pandemic and help communities recover

30 April 2020, Silver Spring, MD — The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is serving more than 2.4 million households around the world where lives have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.  ADRA has launched COVID-19 response projects in 37 countries to support frontline workers, low-income families, the elderly, and people facing layoffs as a result of the crisis. “ADRA has been on the ground since the coronavirus outbreak, immediately responding and assisting the most needed areas of the world, helping people and communities cope with the unprecedented health, social and economic challenges produced by COVID-19. We are here to continue supporting vulnerable families, frontline healthcare professionals, and individuals affected by this pandemic,” says Michael Kruger, ADRA’s president…. ADRA has scaled up emergency operations and adapted its disaster relief infrastructure in more than 120 countries to respond to the diverse needs of the coronavirus outbreak. Emergency relief activities range from food distribution and security, health communication training for frontline workers, shipments of medical supplies to hospitals serving vulnerable communities, prevention awareness efforts, to cash assistance.

See ADRA’s global response tracker: https://adra.org/adra-provides-hope-during-coronavirus (...)


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


WFP launches a global humanitarian hub in China to support efforts against COVID -19

30 April 2020, Beijing - The first consignment of humanitarian cargo consisting of COVID-19 medical supplies is scheduled to arrive today at a Global Humanitarian Hub in Guangzhou, from where it will be shipped to other UN hubs worldwide, as well as directly to affected countries and regions. Established earlier this month by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), with support from the Government of China, the hub will support the global COVID-19 emergency response for the international community, including the UN, national governments and other humanitarian partners. The hub will provide strategic sourcing and stock consolidation services as well as facilitate movement of life-saving humanitarian cargo to countries responding to the outbreak. The hub also operates aviation services to transport humanitarian workers. This hub is part of a network of global humanitarian hubs that WFP is setting up in Liege (Belgium) and Dubai (UAE) where supplies are being manufactured – as well as regional hubs in Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa, Malaysia, Panama and Dubai. This hubs-and-spokes system will route medical cargo and health workers to the front lines, with flights between global and regional hubs, and a fleet of smaller planes standing ready to move cargo and personnel into priority countries. To rapidly startup operations, as an interim solution, WFP’s global partner Alibaba has been competitively selected to provide commercial hub services through the Alibaba Cainiao logistics network.


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


Turning empty tents into isolation units for communities facing COVID-19 in Lebanon

27 April 2020 Fairfield, Connecticut- With COVID-19 cases having been registered among refugee and local communities in Lebanon, Save the Children and its partners are refurbishing a restaurant, a factory and seven other buildings so they can be used as isolation centers. It is also turning empty tents in refugee settlements in the Bekaa valley into isolation units, so that patients can self-isolate within the camps. Thousands of vulnerable families are set to face the coronavirus outbreak with little means in a country that is already suffering from a crippling economic crisis. Save the Children’s teams in the Bekaa valley, bordering Syria, will refurbish the nine abandoned buildings before handing them over to the Ministry of Health, which will turn them into temporary health facilities for up to 1,000 COVID-19 patients, Lebanese as well as Syrian and Palestinian refugees. The international humanitarian agency is also transforming tents into isolation units in 218 informal settlements, that are home to 45,500 refugees, and will provide local communities with information on how to manage an outbreak including on hygiene measures, sympto m monitoring and contact tracing and isolation. With more than 70 percent of refugees in Lebanon living under the poverty line in overcrowded conditions, self-isolation is virtually impossible. (…)


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being



Peace and security


Parliament to Join Virtual Broadcast on "The Relevance of Peace in the Post-Pandemic Era"

7 May 2020 - On Friday, May 15th the Parliament of the World's Religions is joining diverse speakers via a virtual broadcast "The Relevance of Peace in the Post-Pandemic Era" hosted by the Green Hope Foundation via Zoom. Parliament Chair, Audrey Kitagawa, will be joined by Bishop William Swing (President and Founding Trustee of URI), Jonathan Granoff (Parliament Special Ambasador and President of Global Security Institute), Dr. Iyad Abu Moghli (UNEP Faith For Earth Director) and Alyn Ware (Global Coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation) on this broadcast moderated by Green Hope Foundation's Founder-President, Kehkashan Basu.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land and number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Pax Christi marks VE Day by focusing on 'Peace, Not War'

(by Theresa Alessandro)

7 May 2020 - A day in advance of Victory in Europe (VE) Day on 8 May, more than 50 Pax Christi members and friends gathered online for a time of prayer, reflection and action with a focus on 'Peace, Not War'.

The Zoom service included international partners from the Holy Land - particularly the Arab Educational Institute and Wiam in Bethlehem - and from South Africa and Uruguay.


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


International cooperation: nothing will be like before, but let's start building the ‘after’

(by Giampaolo Silvestri)

27 April 2020 - How are civil society organizations responding to the coronavirus pandemic? As economic hardship from Covid-19 puts a squeeze on civil society.  The status quo is no more. After COVID-19, nothing will be like before – not in Italy, not in Europe and not for international cooperation. This situation calls for a much different response than what we’ve grown accustomed to. It is precisely during such times – when a new, unprecedented situation arises – that unconventional solutions must be crafted. The general consensus is that the way civil society organisations (CSOs) have traditionally operated will have to change, starting from the elaboration of projects. Even if this pandemic does not discriminate – potentially affecting the health of all individuals alike – we know inequalities persist. And we fight everywhere to defend the dignity of the person. Accordingly, CSOs must continue implementing their work worldwide.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land and number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Rethinking International Security for a Post-Pandemic World

(by Igor Ivanov)

20 April 2020 - For the first time in living memory, humanity is confronting a common threat that it must defeat collectively. It is time to start planning for when the eventual victory comes. The virus teaches us that the hierarchy of global security threats is changing rapidly, and we are dealing with radically new enemies. That calls for a fundamental change in our security priorities. National security should no longer be defined solely by a country’s military capabilities. Nuclear arms and other modern weapons are unable to combat pandemics, climate change, uncontrollable migration, and other challenges faced both by humanity as a whole and each country individually. Now we see clearly that many of the old instruments we inherited from previous times for ensuring security are all but useless, merely consuming huge resources that could be redirected into developing science, education, and medicine.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land and number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions





MSF provides critically needed COVID-19 medical care in Tijuana

7May 2020– The newly-opened basketball stadium that was the home of Tijuana's professional team, ‘Los Zonkeys’, is now an auxiliary hospital unit where teams from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will begin assisting non-critical COVID-19 patients today, in Tijuana, in the north-western corner of Mexico.

MSF's response to the pandemic in this space will be coordinated with the Baja California state Secretary of Health and a civil society organisation Apoyemos Tijuana (Let's Support Tijuana). The civil society organisation has set up the stadium with all the necessary requirements to be used as an extension of the Tijuana General hospital and have entrusted medical operations to MSF teams. “We will be providing support to health institutions with the objective of relieving the hospital burden in this city, which concentrates the largest number of accumulated cases in Baja California and is one of the urban areas with the highest number of deaths from this disease in the entire country,” said Maria Rodríguez Rado, MSF COVID emergency response coordinator in Mexico. “Through this support we want to relieve the enormous workload of health workers who are responding to this pandemic and help alleviate the suffering of patients.” The MSF team will consist of 120 people, of which more than 60 per cent will be health personnel who will remain in Tijuana for the duration of the emergency. (…)


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


Rwanda: The Red Cross Movement scales up to prevent spread of COVID-19 in communities

7May 2020 – Rwanda Red Cross Society as an auxiliary to the Public Authorities, with the support of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); and National Societies, partners (Japanese Red Cross, Belgium Red Cross_FR, Belgium Red Cross_FL, Spanish Red Cross and Austrian Red Cross) are scaling up to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in communities across Rwanda. "Everyone has a part to play in making Rwanda free of COVID-19," said Apollinaire Karamaga, the Secretary-General of the Rwanda Red Cross. Rwanda Red Cross volunteers and field staff are working in all districts to share information with communities on how COVID-19 is spread. These efforts are complimented by a mass media campaign on Rwandan radio networks and banners, posters, and leaflets distributed nationwide. 1800 hand washing stations will be set up in public places and in 2 refugee camps, Mahama and Nyabiheke respectively (…).


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


The corporate citizenship imperative during crisis

(by Colleen Olphert)

6 May 2020 /CSRwire/ - Originally published by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in early January 2020, organizations have stepped up to support first responders and health professionals, remove barriers to health care, and provide products and services to employees, customers, and others who need them most. Among them on the frontlines, FedEx has responded to the call for social responsibility in the time of need. FedEx is using its strongest capabilities to meet critical demands during the crisis—its logistics network and expertise. With more than 650 aircraft, 180,000 trucks, and 475,000 team members spanning 220 countries and territories, FedEx is well-positioned to be a leader in addressing the global scope of the pandemic. In fact, supporting the relief and recovery efforts related to COVID-19 makes sense given FedEx’s overarching strategy: connect people with goods, services, ideas, and technologies in order to create opportunities that fuel innovation, energize businesses, and empower communities. While the events related to the pandemic are still unfolding, FedEx’s swift actions thus far serve as a case study for companies seeking to think beyond bottom lines and good causes, and more about how to leverage core operations and business strengths to truly deliver impact globally. (…)


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


World Red Cross and Red Crescent day 2020

5 May 2020 - Celebrating the amazing work of health care workers and volunteers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This year, we mark the World Red Cross and Red Crescent day during unprecedented circumstances. Around the world, health care workers and volunteers have mobilized to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health systems in many countries are already stretched with limited health care financing and resources due to the coping of endemic diseases, natural disasters and protracted conflicts. As the COVID-19 pandemic moves to resource-poor and conflict-affected countries, it poses an unprecedented challenge to the increase in the burden on already strained health systems and its impact on the most vulnerable populations can be catastrophic. We want to voice our gratitude for their work, and our indebtedness to their service. Doing what they do isn't easy. Still, our staff and volunteers keep going.


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


Coronavirus - Africa: World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Programme (WFP) and the African Union (AU) deliver critical supplies as COVID-19 accelerates in West and Central Africa

5 May 2020 - Just over two months since COVID-19 was first detected in Africa, the disease has now spread to nearly every country, resulting in nearly 17 000 confirmed cases and around 900 deaths across the continent.  While South Africa has sub-Saharan Africa’s most severe outbreak, West and Central Africa are of growing concern: Cameroon has confirmed more than 800 cases, while Niger, Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea have reported a rapid rise in numbers during the past week.  Crucial medical equipment needed to respond to COVID-19 is lacking in many countries. WHO has been working closely with the World Food Programme (WFP), the African Union (AU), national governments and the Jack Ma foundation to make sure that vital supplies get to the people who need it most: front line health workers in Africa. In the past two days eight countries have received medical equipment.


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


Polio workers distribute soap and information in fight against COVID-19

Polio Social Mobilisers step up to aid Afghanistan’s vulnerable communities.

29April 2020 – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the polio programme has diverted thousands of personnel to fight the virus. Repurposing extensive experience eradicating polio, the programme is supporting country response in areas including information dissemination, disease surveillance, risk communications and data management. In Kandahar, a ‘poliovirus epicenter’ where the programme has significant personnel, community social mobilizers stepped up in March to deliver soap bars and information on COVID-19 to some of Afghanistan’s poorest and most vulnerable communities. Social mobilizers are local people trained to communicate with the public about specific health issues in ways that are understandable and encourage behaviours to protect health. In Afghanistan, UNICEF coordinates a network of 3,750 mobilizers. (…) Just a few days after the decision to mobilize polio teams for COVID-19 response, the Kandahar team distributed thousands of soap bars and educational materials on the virus to communities across the province. Many of the families served have limited access to adequate sanitation products or facilities. Providing a bar of soap and demonstrating its use is a simple COVID-19 prevention measure. During the distribution, the teams emphasized the importance of routine immunization continuing throughout the pandemic, reminding parents to take their children to health facilities. With house-to-house polio vaccination campaigns paused for the time being, many more children may be vulnerable to polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases if they do not receive vaccinations at health clinics (…)


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being



Energy and safety



Solar and wind energy sites mapped globally for the first time

(by University of Southampton)

4 May 2020 – Researchers at the University of Southampton have mapped the global locations of major renewable energy sites, providing a valuable resource to help assess their potential environmental impact. Their study, published in the Nature journal Scientific Data, shows where solar and wind farms are based around the world -- demonstrating both their infrastructure density in different regions and approximate power output. It is the first ever global, open-access dataset of wind and solar power generating sites. (…)


News related with SDGs number 7-Affordable and Clean Energy


COVID-19: Renewables grow amid ‘plunging energy demand’

30 April 2020 – Clean power sources set to extend their lead to reach 40% of global electricity generation in 2020 says IEA. Renewable sources of electricity are set to be the only energy source that will grow in 2020 amid falling power demand stemming from the global coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). After overtaking coal for the first time ever in 2019, renewables and low-carbon sources of electricity are set to extend their lead this year to reach 40% of global electricity generation.


News related with SDGs number 7-Affordable and Clean Energy


Covid-19 crisis will wipe out demand for fossil fuels, says IEA

(by Jillian Ambrose)

30 April 2020 – Renewable electricity will be the only source resilient to the biggest global energy shock in 70 years triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the world’s energy watchdog. (…) The steady rise of renewable energy combined with the collapse in demand for fossil fuels means clean electricity will play its largest ever role in the global energy system this year, and help erase a decade’s growth of global carbon emissions.


News related with SDGs number 7-Affordable and Clean Energy


AMERICAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION – US Wind Industry Delivers Strong First Quarter

30 April 2020 – Despite uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the U.S. wind industry experienced a strong start to the year, with the first three months of 2020 seeing record construction and power purchasing activity. (…) The American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) report reveals that U.S. project developers installed more than double the amount of wind capacity in the first three months of 2020 than in the first quarter of 2019. Developers also started construction on 4,124 MW of wind power, bringing total construction activity to 24,690 MW. (…)


News related with SDGs number 7-Affordable and Clean Energy


Green Deal 'could jumpstart European economy’ – Clean energy investment could boost post COVID-19 recovery, says EU body

28 April 2020 – Europe must ramp up its efforts to decarbonise, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, urged the European Renewable Energies Federation (EREF). (…) In its statement, the EREF urged world leaders to “intrinsically tie" recovery stimulus packages to the Green Deal’s initiatives and restart economies with a focus on deploying renewable energies across all sectors. The body said that integrating economic stimulus and the Green Deal would result in direct investments in innovative and carbon-neutral solutions.


News related with SDGs number 7-Affordable and Clean Energy



Environment and wildlife


A crucial opportunity for change following the COVID-19 pandemic

A message from WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini to our supporters and partners around the world.

6May 2020 – I write to you today with a deep sense of sadness about the impacts of the current COVID-19 health crisis – but also with a message of hope, and particularly a call to action. Together, we can learn from the new realities we face, charting a sustainable course towards a more stable, prosperous and healthy future for all.  Of course, we all face incredibly difficult times right now. As the COVID-19 outbreak has taken hold, lives have been lost, individuals left isolated, livelihoods affected and economies laid low. May I offer my heartfelt sympathies to anyone who has suffered the consequences of this terrifying pandemic – and my sincere thanks to the healthcare professionals and support workers who have put their lives on the line for us all, as well as the many people that, in spite of the risks, have continued to work in sectors ranging from food to utilities. Making sense of the often-chaotic consequences of this crisis requires level heads and sure hands. And we are fortunate to have many such people in WWF and across our partnerships, who have been steadfastly tackling the crises of climate change and nature loss for decades. This deep wellspring of experience combined with WWF’s collective spirit of collaboration – something we call ‘together possible’ – is helping to sustain our global network as it strives to continue our vital nature conservation work wherever possible. You may have felt heartened by the scene of wildlife venturing in our deserted cities, but the impacts of the pandemic on conservation around the world, like so much else, have also been harmful – from the curtailing of critical wildlife protection efforts on the ground to dramatic falls in nature-based tourism revenue that many companies and communities rely on. But the main risk perhaps is not to learn what this crisis is so obviously telling us. (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY – IRENA's Coalition for Action Calls for Green Recovery Based on Renewables

5 May 2020As COVID-19 rapidly devastates communities and livelihoods, effective response measures are urgently needed to address the immediate as well as the longer-term impacts of the crisis. Over 100 leading players in renewable energy, gathered under the IRENA Coalition for Action, have come together in a joint call for action, putting forward concrete recommendations on how governments can ensure a rapid and sustained economic recovery that aligns with climate and sustainability objectives. IRENA's recent Global Renewables Outlook finds that aligning COVID-19 recovery efforts with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will require comprehensive policy packages, massive resource mobilisation, and enhanced international cooperation, but would result in massive socio-economic gains at the global level.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action



Religion and spirituality


ASIA/MYANMAR - Day of prayer on May 14 to ask for an end to the pandemic and war

8 May 2020 - Yangoon (Agenzia Fides) - A special prayer to ask for healing from coronavirus and the end of the war in the nation: in this spirit, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Myanmar has announced its participation in the "Day of prayer, fasting and charitable works", universally called by the High Committee for Human Fraternity, to implore God to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic. The appeal was re-launched by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al Tayyeb. But a pandemic in many countries, such as Myanmar, is combined with the word war.



Interfaith Call To Action On Covid-19

8 May 2020 - The world’s religious and spiritual traditions share common values that have resonated across the globe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These values are uniting humanity, from the most remote village and grassroots communities to senior-most leaders. Each spiritual tradition upholds the inherent dignity and value of every person. In a time dominated by confusion and fear, the diverse faith traditions call all people to care deeply for each other by promoting peace, hope and solidarity within and beyond their communities.



Parliament Co-Sponsors National Interfaith Prayer Service for Healing & Hope

7 May 2020 - The Parliament of the World's Religions partned with Religions for Peace USA, Temple of Understanding, the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN), United Religions Initiative (URI), Temple of Ara, Faith in Public Life, The Interfaith Observer, The New York Board of Rabbis, Tri-Faith Initiative, the Interfaith Center of New York, and Baha'is of the United States for the annual observance of the United States National Day of Prayer on May 7th.



AFRICA/SENEGAL - COVID-19: Solidarity Fund of the Senegalese Church for the poorest families

6 May 2020: On March 7, 2020, the Bishops of Senegal launched a national mobilization campaign in favor of the Emergency Fund of Senegal. The idea was to provide Caritas Senegal with the means to act quickly in emergency situations and provide assistance to the most vulnerable people.

"The Covid-19 pandemic, which is currently raging in the world and has greatly shaken all sectors of our society, unfortunately obliges us to stop, since 4 May, this fundraising campaign initially intended primarily for communities and Church structures", says a press release from Caritas Senegal sent to Agenzia Fides.

"However, Caritas Senegal remains determined to provide assistance to the most vulnerable to help those who cannot afford to meet their basic needs in the context of this health crisis whose socio-economic impact jeopardizes the lives of many people and entire families", reads the statement.

"Therefore, the amount raised as part of the first national mobilization for the Senegal Emergency Fund, which amounts to 10,327,500 FCFA, will be entirely dedicated to the purchase of food for poor families. The Catholic health structures involved in the care of the sick will also be supported by other resources mobilized with our partners".



ROME - Covid -19, first accessions of world leaders to the Prayer for Humanity

5 May 2020: Authoritative accessions of political leaders - especially Middle Eastern ones - and representatives of international bodies are beginning to arrive with regards to the appeal promoted in recent days by the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity, which announced a day of prayer, fasting and supplication to ask God to protect humanity from the coronavirus pandemic.

The appeal, immediately re-launched by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al Tayyeb, was greeted with "joy" on behalf of all the Palestinian people by M. Abbas, President  of Palestine.
The UN Secretary General, the Portuguese Antonio Guterres, also expressed his accession via twitter to the appeal of the Committee for Human Fraternity. "In difficult times" reads the message issued by Guterres "we must stand together for peace, humanity & solidarity. The Higher Committee for Human Fraternity, chaired by Cardinal Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, was formed last August, a few months after the meeting in Abu Dhabi (February 4, 2019), during which Pope Francis and the great Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayyeb, signed the "Document on human fraternità for world peace and common coexistence". The Higher Committee, formed to promote the objectives and content of the Abu Dhabi Document, is currently made up of eight members, including M. Bruce Listig, Senior Rabbi of the Washington Hebrew Congregation.



ASIA/INDIA - Religious leaders united to fight Covid-19; an Indian state subsidizes religious communities

4 May 2020 - Hyderabad (Agenzia Fides) - Indian religious leaders unite to fight Covid-19 in India: as Agenzia Fides learns, religious leaders of different faiths (Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs) and various interreligious organizations have tightened a collaboration agreement to help contain the spread of Covid-19 in India. In a joint declaration, sent to Agenzia Fides, the organizations say they "want to play a constructive role for the common good by uniting people of all faiths". The leaders intend to "speak with one voice", concentrating efforts on service and unity as the country faces the pandemic. Religions aim to "avoid prejudice, a sense of exclusion, superstition and fanaticism spread in the name of religion", allowing "the scientific approach to combat the virus" to prevail, continuing in one's spiritual and material commitment. "Religion is probably the most powerful means of mobilizing human conscience to serve the common good: we unite as a single force to give impetus to action to overcome the pandemic", says the text.




Culture and education


What Catholic Business Ethics Brings to the Coronavirus Crisis

(by Kevin J. Jones)

8 May 2020 - Efforts to re-open businesses and other social venues, including places of worship, have come to be the focus of debate, planning, and activity.  A Christian ethic of service and solidarity must be an important feature of the business response to the coronavirus epidemic and its economic impact.  Two of the biggest skills that business can bring to recovery efforts are self-awareness and empathy.  “A business needs to help the community identify who they are, which may have been lost during this time of stay at home,” Karel Sovak told CNA. “Businesses need to help communities focus on what makes it viable in the first place, which are the people. Business can be used as a force for good only if they understand what that ‘good’ means. Being aware of those strengths can help transform a community as they seek to overcome any devastating tragedy, natural or otherwise.”



Italy: A trade union Manifesto for inclusive education

8 May 2020 - Italian education trade union is asking educators to sign a manifesto laying out seven points for inclusive education during COVID-19. Following the epidemiological emergency arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Italian Government has ordered containment measures for many public services, including the education sector. Among the measures included was advice to educators to implement “distance learning activities”. The Federazione Lavoratori della Conoscenza-CGIL (FLC-CGIL) has responded by highlighting how distance learning is an emergency tool and cannot replace the teacher/student educational relationship.  In response to the Government’s measures, the union launched a manifesto entitled “Distant, but not too far – School in the time of COVID-19 – Manifesto for an inclusive education”.

Shaping the future

In a letter, dated 5 May, to its members, FLC-CGIL leaders Graziamaria Pistorino and Claudio Franchi said: “We are living hard times. We worry about our own lives, about our children, our friends, our society. The pandemic suddenly interrupted our ordinary life, with huge consequences for all countries, both at economic and social levels. But we, as trade unionists, need to bridge the gap and, at the same time, we need to defend society as a whole. Our battlefield is the education system. We choose it since, for us, it is via the education system that the future, a future for everyone, is shaped.”


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Senegal: recovering education at all levels while saving lives

7 May 2020 - Members of teacher unions in Senegal want to avoid the current school and university year being left “blank” because of the COVID-19 epidemic. While they acknowledge that distance learning is helping education to continue, they insist on an organised recovery of the academic year at educational facilities with proper safety measures for teachers and students. They have put forward proposals to achieve that goal. In this context of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, with its disastrous health, economic and social consequences, many  appropriate health measures have been taken, including the closure of public and private education facilities since 16 March, according to Amadou Diaouné, secretary general of the Syndicat unitaire et démocratique des enseignants du Sénégal (United Democratic Teachers’ Union of Senegal – SUDES) and coordinator of the Union Syndicale pour une Éducation de Qualité (Trade Union for Quality Education – USEQ) an organisation bringing Senegalese Education International members.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


UN agencies issues new guidelines for safe reopening of schools

4 May 2020 - United Nations agencies and World Bank have issued new guidelines on the safe reopening of schools after they were closed at the onset of coronavirus. UNESCO, UNICEF, World Food Programme (WFP) and World Bank yesterday said school closures have affected nearly 1.3 billion students worldwide.

In a statement released yesterday, the agencies warned that the widespread closures of educational facilities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic have presented an unprecedented risk to children’s education and wellbeing. The new guidelines indicate that while there is not yet enough evidence to measure the impact of school closures on disease transmission rates, the adverse effects of school closures on children’s safety and learning are well documented.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


New partnership with France will assist Sahrawi refugee children in Algeria

27 April 2020, Algiers – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed a first-time contribution of € 400,000 from the Government of France (EU) to support Sahrawi refugee boys and girls in camps in Algeria. The French contribution will support WFP’s school feeding programme that encourages around 40,000 children in camp schools and kindergartens to enroll and stay in school. It will allow each child to receive a mid-morning snack (nutritious biscuits and milk), once the schools open again. The Sahrawi refugees have been living for the past 45 years under harsh conditions in the Sahara Desert in southwestern Algeria. Hosted in five refugee camps near the Algerian town of Tindouf, refugee families rely primarily on WFP assistance for their food needs. Employment and livelihood opportunities are limited. WFP operations in Algeria are carried out and monitored in collaboration with national and international organizations to ensure food assistance reaches the people for whom it is intended.




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Good News Agency is published monthly (except August) in English, Italian and Portuguese. Past issues are available at www.goodnewsagency.org . Rome Law-court registration no. 265 dated 20 June 2000. Managing Editor: Fabio Gatti (fabio.gatti@goodnewsagency.org). Editorial research by Fabio Gatti, Isabella Strippoli, Elisa Minelli, Salvatore Caruso Motta, Chiara Damilano, Francesco Viglienghi, Carlo Toraldo, Andrea Landriscina, Nazzarena Franco. Webmaster, media and NGO coverage: Simone Frassanito (simone.frassanito@goodnewsagency.org


Good News Agency is distributed free of charge through Internet to media and editorial journalists of the daily newspapers and periodical magazines and of the radio and television stations, NGOs, service associations, high schools and colleges as well as over 26,000 Rotarians around the world.


It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, a registered, not-for-profit educational charity chartered in Italy in 1979 The Association operates for the development of consciousness and promotes a culture of peace in the ‘global village’ perspective based on unity in diversity and on sharing. It is based in Piazzale degli Eroi 8, 00136 Rome, Italy. The Association is a member of the World Association of Non Governmental Organizations.


* http://decade-culture-of-peace.org/2010_civil_society_report.pdf - In section A - International Organizations, page 12, the Report says: ”Diffusion and exchange of culture of peace information via the Internet has become the major instrument for several international organizations, notably the Culture of Peace News Network, the Good News Agency and the Education for Peace Globalnet.”

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