Pacific 

First Person: Hawaii’s ‘silver tsunami’: the challenge of caring for kupuna elders

Diane Paloma is the CEO of Lunalilo Home and the King William Charles Lunalilo Trust which cares for elderly people in Honolulu, the capital of the US state of Hawaii. Some 80 residents and day-care clients are looked after at Lunalilo, which was established in 1883 following a bequest by King William Charles Lunalilo, the first of a long line of Hawaiian kings to be formally elected by the island’s people. “I’m like the Jackie of all trades and master of none! I oversee the Trust’s investment portfolio and coordinate…

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Pacific 

First Person: Heartbreak and hope – one doctor’s story from China’s coronavirus ground zero

Since the original outbreak of the coronavirus in Hubei, China, at the end of January, 346 medical teams, from 29 Provinces in China, have been sent to Hubei to save lives, aiding local medical teams. The hospital that Xiang oversees, the Yifu Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, got notification to go on the mission, on 24 January, just before Chinese New Year, the most important time for people to return home and reunite with family. This is an edited and translated version of the interview conducted by our colleagues…

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Pacific 

Migrants in Hawaii care for the elderly, the aloha way

It’s three o’clock in the afternoon at the Lunalilo Home, a residential and day care centre for elderly people nestling at the foot of a dormant volcano on the outskirts of Honolulu, the capital of the US state of Hawaii. Novena Sanchez, originally from the Philippines, busies herself looking after the kupuna, the Hawaiian term for older people, who have gathered in the home’s communal room for an afternoon of activities.  Ms. Sanchez came to the United States some 22 years ago after training as a nurse in the Philippines.…

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Pacific 

First Person: two months of COVID-19 confinement in Wuhan

When the shutdown happened it felt a little sudden, because it began on January 23, the same day I came to my parents’ home for a visit. In fact, there was no time to respond. I felt the epidemic was very serious at that time, but I didn’t anticipate how long it would last. At that time, I thought that the lockdown would probably last for a few weeks.  As time went on, the lockdown become more and more strict. In the first week or two, residents could go out…

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Pacific 

Gunmen kills 25 at Afghan temple, UN chief calls for accountability 

As Sikh worshipers gathered for morning prayers, news reports said that Islamic State militants stormed the temple, where attackers killed a guard and caused people to flee for shelter before a lengthy siege that turned dozens into hostages and left 25 dead, including a child. “Attacks against civilians are unacceptable and those who carry out such crimes must be held accountable”, the Secretary-General reiterated in a statement. He expressed his “deepest sympathies” to the victims’ families and wished the injured “a speedy recovery”.   “The United Nations stands in solidarity…

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Europe 

UN expert raises alarm over migrant, asylum seeker ‘pushbacks’ at Turkey-Greece border 

“I am very concerned about the reported pushbacks of asylum seekers and migrants, which constitutes a violation of the prohibition of collective expulsions and the principle of non-refoulement,” said Felipe González Morales, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. On 1 March, Greece suspended for 30 days, asylum applications for anyone who crossed the border irregularly, which prompted the Special Rapporteur to urge the country to “immediately reverse its decision”, saying it “has no legal basis in international human rights law”. Migrants who managed to cross into Greece were…

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Pacific 

Reaching ‘beyond the possible’ in Hawaii to meet sustainability goals

UN News travelled to the island archipelago, as part of an International Labour Organization (ILO) project, called Dignity at Work, and spoke to the Governor of Hawaii, David Ige Why are the Sustainable Development Goals important to Hawaii? Hawaii is the most isolated island community on the planet, 2,500 miles from the nearest landmass, and we see the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise in a real way. These impacts are happening virtually every day. In the last five years, we’ve had at least five “500-year events”; events that…

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Europe 

UN agriculture agency staff continue to strive for a better world amid Italy COVID-19 lockdown

FAO leads global efforts to defeat hunger and ensure that everyone has access to high-quality food. The agency is working with WHO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to assist countries and researchers in identifying potential animal hosts of the new coronavirus, though currently spread and development is due to human-to-human transmission.  FAO experts advise on prevention and control measures to support veterinary services; they also are working with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure readiness to rapidly detect the virus in animals as well as to conduct thorough surveillance of its circulation in the environment.  Above all, the UN…

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Europe 

New report from UN Economic Commission for Europe measures progress on global goals

The UN Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) first regional report on SDG progress has singled out Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Canada, Estonia, United States, Norway, Portugal, Ireland and Spain as meeting the WHO standards, noting that others need to step up.   These and other findings aim to sharpen efforts to achieve the SDGs by describing levels and trends of selected indicators and highlighting challenges, which will be used to inform the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, which will be held Thursday online.   Measuring change for most of the 49 indicators across the 17 SDGs, the report found that UNECE countries are mostly fulfilling targets or making good progress, including on eradicating extreme poverty, enhancing social protections and achieving low levels of maternal, infant and…

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