Gloomy and hopeful global trends to observe in 2020 (and fold into a magazine)

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<pre><pre>Gloomy and hopeful global trends to observe in 2020 (and fold into a magazine)

Our global predictions for 2020 come with a zine, or a mini magazine, that you can make yourself. Scroll to the slide show below to discover how to print and fold this zine.

Malaka Gharib / NPR


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Malaka Gharib / NPR

Our global predictions for 2020 come with a zine, or a mini magazine, that you can make yourself. Scroll to the slide show below to discover how to print and fold this zine.

Malaka Gharib / NPR

We don't have a crystal ball, but as journalists covering world health and development, we have a good nose for emerging trends (with the help of our favorite expert sources).

Some probable trends are a cause of optimism, signs of progress in solving the world's problems. Other trends are pessimistic: threats and challenges that are expected to worsen in the next year.

Here are 11 trend lines that we will see in 2020. First we will give you the bad news, then the hopeful predictions.

Make this Zine of Global Trends 2020

Gloomy trends

A record number of people will need humanitarian assistance

The United Nations predicts that 168 million people, a record, will need humanitarian assistance in 2020 due to extreme weather, large outbreaks of infectious diseases and intensified and prolonged conflicts in more than 50 countries. That's about a million more people who needed assistance in 2019, and the number is expected to continue to increase, up to 200 million people by 2022. The UN expects that providing this assistance in 2020 can cost up to $ 29 billion.

Hot spots include Burkina Faso, where an increase in violence by religious extremists has displaced more than half a million people; Philippines, where a Christmas Eve typhoon killed more than two dozen; and Venezuela, where an economic collapse has resulted in the exodus of almost 5 million people in the last five years.

Shannon Scribner, associate director of humanitarian policies and programs at Oxfam America, says that funding to respond to these crises "does not keep up with the need, and that will remain a challenge."

Scribner says another concern is a growing number of restrictions on international NGOs that make it more difficult to enter and operate in areas affected by conflicts such as Syria and Yemen.

"Humanitarian law is not being fulfilled in some of the countries where we are working," says Scribner. "And we don't see world leaders talk about human rights as they did before."

A key solution, she says: channel more funds to small local groups that know the land intimately, rather than large international NGOs. – Tim McDonnell

Second level diseases will become gangsters

In the last 12 months, the world has constantly advanced against the great infectious killers: HIV, malaria and tuberculosis. But other diseases, some of them easily preventable, stole the spotlight.

Those second level diseases include measles and dengue, which caused gangsters in the tropics. Cholera raged in Yemen. The polio returned from the edge of defeat. In Pakistan, polio cases increased more than tenfold from a minimum of only nine in 2018. In a cruel unintended consequence of the polio eradication effort, a dozen countries that had been free of polio (including China, Angola and Philippines) reported cases of polio derived from the vaccine in 2019. Venezuela reported its first case of yellow fever in more than a decade as the country's health care system continues its downward spiral. Despite efforts to control it, some cases of respiratory syndrome are reported in the Middle East every month in the Middle East, and that will probably continue in the next year.

Recent outbreaks of high-profile measles in the US The US, Europe, the Philippines and Samoa should put pressure on health officials to ensure that more children are vaccinated this year. To prevent outbreaks, the World Health Organization says that approximately 95% of a community needs to get vaccinated against measles. According to UNICEF, more than half of the countries in the world, including the United States with 94%, have not reached that threshold. Where could there be a measles outbreak in 2020? Afghanistan, Angola, Bolivia and Haiti have terribly low immunization rates below 40%.

But there are some signs of progress: this year, a new dengue vaccine could finally make a dent in the approximately 100 million cases of the disease that occur most of the years. And the world is more prepared to deal with Ebola than at any other time in history: two vaccines and several experimental treatments are being used, all developed after the outbreak of West Africa in 2014. The current Ebola outbreak in eastern East The Democratic Republic of the Congo seems to say more about the poor social conditions there than about the ability of the world to fight this virus. If there is an Ebola outbreak outside a conflict zone in 2020, it is likely to be contained and crushed quickly. – Jason Beaubien

Help will become even more political

"It seems that we are returning to the old days of the Cold War when we use aid as a glorified benefit for [political] friends and allies, "says Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior member of the Center for Global Development and former head of disaster assistance abroad in the United States under the Obama administration.

Instead of providing help to improve health and foster economic development, Konyndyk says there is a growing mentality in the US. UU. That help can be used as a "gift bag" to encourage foreign leaders to align. Examples include freezing and restoring Trump's assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in 2019 based on his immigration policies; their threats to cut countries that do not vote with the United States at the United Nations; and their withdrawal of help from the Palestinians to pressure them to reconsider their peace plan.

The United Kingdom has also announced plans to merge its International Development Department into its Foreign Office, a measure that more than 100 charities say run the risk of politicizing United Kingdom aid. These changes by the US. UU. And the United Kingdom, two of the world's largest aid donors, could set the tone for many aid policies worldwide, says Konyndyk. – Joanne Lu

The unease concern will grow

2019 was marked by furious protests over inequality around the world and, according to some experts, the demonstrations will become more violent in 2020.

Since the 1980s, income inequality has been increasing, says Lucas Chancel, co-director of the World Inequality Laboratory at the Paris School of Economics. In the United States, for example, Chancel says that the richest 1% owned about 40% of the nation's wealth in 2016, compared to 20% in the 1980s, and Trump's fiscal policies in 2017 alone they have "upset" the inequality, and the 400 richest families pay a lower average tax rate in 2018 than the poorest half of American households.

"It is unlikely that 2020 will bring something different," he says, which means that inequality will deepen, despite the efforts of angry protesters to stop it.

Part of the problem is that inequality has a "new face," according to a new report from the United Nations Development Program. People are no longer angry at the income; they are concerned about inequalities in political representation and power, Higher education, access to technology and resources to survive climate change.

Chancel says that protests in Chile, France, Lebanon, Hong Kong and other countries show that "governments still do not seem to have grasped the reality of the situation" and have not yet provided adequate solutions. Until they do, the UNDP report warns, social unrest will likely continue. – Joanne Lu

Water taps remain dry

In June 2019, Chennai, India, reached "Zero Day", the day the city's reservoirs were almost without water. By fall, seasonal rains had replenished the city, at least temporarily. But the imminent spectrum of water scarcity will surely continue in cities around the world in 2020.

In India alone, 21 cities run the risk of drying up in 2020, according to a government report. And an August report by the World Resources Institute found that a group of 17 countries that together house a quarter of the world's population, including Botswana, India, Iran and Mexico, are using as much or more water than they can replace. .

Upmanu Lall, director of the Columbia Water Center, says that while droughts related to climate change can create water shortages, in many cases Zero Day events are caused more by poor government administration of resources water.

"I have not seen any reasonable improvement," he says. "So I think there will still be stressed places and at least one will appear as Zero Day this year."

The Indian subcontinent is a leading candidate, he says. But on the positive side, climate scientists expect 2020 to be a year outside of El Niño and La Niña, the weather patterns that occur every few years and can cause flooding in some areas and droughts in others. The absence of these extremes could help avoid some cases of water shortage.

Either way, Victoria Beard, a professor of urban planning at Cornell University and a member of the World Resources Institute, says that water scarcity will continue to be a problem, especially in cities, until the governments of high-risk localities Pay for the massive overhaul of your water systems.

"People demand their leaders to see investments in basic services," she says. "There is no self-supply [of bottled water] That will solve this problem in the long term. There are no examples where it is a free game and it works well. It needs a massive coordinated public investment. " – Tim McDonnell

Gender equality is not on the horizon

The UN calls gender equality a "necessary basis" for a peaceful and prosperous world. However, no country in the world is on its way to achieving gender equality, as defined by the UN sustainable development goals, by 2030.

2020 will mark an important milestone on the long road to gender equality: it is the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which is considered a historic progressive project to promote women's rights. The world community will evaluate progress, and lack thereof, in meetings such as the UN Commission on the Status of Women in March.

Throughout the world, women continue to face disproportionate rates of discrimination and violence, less access to economic and educational opportunities and exclusion from decision-making roles at the community and government levels.

According to one measure, the world will not achieve gender equality for almost a century. The most recent estimate of the World Economic Forum, which publishes an annual report to track country-by-country progress in the economic, educational, health and political dimensions, is that reaching parity in all four dimensions will take an average of 99.5 years in the current rate.

While the WEF report found that achieving parity is relatively easy for educational achievement, which could be possible in just 12 years, progress towards closing the economic opportunity gap is actually regressing. According to that metric, the parity is a "57.8% low" and will take 257 years to overcome. – Emily Vaughn

Hopeful Trends

Global health will wake up

This year, more people in the global health and development community are expected to address the injustices and inequities that can be traced to the time when Western countries colonized poor countries, stripping them of resources and autonomy. People working in the field know that much of the money, influence and decision-making on how to help low-income countries still come from rich countries, with little input from people receiving assistance.

One reason for this mentality, says Renzo Guinto, a Filipino doctor and member of The Lancet's planetary health & # 39;s editorial board, are the colonial roots of tropical medicine. In the colonial era, European researchers studied diseases in the colonies to protect colonizers, not people living in those places, from getting sick.

In recent years, he and an increasing number of global health personnel have been working to make a change. Its objective is to give medical professionals in low-income countries real leadership roles. At the university level, students ask teachers to recognize the colonial history of the field in the global health curriculum. And the communications managers of the charity groups are trying to portray the recipients of the aid with dignity and respect in the messages sent to donors and the media. Many of these conversations can be found on social networks with the hashtags #ShiftThePower and #DecolonizeGlobalHealth.

Jennifer Lentfer, a communications strategist who has worked in the field for two decades, says she had never seen so much excitement about decolonizing global development. There are already events scheduled in 2020 to address the issue. In the coming weeks, Lentfer will organize a couple of online workshops on topics that challenge Western motives to "make a difference" and help because it is our "moral imperative." And in January, graduate students at Duke University are organizing a conference called Decolonizing Global Health 2020.

"There is a real question about how to change leadership," says Lentfer. "And that is reaching a critical point." – Malaka Gharib

Satellite images could improve global health

This year, I hope to see more research on health and global development from a very high point of view. The images produced by satellites are becoming increasingly ubiquitous and economic, and an increasingly vital source of data on poverty, disease and environmental challenges.

Marshall Burke, deputy director of the Center for Food Safety and Environment at Stanford University, is one of a growing number of researchers who are training artificial intelligence software to scan millions of satellite images to find clues about where these challenges exist and test solutions for them.

Suppose you run a government agency in a low-income country and want to identify the poorest 10% of the villages, or determine how many people live within the reach of a medical facility or near bodies of water that could be a source of mosquitoes. transmitted by diseases. Satellite images can help you answer those questions, says Burke, in a way that is much less expensive and takes more time than traditional field surveys. Cars, large buildings and well-maintained farms can indicate income and population density and can be easily seen from space.

Satellite images are already helping cattle herders in the Sahel to look for water and helping regulators in West Africa to take strong measures against illegal gold mining. It can help humanitarian agencies navigate after natural disasters. In some cases, it could help us look to the future: in December, the World Resources Institute presented an online tool that uses satellite images, along with other data, to predict water scarcity and conflicts.

Burke says that by 2020 it is expected to see more satellite software tools that come out of research laboratories and reach the hands of aid agencies and policy makers. And although today most of the images come from satellites owned by the US. UU. And the European Union may soon come from satellites operated by developing countries, including the first Ethiopian observatory satellite, launched at the end of December. – Tim McDonnell

Young activists will lead the fight for a better world

It's not just Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who took over the coverage of the Person of the Year for 2019. Helena Gualinga, an indigenous teenage activist from the Ecuadorian Amazon, led world leaders to the task in COP 25 climate summit and accused oil companies of "violating our human rights". University students in India protest against a new citizenship law that excludes Muslim immigrants.

"Young people are in the lead," said UN Secretary General António Guterres, in a statement on Human Rights Day. "Everywhere, they march against corruption, repression and inequality, and for human rights and human dignity."

In 2020, youth activists will continue to speak for the world they want to see, says Jessica Taft, a youth movement researcher and professor of Latin American studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Taft says that this type of youth participation is not new. But what has changed, he says, is that today's social media platforms make their contributions more visible to the world and to others. With their phones set to retweet, they can instantly amplify movements that are half a world away.

A common saying of young activists is that the failures of previous generations have left them trapped in a flawed version of the world that a previous generation helped make.

"Many of the issues they are focusing on at the moment are those on which they can claim moral authority when they are young," says Taft. That includes issues such as climate change and armed violence, which young people can address from personal experience, such as Stoneman Douglas High School students in Parkland, Florida, who captured the world's attention after the shooting at their school.

Matt Deitsch, a school graduate and organizer of the March For Our Lives demonstration in Washington, DC, told NPR in an interview in 2019: "If we are not standing and organizing, then we are not doing enough to save lives in the United States ". – Pien Huang

Cash will be king (of aid)

It is an idea that has been gaining popularity for more than two decades: instead of giving poor goods and services, for example, a cow or job training, why not just give them money and let them decide how to spend it better?

It is likely that interest in "cash transfers", as this form of aid is often referred to, will increase even more over the next decade, says David Evans, senior member of the Thought Center of the Washington Global Development Center DC

One reason is that researchers can increasingly study the long-term effects of some of the first large-scale cash transfer programs, a series of government assistance schemes that began in Latin America in the late 1990s. Already "we are beginning to see the first wave of long-term evaluations," says Evans, who is licensed as a principal economist at the World Bank.

Until now, evidence suggests that poor people who received this monetary assistance used it primarily to meet short-term needs, such as giving their families enough food every day, instead of finding ways to get out of poverty permanently. But these families were also able to give their children more education. And now that children are aging in the workforce, it will be clear if additional education translates into sufficient additional income to drive the next generation out of poverty. If so, says Evans, "it will be something exciting to find." – Nurith Aizenman

University access will grow

More and more people are going to college. Access to higher education has expanded rapidly throughout the world over the past five years, says Michael Green, CEO of Social Progress Imperative, and expects it to continue in 2020.

Green and his organization, through its Social Progress Index, have been tracking this every year since 2014. Higher education has traditionally focused on rich countries, says Green, but many countries are making huge leaps, both in terms of Registration as of quality, and is leading to a growing world middle class. Some of the biggest breeders, according to their data, include Morocco, Slovakia and Turkey.

Our World in Data, an online publication based at the University of Oxford, also expects the number of people worldwide with higher education degrees to increase as advanced skills become more important both in developing economies as in the developed ones. The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis projects that this number will reach one billion by 2030 and 3 billion by 2100, compared to 725 million in 2015. Although the improvement is not in all countries, Green says the increase in the world average it is still a "surprising" victory. – Joanne Lu