UNHCR releases supplementary COVID-19 appeal to meet exceptional refugee needs in 2021.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, released today its supplementary appeal for 2021 COVID response seeking an additional US$455 million.
While most of the pandemic-related activities amounting to $477 million have been already mainstreamed and included in UNHCR’s 2021 Global Appeal totaling $8.616 billion, the supplementary COVID-19 response released today focuses on exceptional socioeconomic and protection impacts related to COVID-19 as millions of refugees, internally displaced and stateless people fall into conditions of extreme hardship.
Monitoring carried out by UNHCR since the onset of the pandemic paint a bleak picture of the well-being and protection of refugees and others of concern, with 74 per cent of them now able to meet only half or less of their basic needs, and 83 per cent engaging in one or more negative coping mechanisms to meet their basic needs.
The beautiful, liquid song of the Palila was once thought a sign of rain. Now the distinctive sound is rarely heard.
The Palila and the māmane tree are two of Hawai’i’s many species found nowhere else. The tree is essential to the bird: The Palila’s hooked bill is just right for opening the tough, fibrous seedpods of māmane, the bird’s primary food.
Common milkweed isn’t a particularly finicky plant—it has “weed” in its name for a reason and can be found growing on roadsides, empty lots, and old fields. But over the last two decades, Asclepias syriaca, which is primarily found in the Midwest and eastern United States, has disappeared from most agricultural landscapes. Along with it, the population of the iconic migratory monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus plexippus, which relies on the plant for reproduction, has also crashed, so much so that it is being considered for endangered status.
According to researchers, 1.3 billion stems of milkweed have disappeared from Midwestern farmlands over the last 20 years. This has led to an 80 percent crash in the migratory monarch, which winters in the mountains of Mexico and breeds in the central and eastern United States during the spring and summer. Since hitting an estimated high of 682 million monarchs in 1997, the species dropped to just 42 million in 2015. According to another study, milkweed in and near cropland in Illinois, prime monarch habitat, has dropped by 95 percent over the same period—representing a 50 percent drop in the total milkweed population.
Gray whales have one of the longest migrations of any mammal, traveling each year from calving lagoons along Mexico’s Baja Peninsula up to feeding grounds in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea. Similarly impressive migrations along the Pacific Coast are made by other whale species, as well as elephant seals, sea lions, sharks, tuna, and the millions of birds that traverse the Pacific Flyway.
The promise of large open spaces drew the emerging photographer to North America, where he discovered that even large areas of protected wilderness like Yellowstone National Park aren’t safe from fragmentation. For example, the artificial boundaries of large parks don’t necessarily take the migrations and dispersal of wildlife into account. Schulz argues that parks can become prisons rather than preserves, especially as climate change causes ecological boundaries to shift. Schulz is a proponent of wildlife corridors, which he believes can correct the fragmentation caused by human-designated wilderness areas by acting as land or water bridges that allow wildlife to move between parks and ecosystems.
Joint UNHCR and EU scheme offers Syrian refugees and other children a safe space to learn and play.
The ‘Fun Bus’ initiative is jointly funded by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the European Union, and implemented by the Makhzoumi Foundation, a Lebanese NGO. It provides support and recreation to street children in Lebanon, thereby reducing the amount of time they spend working outside.