At a time when businesses are seeing dark days due to the COVID pandemic, a few organizations in Nepal have been helping women make steady incomes by producing masks.

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Bina Pariyar, 42 of Tarkeshore, Kathmandu, Nepal is one of the local artisans working for Hatemalo Women’s Group. She is among other local entreprenuers affected by the COVID pandemic but after her engagement with Hatemalo Women’s Group, she has been sewing local masks and earning Rs.1000(US $8.5) per day.

“Sewing is not just my passion, it is also my livelihood,” says Bina Pariyar of Tarkeshore, Balaju, Kathmandu. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year, Bina’s source of income dried up. …

Let’s ensure that #HalfTheWorld isn’t left behind by the COVID-19 and climate crises

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Clockwise from top left: UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, author and television host Padma Lakshmi; actor and environmentalist Ronen Rubinstein; and entrepreneur, advocate and model, Alexis Ren kick off the ‘World Is In Our Hands’ campaign. Photos: Justin Wu

UNDP is launching a global campaign to end poverty and raise awareness of the alarming rate at which COVID-19 and climate change are increasing inequalities around the world.

Among those hit hardest by both crises are the 4 billion people–fifty percent of the world’s population–who live in poverty and lack any social protections, such as unemployment benefits or healthcare. The World Bank estimates that up to 150 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2021.

If we don’t address the COVID-19 and climate crises together, half of the world will be left behind. …

Using social media to help marginalized groups get HIV services during COVID-19

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Fulvia Saldaña, a community outreach worker with the organization Viviendo Positivamente, talks with one of her clients whom she keeps in contact with through social media.

In response to increasing COVID-19 cases, Panama imposed rigorous restrictions to contain the disease. People were limited to six hours outside the home each week, with men and women allowed out on alternate days. The measures had some success, leading to a gradual easing of restrictions, but concerns regarding the impact of lockdowns on marginalized groups, particularly those most at risk of HIV, have been mounting.

Isolated in their homes for six months, sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgender people — faced a frightening new reality. With many health facilities closed or re-purposed to fight COVID-19, people struggled to access life-saving HIV services. Transgender people faced the threat of increased discrimination when leaving their homes on particular days, and sex workers faced the dilemma of either being pushed further into poverty or continuing to work at increased risk to themselves and their clients. …


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