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Faith in Action for Children

Interfaith Prayer With Children In the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic

22 April 2020

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There are fewer than 500 days before the world reaches its deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. These goals contain a set of targets agreed to by world leaders in 2000 to eradicate poverty and hunger, ensure universal primary education and women’s rights and improve health across the globe by 2015.  With the finish line in sight, it is time to focus our attention on completing the job. We will need every single one of the 500 days we have left.

There is an alarming rise in the number of Syrian refugee girls in Jordan being forced into early marriages, according to the new figures from the United Nations.

As Orla Guerin reports from Zaatari refugee camp, poverty is forcing some families to effectively sell their daughters to much older men, and there is now an organised trade in young girls.

We stand now at approximately 500 days from the initial target date for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals set in 1990.

These goals represent the most ambitious shared aspirations of humanity the modern world ever assembled. As we take measure now of the successes and shortfalls of this global effort, redouble our efforts for real, sustained progress in these final 500 days, and establish the framework for beyond 2015, I am inspired by what has been achieved and worried about what comes next.

For humanitarian workers, last year was the most dangerous on record, with 155 killed. World Humanitarian Day – which marks the anniversary of the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003 when 22 people died – is intended to highlight the plight of aid workers. We profile 10 people working in some of the world’s most dangerous areas, who reveal in their own words why they do it.

Click here to read the original article on the guardian.com.

At least 10 people have been killed in a strike near a UN-run school housing Palestinians displaced by the Gaza conflict, medics say.

The attack hit the entrance of the facility in Rafah, where thousands of Palestinians are said to be sheltering.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the attack as a "moral outrage and a criminal act".

JERUSALEM (CNS) — With close to a quarter of a million Palestinians rendered homeless by the continuing and intensifying fighting between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, the Coordinating Catholic Aid Organizations met three times in as many days to organize action to confront the humanitarian crisis.

In addition to the current material needs — food, water, personal hygiene items, medicine and diesel fuel for generators — the Catholic aid associations from the Holy Land, U.S. and Europe are beginning to plan for the psychosocial needs of Gazans at the eventual end to the confrontation.

But then a few months ago she was arrested for prostitution. That put a scare in her — that and threatening mobile messages from a former lover — so she's trying to go it alone.The Syrian refugee woman huddled in the latest room she calls home, a peeling, run-down place outside a north Lebanese village. The mother of six doesn't know how she'll pay the rent. She's gotten by over the past year by taking a series of lovers who would pay for her housing.

"I could never imagine that I'd reach this point," said 38-year-old Samar, who lived a middle-class life back in Syria with a husband who has disappeared since his arrest by Syrian troops.

Children are "fleeing for their lives," according to journalist Sonia Navario, who has investigated the root causes, circumstances, and plight of vulnerable migrants who have been traveling -- often by themselves at enormous risk -- to the United States and other countries throughout the Americas from the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

In the case of Cristian, an 11 year-old boy from Honduras that Navario interviewed in Honduras, his father was murdered in March by gangs, he witnessed the murder of three people who defied the narco-cartels that control much of the countryside, and a girl his age "resisted being robbed of $5. She was clubbed over the head and dragged off by two men who cut a hole in her throat, stuffed her panties in it, and left her body in a ravine across the street from Cristian's house."

WASHINGTON, Jul 23 2014 (IPS) - As Tuesday’s major summits here and in London focused global attention on adolescent girls, the United Nations offered new data warning that more than 130 million girls and women have experienced some form of female genital mutilation, while more than 700 million women alive today were forced into marriage as children.

Noting how such issues disproportionately affect women in Africa and the Middle East, the new report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) surveyed 29 countries and discussed the long-term consequences of both female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. 

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