It gave me a glimpse into awful environment that so many people, humanitarians and civilians, live through every day.
Libya is a beautiful country, but my welcome to it was anything but. I had been in Tripoli less than a week and already my parents' worst nightmare was coming true. Our compound, which was home to most UN agencies and several embassies including Canada's, was under attack.
Through inaction we are implicated. Through apathy we are condemned. History will not judge the DPRK regime kindly, but what of us who allowed it to stay in power for so long? What Pandora's Box awaits us with the fall of North Korea?
When people talk about disasters, many focus on the earliest terrifying moments -- images of families in Alberta fleeing the wildfires, and wading through chest-high water from flooded homes in High River, or the rubble and wreckage where homes once stood in the days following the earthquake in Nepal. The often misunderstood reality is that the initial days, weeks and even months after a destructive event are just the start of a long, painful recovery.
From Syria to Yemen and Iraq, from South Sudan to Nigeria, children are affected by relentless conflicts and displacement crises, as well as devastation wrought by natural disasters.
We cannot allow ourselves to become content to remain what the Canadian minister of defence has called "an island of stability in an ocean of turmoil." The Canadian government must make the decision to go or not to go in Mali, or elsewhere in Africa, to provide assistance to peace-support operations.
The Equatorian region had been regarded as the green belt of South Sudan. That's a big deal for a country teetering on the brink of a food crisis since its inception. Its staple crops such as sorghum and maize have helped local farmers earn a meagre living, helped by the fact that the area is home to major trading routes between Juba and neighbouring countries of Uganda and Kenya.
Hurricane Matthew left its own path of destruction in Cuba. After hitting Haiti, the storm made landfall over the eastern tip of Cuba. Aerial photographs of the affected region show a shattered landscape with crops wiped out; buildings, schools and key infrastructure destroyed; and homes left in ruin.
Over 2 billion people, and a growing share of the world's poor, live in the 35 countries considered fragile or conflict states in 2016. And whether we are talking about pandemics, war, or prolonged occupation, these conditions devastate health systems and have lasting impacts on the physical and mental health of affected populations.
Hurricane Matthew has put the lives of millions of children in Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic in danger. In Haiti, it is estimated that half a million children live in the most affected areas, particularly in Grand-Anse and the South. But words alone cannot demonstrate the destruction.
When you add in the damage to roads, schools and clinics, combined with the risk of waterborne diseases like cholera that are increasing due to flooding, the people of Haiti are in desperate need. But they are also resilient. These photos tell a story of great tragedy, community cooperation, and the strength of Haiti's people to get up and begin rebuilding.
It is Sunday at 2 p.m., local time. I am in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, waiting, together with 10 million people. Waiting for the impact of yet another burden on the already heavily loaded shoulders of this amazing country.
Last week's events in Syria speak to a conflict transformed into a humanitarian crisis that has worsened with time. In eastern Aleppo alone, at least 96 children have been killed and 223 others injured. Such circumstances make it increasingly harder to deliver desperately needed humanitarian aid.
Every child deserves a quality education, but refugee children, especially girls, are the most likely to be left behind. Over half of all refugees are children. Only 50 per cent of these children are able to attend primary school; 25 per cent make it to high school; and just one per cent of these students move on to colleges and universities.
For Canadian humanitarians working in the field, the security threat has never been more serious. There are more attacks on aid workers than ever before, which is why today, World Humanitarian Day, we highlight the personal sacrifices they make to lift up the world's most vulnerable people.
Last week, Canadians came together to celebrate their country's 149th birthday. This week, South Sudan marks five years as an independent nation. Yet for many there is little to celebrate. For half of its brief life, the world's youngest nation has been ripped apart by war, leaving tens of thousands dead.
Creating something magical out of your life that is greater than you are is the key to a fulfilling life. Serving people and giving them value are just two ways to contribute beyond yourself.
If you're a child in Iraq today, the odds of growing up in a safe and secure environment are not in your favour. According to a new UNICEF report, 3.6 million children in Iraq -- or one in five -- are at serious risk of death, injury, sexual violence, abduction or recruitment into armed groups.
A new how-to manual for aid workers lays out the issues and practical steps that all must take to ensure women's sexual and reproductive health and rights, including menstrual health that is a precursor to preventing and mitigating gender based violence. Included in these guidelines is a specific requirement to ensure dignified access to hygiene-related materials.
If there was one area of near total consensus, it was that the present 'humanitarian system' is unable to cope with the global crises and scale of suffering around the world. Established long-ago and now pressed with unprecedented levels of needs, the system simply isn't fit for purpose anymore. And so aspirations for the WHS were high.