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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.