Clean Water & Sanitation: Doctors Finally Acknowledge Period Pain Is as PAINFUL as a ‘HEART ATTACK’ #ItsBloodyTime #EndoMetriosis #Endo DEAR MEN LISTEN!!! No Jokes

An article in which a male doctor called period pain “almost as bad as having a heart attack” is going viral on social media and raising an important question from women around the world:

Why didn’t you listen to us before?

In the original article, published by Quartz two years ago, University College London reproductive health professor John Guillebaud said cramping pain is as “almost as bad as having a heart attack.

When the article resurfaced on social media, women responded with a mixture of anger that it took a man’s statement to legitimize their concerns and relief that their symptoms might be taken more seriously.

The article also prompted a column in Marie Claire, which acknowledged the doctor for accurately depicting dysmenorrhea — the clinical term for menstrual cramps — but decried the need for a man to validate and confirm women’s experiences.

“Although we know that [period pain] can feel like you’re being repeatedly punched in the stomach from the inside out, explaining this to other people (read: generally men) can feel like a lost cause,” wrote columnist George Driver. “Ignoring women’s pain has been a concerning medical practice for, well, forever, with research showing that doctors generally take it less seriously than men’s.”

Around the world, at least 20% of women and girls experience dysmenorrhea painful enough to disrupt their daily life and as many as 176 million women experience endometriosis, a painful affliction where tissue typically found in the uterus grows on other female reproductive organs and peels.

But, the Independent reports, there has been little research related to period pain, which means doctors often ignore or discount women’s complaints.

Women on social media have compared their period pain to childbirth or like a “blender is slowly ripping my insides to pieces.”

But it seems that, finally, men are starting to listen.


Clean Water & Sanitation: 23 Countries With Best and Worst Water Supplies (2016 list) let’s go! Will water be the cause of WWIII?

In Afghanistan, only 13 percent of the population has access to clean water.

Only 2.5 percent of the world’s water is fresh, drinkable water. Every year, snow melts off mountain peaks and runs into rivers, which feed into lakes. This water accounts for such a small percentage of earth’s surface — it’s no wonder wars have been waged over water, and some speculate water will be the cause of WWIII.

These renewable sources are vital to all life on earth. Unfortunately, water as a renewable source is not distributed equally. Small island nations and arid countries have to import bottled water from other water rich countries or invest in expensive infrastructure such as desalinization plants.

Other options in water-scarce regions often fall on the shoulders of the world’s most vulnerable populations, like girls with limited access to education. Girls and women in arid countries, like Afghanistan — where only 13 percent of the population has access to clean water — spend countless hours missing school to collect water.

Here is a list of some of the world’s most water-abundant and water-deprived countries, according to the World Bank and United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization’s most recent data.


1. Brazil

2. Russia

3. Canada

4. Indonesia

5. China

6. Colombia

7. United States

8. Peru

9. India

10. Myanmar


All of the “worst” countries have no renewable fresh water sources. As less fresh water is available to people around the world, helping small countries like the sixteen listed invest in the latest innovative infrastructure to access clean water is key to breaking the cycles of poverty.

Many of these countries rely almost completely on importing bottled water, at a high cost for both citizens and the environment. Technology to clean water improves every day, especially with creative youth working to make change . Let’s share this technology, to increase water wealth throughout the world.

However, it’s not just about looking at the countries without their own sources of water. Countries abundant in water must also be held responsible at a global level to keep the world’s water clean.

1. Bahrain

2. Kuwait

3. St. Kitts and Nevis

4. Maldives

5. Malta

6. Antigua and Barbuda

7. Qatar

8. Barbados

9. United Arab Emirates

10. Grenada

11. Dominica

12. Cape Verde

13. Djibouti

Reduced inequalities: Yes, Slavery Still Exists — These Countries Are the Worst Offenders. {Shocker!}

The cover story in the latest issue of the Atlantic is a personal history titled “My Family’s Slave.”

The author, Alex Tizon, goes on to chronicle just that — how his mother in the Philippines was gifted a slave when she was 15, how she brought that slave with her to the United States, and how that slave remained a slave for his mother’s entire life, working all day and night without pay, unable to have a social life and enduring endless abuse.

The story is harrowing in its candid exploration of one slave’s experience and its description of how one family managed to normalize slavery through profound denial

But it’s also a disturbing reminder of how slavery still exists all around the world.

Globally, there are an estimated 45.8 million slaves, a greater number than at any other time in history, according to The Global Slavery Index. The refugee crisis currently roiling the world is also fueling the market for child slavery .

Slavery takes many forms, but sexual, labor-based, and human trafficking are the primary modes.

Here are the five countries that hold 58% of the world’s slavery population.  


Total slave estimate: 18,354,700

Rate of slavery: 1.4% of population

Top forms of slavery: Agriculture, bonded labor, domestic work, and sex work.

“There are many people in the village who were working with me as a bonded labor,” said one survey respondent for The Global Slavery Index. “I was physically and sexually assaulted when I was working in the field. I had also threat on my life and on my family. I was also threatened that I had to leave the village.”


Total slave estimate: 2,134,900

Rate of slavery: 1.13% of population

Top form of slavery: Bonded labor for industries such as brick making. More than 20,000 brick kilns operate in rural Pakistan, preying on illiterate and desperate laborers who get trapped in illegal debt programs. If the laborer dies, his or her children are forced to assume the debt load and get trapped in slavery.


Total slave estimate: 1,531,300

Rate of slavery: .95% of population

Top forms of slavery: Men are forced into labor, and women are forced into marriage. Oftentimes, men are captured, drugged, beaten, and enslaved, where they are then sold off as temporary workers. Forced marriage, meanwhile, often entails a life of abuse and poverty.


Total slave estimate: 3,388,400

Rate of slavery: .25%

Top forms of slavery: Sexual slavery and other forms of forced labor. The gender imbalance caused by China’s now-defunct one-child policy creates a demand for foreign brides who are forced into marriage. Because the women are often illegally in the country, they have little legal recourse. Further, there is widespread societal support for this system.


Total slave estimate: 1,236,600

Rate of slavery: 3.97%

Top forms of slavery: Forced labor. Each harvest season, the government forces tens of thousands of people into cotton fields.

Reduced Inequalities: These 2 Issues Are the Main Obstacles in the Fight to End Modern Slavery, Says Campaigners

Corruption and the failure to enforce the law are putting modern slaves at greater risk globally, from India and Bangladesh, to the UK and the US, according to human rights campaigners and survivors. 

Activists from around the world have spoken out about the suffering they are witnessing in their countries and survivors have described their own harrowing stories, at the Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust Conference on modern slavery, in London.

“We’re not seeing [modern slavery] for what it is. Which is a violation of human beings being traded as a commodity,” said Kevin Bales, professor of contemporary slavery and research director of the rights lab, at the University of Nottingham.

Bales was joined onstage by campaigners and survivors including Ajeet Singh — the founder of the Indian non-profit Guria , which has already rescued more than 2,500 people from child prostitution and sex trafficking; Jessica Graham, from Survivor’s Ink in the US; and Asif Saleh, from Bangladeshi NGO BRAC .

But, regardless of the country, each agreed that corruption and impunity are the biggest barriers in the global fight against modern slavery and human trafficking.

“Talking about system failure, that seems to be a common theme regardless of what country you’re in,” said Saleh. “Admitting that there is a lack of enforcement is also about admitting corruption, state level corruption, that leads to this lack of individual security.”

Meanwhile, Singh pointed to low levels of prosecution and a failing in state support as being serious systemic problems in India — which is home to the greatest number of slaves in the world, with estimates varying from 14 million to 18 million.

Read more: This British Woman Was Just 14 When She Became a Prostitute — Now, She Fights to End Modern Slavery

While authorities want to crack down on slavery, according to Singh, their efforts are hampered by corruption and weak implementation of laws.

“The main problem in India is not about laws, it’s about implementation,” he said. “In spite of the government taking interest now, the problem is corruption and impunity. To point to an example, 42 survivors were being trafficked from a government protection home. And we told them, look your girls are gone. And then they filed a case. But none of the girls have been recovered, only one trafficker. No-one has gone to jail.”

“The acquittal rate is about 80%,” he continued. “Can you imagine? You do all the work for so many years and ultimately it’s zero.”

Read more: Scotland Is a Hotbed of Modern Slavery, Campaign Reveals

Singh is calling for a national action plan that doesn’t just address the law but also addresses how it is implemented.

He said that instead of tackling the issue in a far-sighted way, “I want to look at things in a short-sighted way. Here, to get justice in the long run, we are missing out on the individual survivors. No one should enjoy any impunity in sexual violence cases.”

But impunity is not just a problem in India, it’s a problem around the world.

American activist Jessica Graham, from Survivor’s Ink, also called for education and greater enforcement.

“You have to educate people to understand,” said Graham, who was introduced to the world of trafficking when she met Jennifer, the original founder of Survivor’s Ink and herself a victim of modern slavery at the hands of Graham’s estranged husband.

Read more: 9 Items in Your Kitchen That Might Have Been Made by Slaves

“Law enforcement needs to turn it around. Because right now they’re punishing the victims and they’re not going after the traffickers,” Graham continued. “They’re not putting in the investigative work to get to that point. Because it’s easier to do a round up every couple of months, and then punish the people they bring in. They’re punishing children, sometimes as young as 12 or 14, and they’re labelling them, they’re giving them these records, and they’re not helping them.”

She added: “The worst thing with our law enforcement is that when they do these round-ups, the minute these men and women are getting out of jail, the traffickers are right out there waiting for them. They’re picking them up.”
“It is not sufficient,” she said. “Honestly before Jennifer told me what had happened to her, I didn’t know. this existed. Nobody is educating people, nobody is talking about it. It’s this big secret, but it needs to be brought to attention.”
A British woman, identified only as Sarah for her own protection, also spoke out about her personal experience of being a victim of modern slavery on the streets of the UK.
Sarah was groomed by a gang in the UK between the ages of 10 and 12. She had been in foster care since the age of 3 and was moved around a lot so, she said, she was “vulnerable” to the gang, who “seemed to really care for me.”

“At a time where I had no love, support, or community, they provided it. That was something that I craved,” she said. “I started buying cheap alcohol and cigarettes from them. Sometimes I didn’t have to pay because I was a friend. That’s where my debt bondage with them began.

“When I was 12, I was called to the shop. But this time there were no smiles, only locked doors,” she continued. “They said I owed them £75,000… They showed me photos of my loved ones, oblivious that they were being watched, and said they would shoot them. They said I belonged to them and until my debt was cleared, I would have to work for them.”

For seven years, Sarah was forced to work as a prostitute, being sold to up to 16 customers a day. But, even though she had a foster carer and was known to the police, she said she was “completely overlooked.”

“Not one of them asked the questions,” she said. “Nobody wanted to find out why I was getting into trouble. Why a 15-year-old was going into hotel rooms with older men. Why a child was barely in school or why, when she was, she was exhausted.”
The traffickers had such control over Sarah’s life that, even when she was on a school trip to France in Year 8, they were able to find a way to make her work overnight with no-one noticing.
“Because of system failures, it took seven years [to be saved]. That should not have been the case,” she said. “If eyes were opened and questions were asked then I wouldn’t have had my childhood stolen by the most poisonous men.”

The Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust Conference 2017 launched on Wednesday in London, with 600 delegates from 300 international organisations united to take action together to help put an end to modern slavery.
“Slavery… flourishes where corruption operates with impunity,” said Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, in her welcoming speech.
“[It operates] where those who are exploited don’t know their rights,” she continued. “The world is experiencing the biggest movement of people since World War II. More than 22 million people have been displaced from their countries.”
Villa highlighted the plight, particularly, of the Syrians forced to flee from their homes by conflict, and of the Rohingya Muslims who have run from violence — described as “ethnic cleansing” by British Prime Minister Theresa May this week — in Myanmar.
“You would do anything to put a roof over your child’s head,” she said. “It’s exactly what the traffickers prey on, and it’s silence that keeps them in that vicious cycle.”

Read more: Human Trafficking Survivor, Raped 43,200 Times, Has Dedicated Her Life to Helping Sex Slaves

The name of the conference has been changed this year from Trust Women to Trust Conference, in recognition of the fact that “slavery affects both men and women.” But, according to Villa, “it doesn’t mean that we have left the women behind. It simply means that we have expanded.”

“Slavery is horrific. You just turn a human being into an object that you can dispose of whenever you want. Not even animals are treated that way,” said Villa.

The term modern slavery encompasses human trafficking, forced labour, debt bondage, sex trafficking, and forced marriage.

And the two-day conference aims to acknowledge the “multifaceted” nature of modern slavery, hearing from survivors, from companies that are taking measures to eliminate forced labour, and from organisations working directly to rescue people from human trafficking.

Slavery “is a crime that people have difficulty to identify and understand… that is discussed among small groups, behind closed doors,” added Villa, and it “affects every country, even here in the UK.”

Read more: Around the World, More Than 152 Million Children Are in Forced Labour: Report

An estimated 40 million people were enslaved globally last year across the world, in both rich and poor countries, in an escalating crime that is worth an estimated $150 billion a year. More than 152 million children worldwide are subject to forced labour.

In the US, up to 60,000 people are believed to be living as slaves, according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index. The British government believes there to be an estimated 13,000 victims of slavery in the country, but police believe the figure is much higher. 

According to Villa, cooperation between the public and private spheres is the way to make real impact on the ground, to really make a difference to the lives of people caught up in modern slavery.
“It’s a drop in the ocean,” she said, “but it’s a start.”

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The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.10, Reduced Inequalities.

Poverty: All Over the World Being POOR Is Treated as a CRIME! “When Poverty Becomes too Expensive”

Imagine being arrested for a crime you have no knowledge of, then waiting nine years in a prison cell to receive justice—until eventually, desperate to return to your home, friends and family, you give up and plead guilty.

This is the story of Victor: one of the heart-wrenching injustices on display in a new short film, “Nightmare,” produced by the Incarceration Nations Network and created by Alex Pope. The film sheds light on a global crisis that disproportionately affects the world’s poorest. Right now, 3.2 million potentially innocent people currently sit in jails around the world waiting—sometimes for decades—in deplorable, commonly unliveable conditions to face a justice system regarding crimes they may have not committed.

Prison systems treat pre-trial detainees as temporary and incidental, and therefore devote drastically insufficient resources to them. According to the World Health Organization, suicide rates among pre-trial detainees are three times higher than those of convicted prisoners, which are already significantly more frequent than those outside of prison.
In some countries the rates of pre-trial detention are upwards of 70% of the total prison population.
Such perturbingly elevated numbers across the globe are due to three major factors: lack of access to legal services, archaic, colonial-era legal systems clogged with delays, and a detainee’s inability to pay bail. These factors have one recurring theme: they are insurmountable barriers for low income people, who cannot afford private lawyers to circumvent the system or even low-level bail amounts. Cash bail is a system that essentially allows people to buy freedom; instead of assessing likelihood to return to court, such a system simply puts a price tag on justice.

Put another way, this is the criminalization of poverty. Overlooked and neglected as a population, people languishing in pre-trial detention overwhelmingly come from the poorest strata of society.

Read more: The Number of Women And Girls in Prison Has Grown 50% Around the World

The most recent audit of the prison population in Nigeria concluded that about 85% of pre-trial detainees were too poor to pay for a lawyer.

In India, one study estimated that 80% of the prison population has only a primary school education or is illiterate.

The latest comprehensive study in the United States revealed that 47% of individuals in local jails had not completed high school. The statistics grow more dire after people are imprisoned, due to the inability to earn while detained—which further drives unemployment and poverty.

Yet there is hope.

Ramel—who features in the film—was charged with resistance to arrest in New York and was sent to the notoriously violent Rikers Island: a place so dangerous that New York City’s mayor has vowed to shut it down. But he was fortunate to have the Bronx Freedom Fund pay his $500 bail. If the Bronx Freedom Fund had not bailed him out, he would have remained in Rikers for two years—the length of time the case went on—and would likely have pleaded guilty simply to get out of such a torturous place.

Read more: India Gay Pride Shows Hope for Country Where Being Gay is Still a Crime

In yet more welcome news, the Freedom Fund is set to announce it is developing into a nationwide effort, raising a fund “designed to post bail for more than 150,000 indigent defendants being jailed across the country,” according to the NYTimes.

There are many ways beyond provision of bail to tackle this crisis, which organizations like Incarceration Nations Network, the Wits Justice Project and The Bail Project are working tirelessly on. All of these methods are driven by one thing that every Global Citizen can agree on: poverty is not, and never should be, treated as a crime.

As Ramel rightly says in the film, “Justice is supposed to be blind, that’s how I see it.” We must no longer be blind to its blatant discrimination.

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The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.1, No Poverty.


Quality Education: This May Be the World’s Most Inspiring Library (See Photos)

The Tianjin Binhai Library is not your average public library. It’s five stories tall and more than 30,000 square meters, and houses 1.2 million books.

As part of an emergent cultural district in the port city of Tianjin, China, the library could serve as a valuable resource for those living in poverty in a part of China that experiences high levels of income inequality.

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The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.4, Quality Education.

Designed by the Dutch architecture firm MVRDV in collaboration with the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute, the library features rows upon rows of wavelike bookshelves that spiral upward surrounding a spherical auditorium in the center called “the eye.”

“The angles and curves are meant to stimulate different uses of the space, such as reading, walking, meeting and discussing,” Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV, told the Telegraph .

According to the firm’s website , the space features specific “zones” for watching, thinking, and interacting, as well as an “extensive programme of educational facilities” that includes reading spaces for children, audio rooms, and computer rooms.

It’s not the first time MVRDV has taken creativity to the next level in its designs. The firm is also responsible for designing a Jenga-themed building in Vienna and a “skygarden” in Seoul , which resembles New York City’s High Line.

When it comes to the Tianjin Binhai Library, the only question that remains is: what book to read next?

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Women & Girls: France Wants to Make Sex With Minors Under 13 Rape in “ALL” Circumstances

In France, two disturbing sexual assault cases in which adult men had sex with 11-year-old girls are grabbing headlines and potentially forcing real political change.

On Saturday, a 30-year-old man who had sex with an 11-year-old when he was 22 was acquitted on rape charges because the court found no evidence of “threat or violence,” BBC reports. This follows a similar case from September, in which a 28-year-old was acquitted on rape charges of an 11-year-old for the same reason.

Now, French Minister for Gender Equality Marlene Schiappa is calling on the government to amend its rape and sexual assault laws as part of a new sexual violence bill.

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The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.5, for gender equality. including an end in discrimination and sexual violence against women.

The new law would ensure that “any child below a certain age would automatically be considered as raped or sexually assaulted,” Schiappa said, according to The Local.

This age would be fixed at either 15 or 13-years-old. 

Although the legal age of consent in France is currently set at 15, prosecutors must prove that sex is “non-consensual” in order to bring rape charges, even for individuals below the legal age. Sexual abuse of a minor that does not involve violence or coercion, while illegal, carries a much lighter sentence than rape — up to five years prison time or a fine of 75,000 euros.

In late October, an estimated 2,500 women marched in Paris and other French cities to bring light to sexual assault in the country. According to at least one study, more than half of French women report having been sexually assaulted in their lives. According to another, fewer than 10% of reported sexual assault cases lead to a conviction.

Along with setting a clear minimum age for rape cases, France’s new sexual assault bill would also lengthen the amount of time minors have to report rape cases — from 20 to 30 years after reaching the age of 18.

Advocates are planning to pass a draft of the bill in the first half of 2018, according to the Guardian.

Women & Girls: Proposed Iraq Law Would Allow Girls as YOUNG as 9 to MARRY! (You read Right)

At the age of 9, most kids are getting ready to begin third grade.

In Iraq, 9-year-old girls could have a very different fate awaiting them under a proposed law now being considered by the Iraqi parliament.

A group of lawmakers in parliament voted to move forward with a bill that would allow religious courts throughout Iraq to grant marriages to girls as young as 9 — a change that could have a devastating effect on girls’ opportunities to go to school, lead healthy lives, and become members of their country’s economy.

The official marriage age in Iraq is currently 18, though judges can make exceptions that allow girls as young as 15 to marry.

The bill would change that process, allowing religious courts to make exceptions to the law for girls as young as 9, an age that reportedly comes from some interpretations of the Islamic religion, according to EuroNews.

The draft legislation was approved by 40 MPs, but will need to be voted on by the entire parliament in order to become law, according to EuroNews.

The transfer of power from state courts to religious courts represents a dangerous shift for Iraqis, the human rights group Equality Now said in a statement.

Read More: These Teen Girls Are Stopping Child Marriages in West Africa

“The organization of personal matters should be the responsibility of the courts and not the executive branch of Sunni or Shiite religious orders. This would create more fractions in the society and among communities,” the group said.

Religious courts — primarily Shia Muslim courts — would also be able to rule on divorce, inheritance, and adoption, according to the group.

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The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.5, for gender equality. including end child marriage around the world.

Political parties in Iraq have proposed such a shift in the past, and Equality Now pointed out that the proposal could be tied to upcoming nationwide elections in May, 2018.

In 2014, the Shia-aligned Fadila party proposed a similar policy change in order to shore up the Shiite vote, according to Reuters; the policy ultimately did not pass.

“This is an attempt by Fadila to show Iraqis that they represent the Shia and want to make their identity clear before the election,” professor Hassan al-Shimari, a political analyst at Baghdad University, told The Guardian at the time. “Everything is changing on a daily basis, and the division between the Shia themselves keeps being redefined.”

“It’s a completely shameless political stunt,” Haider Ala Hamoudi, associate professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh, told Reuters in 2014.

Equality Now said in a statement that the bill was “a complete violation of these girls’ human rights and could destroy their lives. Iraq must be held to its commitments under international law to end child marriage and not pass this bill.”

The Baghdad Women Association and Iraqi Women League also condemned the bill, according to Equality Now.

UNICEF estimates that one in five girls in Iraq is already subjected to child marriage, which puts them at greater risk for health complications — young girls can suffer health consequences from sex and childbirth — as well as missed opportunities at school and in the workforce.

The bill has not yet been scheduled for a full vote.

Good Health & Well-Being: More Than Half of Children’s Deaths Under 5 Are Preventable — Here’s How

In 2016, 5.6 million children under the age of 5 died.

That’s an average of 15,000 deaths per day, an already upsetting stat is made worse considering that more than half of these deaths were caused by conditions that could have been prevented or treated, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Two of the leading causes of death in children under 5 are pneumonia and diarrhea. And as it turns out, there are two ways their associated deaths could be dramatically reduced.

1. Vaccines

There are vaccines for many deadly diseases, including measles, polio, pneumonia due to Haemophilius influenzae type B (Hib) and Streptococcus pneumonia, and diarrhea due to rotavirus.

By 2016, the Hib vaccine was in 191 countries. Hib causes meningitis and pneumonia — both can kill children. The pneumococcal vaccine was available in 134 countries by the end of 2016, according to WHO. Pneumococcal diseases also include pneumonia and meningitis, as well others.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were set out to ensure healthy lives and promote the wellbeing of children. One of the targets of SDG Goal 3 is to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years old by 2030. The best way to do so is to ensure access to vaccines.

It is estimated that 2-3 million deaths are prevented every year thanks to immunization programs.

2. Water and Sanitation

Goal 6 of the SDGs is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all. Just as vaccines can prevent death from diseases, so, too, can clean water and sanitation.

Every year, millions of children die because of inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.

It is estimated that 801,000 children under the age of 5 die from diarrhea. That translates to about 2,200 children deaths every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP).

Unsafe water, as well as lack of access to water for hygiene and sanitation cause about 88% of deaths from diarrheal diseases.

Improved water sources could decrease the number of diarrheal diseases by 21%, improved sanitation could reduce diarrhea morbidity by 37.5% and the ability to wash hands when it’s most important could decrease diarrhea cases by as much as 35%, according to CDCP.

This World Toilet Day on Nov. 19, remind world leaders that the solutions to improving child mortality rates already exist. They just need to be implemented.

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The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.3. Good Health & Well-Being


Food & Hunger: One Simple Thing You Can Do to Reduce the Impact of Food Waste

Around the world, fruits and vegetables are wasted at much higher rates than meats and fish. Roughly 40%-50% of fruits and vegetables are thrown in the garbage on average, versus just 20% of meats and 35% of fish, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

But according to Max Elder, a researcher at Food Futures Lab at the Institute for the Future, those wasted meats and fish, although smaller in quantity, might be doing a lot more harm to the environment than the fruits and veggies.

“Not all food waste is created equal,” Elder wrote in an op-ed for Quartz. “It turns out that all of the different costs of food waste, whether measured in terms of water, the economy, the environment, or animal welfare, vary greatly by the type of food that is being tossed in the trash.”

One of the best ways to reduce the environmental impact of food waste, Elder argued, is to simply not throw away meat and fish — and maybe eat a bit less of it to begin with.

According to Elder, the environmental impact of wasted meats, for example, is exacerbated by the amount of water it takes to produce meat. The production one pound of meat uses about 54 times the amount of water used to produce one pound of fruits or vegetables, he wrote. 

In other words, the resources that go into a wasted hamburger are much higher than the resources that go into a wasted apricot. If one in five hamburgers are thrown out and two in five apricots go to rot, those wasted hamburgers are still far more damaging to the environment.

That’s not to mention that the amount of CO2 emitted by fruit and vegetable production is lower than the carbon emissions for meats and fish, which can emit anywhere from two to 25 times more carbon into the atmosphere than their counterparts.

Reducing meat consumption is by no means the only way to lower the amount of food waste.

Studies have shown that frozen foods are wasted at much lower rates than fresh foods — although consumers may have to sacrifice quality by eating more frozen foods.

Governments can also play a role in reducing food waste from supermarkets, school canteens, and public offices. The European Union’s Environment Committee pledged to reduce food waste by half by 2030, a decision pushed for the actions of 31,000 Global Citizens. Individual countries, like France and Italy, had already begun implementing policies toward that end.

In the United States, the state of New York is giving tax breaks to companies that don’t let any food go to waste in an effort to eliminate food waste by 2030.

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The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.2 Zero Hunger