10 Underreported Issues Impacting the World Today

by Deepti S3 months ago

6 Helpless Citizens Bear the Brunt of Ukraine’s Ongoing Conflict.
A woman next to a house destroyed by the war
A woman next to a house destroyed by the war.

Since 2014, the conflict in Eastern Ukraine has claimed nearly 14,000 lives as Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists fought for control of the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. By 2021, 3.4 million people in the region needed humanitarian aid, with the elderly comprising 38% and women and children 68%.

COVID-19 worsened Ukraine’s already fragile economy and healthcare system, straining family ties and affecting mental health. Women suffer the burden of the conflict, suffering gender-based violence, exploitation, and restricted access to safe delivery and maternity care. Prolonged violence coupled with a spike in human trafficking leaves women and girls open to sexual exploitation and raises the risk of infections, unintended pregnancies, and abortions. (source)

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7 Millions in Colombia Are Marginalized by Conflict and Violence.

Millions in Colombia are marginalized by conflict and violence
Millions in Colombia are marginalized by conflict and violence. Image Credit: Sergio R/Shutterstock.com

While addressing underreported issues around the world, it is crucial to talk about Colombia. Although a historic 2016 peace accord formally ended Colombia’s 50-year armed conflict, full implementation remains a work in progress. Bringing the agreement’s provisions to all regions equitably has been proven challenging. Some isolated rural areas still suffer from violence instigated by criminal gangs and paramilitary groups.

Recent years saw economic advancement nationally, but the humanitarian situation remains concerning. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened problems, triggering a recession affecting the food security of many vulnerable populations.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates, 6.7 million Colombians, including 2.3 million children and members of ethnic groups, will need aid in 2021. From 5.1 million in 2020, this is an increase. It is frightening to learn that 4.9 million people are in the hands of armed criminals.

An interview conducted with Colombian and Venezuelan migrant women in Ocaña revealed alarming statistics: 71% reported past physical abuse, 70% faced threats, and 56% experienced financial blackmail to remain in abusive situations. (source)

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8 More Than 1 in 3 Women Face Lingering Health Issues Post-Childbirth.

Every year, approximately 290,000 women worldwide lose their lives due to childbirth complications
Every year, approximately 290,000 women worldwide lose their lives due to childbirth complications.

Every year, around 290,000 women worldwide lose their lives as a result of complications during delivery, with one-third of women who survive ending up developing long-term health problems. Common issues include painful intercourse (dyspareunia), low back discomfort, urinary incontinence, anxiety, and postpartum depression. These disorders can last for months or even years, going unnoticed and untreated, especially in neighborhoods without adequate postnatal care.

Despite efforts to address this problem, the maternal mortality rate of 223 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2020 still exceeds the UN target of reducing it to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 by 2030. Over 3 million women lost their lives unnecessarily from preventable causes between 2010-2020, reflecting significant healthcare disparities demanding urgent attention. Postpartum health issues inflict emotional and physical distress long after childbirth, yet they’re frequently underestimated and misunderstood. (1,2)

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9 Over 4 Million Venezuelan Immigrants Struggle in Latin America to Obtain Essential Resources and a Reliable Income.

More than four million Venezuelans continue to struggle for basic necessities
More than four million Venezuelans continue to struggle for basic necessities. Image Credit: Glenn R. Specht-grs photo/Shutterstock.com

According to recent statistics, approximately 7.7 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees live outside their home country, with 17 Latin American and Caribbean countries housing more than 6.5 million.

Despite efforts to legalize and integrate them, more than four million continue to struggle for basic requirements. According to the 2023 Refugee and Migrant Needs Analysis, many refugees and migrants lack steady incomes, which hinders their integration into host communities. Income insecurity in Venezuela remains one of the underreported issues around the world.

Most people have difficulty affording food and shelter, prompting some to resort to illegal adult services, begging, or indebtedness.  Low pay puts additional hardship on families. An astonishing 86% of Venezuelans in Ecuador lack adequate income to cover their basic needs, contrasted with 13% of Venezuelans in Chile living below the poverty line. (1,2,3)

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10 From Economic Collapse to Restrictions on Women and Minorities, Life in Afghanistan Has Taken a Bleak Turn.

The Taliban banned women from universities, preventing nearly 100,000 from pursuing higher education
The Taliban banned women from universities, preventing nearly 100,000 from pursuing higher education.

Afghanistan has historically battled with poverty, but the country’s economic status deteriorated after the Taliban took on power in 2021. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, an astonishing 97% of Afghans live below the poverty line in 2022, up from 47% in 2020. Desperate families have resorted to tragic measures like child marriage and organ sales just to survive as social protections also vanished.

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International aid fell well short of satisfying the enormous needs of the Afghan people. Following the Taliban takeover, confiscation of assets and a halt of development funding worsened the economic condition. Most help in 2022 focused on preventing hunger rather than reviving other failing systems such as jobs, healthcare, and education. Meanwhile, since August 2021, the UN has reported over 200 extrajudicial fatalities. These issues of poverty, economic collapse, hunger, and human rights abuses are severely underreported issues around the world.

1.1 million girls in secondary schools have been prohibited from attending schools till further notice as of 2022. In addition, the Taliban have banned women from attending universities, which has prevented nearly 100,000 young women from pursuing higher education. (1,2)

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