Tigray crisis: Humanitarian aid for children must be a priority, UNICEF says

first_imgTigray crisis: Humanitarian aid for children must be a priority, UNICEF says The United NationsProviding aid to millions of children uprooted by the ongoing crisis in the Tigray region of Ethiopia must be a priority, the head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.Fighting between regional and government forces began in November, displacing people within the northern province and pushing thousands more to seek shelter in neighbouring Sudan.UNICEF estimates that despite an agreement on access, some 2.3 million children are cut off from humanitarian assistance amid the violence.“We are extremely concerned that the longer access to them is delayed, the worse their situation will become as supplies of food, including ready-to-use therapeutic food for the treatment of child malnutrition, medicines, water, fuel and other essentials run low,” said Henrietta Fore, the agency’s Executive Director.“Protecting these children, many of whom are refugees and internally displaced, and providing them with humanitarian aid must be a priority.”At the ready UNICEF and partners stand ready to provide lifesaving support, including treatment for malnourished children, critical vaccines, emergency medicines and sanitation supplies.Partners on the ground have also received assistance but Ms. Fore said this is not enough, adding, “we need to be able to provide support at scale in Tigray and to have full access to determine the scale of children’s needs.”Meanwhile, UNICEF has appealed for sustained, impartial access to all families, wherever they are located.“We also urge authorities to allow the free movement of civilians wishing to seek safety elsewhere. This includes those requesting to cross the border to seek international protection. Meeting the critical needs of children and women must not be delayed any longer,” said Ms. Fore. /UN News Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:agreement, Border, children, crisis, Emergency, emergency medicine, Ethiopia, food, Government, Humanitarian, refugees, Safety, Sudan, UN, UNICEF, violence, Waterlast_img read more


The psychological origins of procrastination – and how we can stop putting things off

first_imgShare Share on Twitter Email “I love deadlines,” English author Douglas Adams once wrote. “I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”We’ve all had the experience of wanting to get a project done but putting it off for later. Sometimes we wait because we just don’t care enough about the project, but other times we care a lot – and still end up doing something else. I, for one, end up cleaning my house when I have a lot of papers to grade, even though I know I need to grade them.So why do we procrastinate? Are we built to operate this way at some times? Or is there something wrong with the way we’re approaching work? LinkedIncenter_img Pinterest Share on Facebook These questions are central to my research on goal pursuit, which could offer some clues from neuroscience about why we procrastinate – and how to overcome this tendency.To do, or not to doIt all starts with a simple choice between working now on a given project and doing anything else: working on a different project, doing something fun or doing nothing at all.The decision to work on something is driven by how much we value accomplishing the project in that moment – what psychologists call its subjective value. And procrastination, in psychological terms, is what happens when the value of doing something else outweighs the value of working now.This way of thinking suggests a simple trick to defeat procrastination: find a way to boost the subjective value of working now, relative to the value of other things. You could increase the value of the project, decrease the value of the distraction, or some combination of the two.For example, instead of cleaning my house, I might try to focus on why grading is personally important to me. Or I could think about how unpleasant cleaning can actually be – especially when sharing a house with a toddler.It’s simple advice, but adhering to this strategy can be quite difficult, mainly because there are so many forces that diminish the value of working in the present.The distant deadlinePeople are not entirely rational in the way they value things. For example, a dollar bill is worth exactly the same today as it is a week from now, but its subjective value – roughly how good it would feel to own a dollar – depends on other factors besides its face value, such as when we receive it.The tendency for people to devalue money and other goods based on time is called delay discounting. For example, one study showed that, on average, receiving $100 three months from now is worth the same to people as receiving $83 right now. People would rather lose $17 than wait a few months to get a larger reward.Other factors also influence subjective value, such as how much money someone has recently gained or lost. The key point is that there is not a perfect match between objective value and subjective value.Delay discounting is a factor in procrastination because the completion of the project happens in the future. Getting something done is a delayed reward, so its value in the present is reduced: the further away the deadline is, the less attractive it seems to work on the project right now.Studies have repeatedly shown that the tendency to procrastinate closely follows economic models of delay discounting. Furthermore, people who characterize themselves as procrastinators show an exaggerated effect. They discount the value of getting something done ahead of time even more than other people.One way to increase the value of completing a task is to make the finish line seem closer. For example, vividly imagining a future reward reduces delay discounting.No work is ‘effortless’Not only can completing a project be devalued because it happens in the future, but working on a project can also be unattractive due to the simple fact that work takes effort.New research supports the idea that mental effort is intrinsically costly; for this reason, people generally choose to work on an easier task rather than a harder task. Furthermore, there are greater subjective costs for work that feels harder (though these costs can be offset by experience with the task at hand).This leads to the interesting prediction that people would procrastinate more the harder they expect the work to be. That’s because the more effort a task requires, the more someone stands to gain by putting the same amount of effort into something else (a phenomenon economists call opportunity costs). Opportunity costs make working on something that seems hard feels like a loss.Sure enough, a group of studies shows that people procrastinate more on unpleasant tasks. These results suggest that reducing the pain of working on a project, for example by breaking it down into more familiar and manageable pieces, would be an effective way to reduce procrastination.Your work, your identityWhen we write that procrastination is a side effect of the way we value things, it frames task completion as a product of motivation, rather than ability.In other words, you can be really good at something, whether it’s cooking a gourmet meal or writing a story, but if you don’t possess the motivation, or sense of importance, to complete the task, it’ll likely be put off.It was for this reason that the writer Robert Hanks, in a recent essay for the London Review of Books, described procrastination as “a failure of appetites.”The source of this “appetite” can be a bit tricky. But one could argue that, like our (real) appetite for food, it’s something that’s closely intertwined with our daily lives, our culture and our sense of who we are.So how does one increase the subjective value of a project? A powerful way – one that my graduate students and I have written about in detail – is to connect the project to your self-concept. Our hypothesis is that projects seen as important to a person’s self-concept will hold more subjective value for that person.It’s for this reason that Hanks also wrote that procrastination seems to stem from a failure to “identify sufficiently with your future self” – in other words, the self for whom the goal is most relevant.Because people are motivated to maintain a positive self-concept, goals connected closely to one’s sense of self or identity take on much more value.Connecting the project to more immediate sources of value, such as life goals or core values, can fill the deficit in subjective value that underlies procrastination.By Elliot Berkman, Assistant Professor, Psychology, University of Oregon and Jordan Miller-Ziegler, PhD Candidate in Psychology, University of OregonThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.last_img read more


Suicide bomb attack kills two in Cameroon

first_imgA suicide bomber in the northern Cameroonian town of Mora killed a young student and a woman in an attack on a market full of Christmas shoppers, an aide to the governor of Far North region said on Sunday.The aide to Governor Midjiyawa Bakary said the bomb also killed the attacker and injured five other people.Suicide bombers suspected of belonging to the Islamist militant group Boko Haram have launched attacks in Mora, about 30 km (20 miles) from the Nigerian border, several times before.“The suicide bomber was pretending to be a beggar and was walking towards the market which was full because of Christmas. Members of a vigilance committee spotted him before he could penetrate the market,” Reuters reports a Cameroonian soldier to say.Boko Haram has killed more than 15,000 people in a seven-year insurgency that has also displaced more than two million people.The group has frequently used female bombers and children to hit targets.last_img read more


Muntari praised by Inter boss

first_imgGhana international, Sulley Muntari has been praised by Inter Milan President, Massimo Moratti after making his debut for the club.Moratti has paid a glowing tribute to Sulley, who joined the Italian giants on Monday from English club Portsmouth on a transfer fee of US$26 million.The 23-year-old Muntari made his debut for the club on Wednesday as they lost 4-3 on penalties to AC Milan in the Trofeo TIM tournament.Even though the Ghanaian missed the penalty kick that handed the trophy to AC Milan, Moratti says he is overly impressed about their summer signing.“Adriano impressed me, just as Muntari did,” Moratti stressed.“I knew that Sulley was a very strong player and that’s why we signed him, maybe he is even better than we thought.” Source: GFAlast_img read more