United Nations
United Nations 16 Oct 2020

Int'l Day for the Eradication of Poverty (Oct 17) – António Guterres, UN Secretary-General


The COVID-19 pandemic is a double crisis for the world's poorest people.

First, they have the highest risk of exposure to the virus, and least access to quality healthcare.

Second, recent estimates show the pandemic could push up to 115 million people into poverty this year - the first increase in decades. Women are at greatest risk because they are more likely to lose their jobs, and less likely to have social protection.

In these extraordinary times, we need extraordinary efforts to fight poverty.

The pandemic demands strong collective action.

Governments must accelerate economic transformation by investing in a green, sustainable recovery.

We need a new generation of social protection programmes that also cover people working in the informal economy.

Joining together in common cause is the only way we will emerge safely from this pandemic.

On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, let's stand in solidarity with people living in poverty, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

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This film tells the stories of four songs that date back to early and mid-20th century Palestine and Jordan.

They reflect Palestinian cultural heritage and the diaspora's strong desire to return to a homeland they were forced out of in 1948. They all contain snapshots of the time and place in which they were written - from the British Mandate to 1950s Jordan to Palestinians living abroad today.

The song To Ramallah was written and produced for Jordan Radio in the 1950s and has evolved to become a favourite among Palestinians abroad who are yearning to return to the city.

To My Mother was a poem written by Mahmoud Darwish while he was incarcerated in prison in Ramla. Sometimes seen as a metaphor for the Palestinian predicament, the words were later put to music by the Lebanese composer Marcel Khalife.

Tall Handsome Man is the oldest of the four songs and dates back to the British Mandate in Palestine. The story goes that when villages suffered attacks from local intruders, a tall handsome carpenter used his wages to buy rifles to protect his village.

Finally, the song Ghoubaishy is set in British-ruled eastern Jordan in the early 1940s and tells the story of the daring Ghoubaishy, who elopes with Hassna to the disapproval of her family. Ghoubaishy defends his love in a song of bravery and true romance.

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