What’s happening in the FAIRMED projects

An insight into our work on the ground

FAIRMED is there where the roads end. We provide the poorest people in Asia and Africa with access to basic medical care, because only healthy people can truly escape their poverty and go on to lead dignified lives. In the news ticker, we keep you informed about the activities carried out by us to achieve this goal.

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German foreign press reports about FAIRMED

Huge reach for FAIRMED! The Deutsche Auslandrundfunk reports on the FAIRMED campaign to eradicate yaws in the Central African Republic. Watch the video to learn more about the difficulties faced by those affected by this little-known tropical disease. Francois Momboli, one of the health workers trained by FAIRMED to detect and treat Frambösie, also explains in the video the challenges they face to eradicate this disease once and for all.

First NTD-ward opened in Nepal

The first ward for the treatment of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) was recently opened at Lumbini Provincial Hospital. It is the first ward of its kind ever to be integrated into a public hospital in Nepal. FAIRMED Nepal lobbied the government for a long time and supported the hospital management by training staff and providing medical equipment for the opening. Treatment and care here - in contrast to private clinics - is completely free of charge for those affected by NTDs.

Crisis in Sri Lanka escalates

The situation in Sri Lanka continues to deteriorate: shortages of food, fuel, gas and medicines, as well as power cuts of up to 17 hours a day, have led to violent protests in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. Numerous clashes erupted between government supporters and opponents, as well as the military and police, resulting in the destruction of government buildings, homes and businesses, as well as seven deaths and more than 200 injuries, and dozens of houses of politicians from the president's party set on fire. On Monday, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned with his entire cabinet, and an exit ban is in effect at the moment.

Project planning continues

Despite the current situation, FAIRMED activities in Sri Lanka continue. The rationing of food, gasoline and milk powder makes the daily life of all people and that of our staff expensive. They spend a large part of the day waiting in endless queues so that they can provide for their families. Monitoring projects is a major challenge due to mobility being affected by fuel shortages. In addition, government unrest can make it difficult to contact and work with government officials. Most of our Colombo-based team members are now working from home to oversee our ongoing projects and ensure that subsequent projects, currently in the planning and launch phases, can start as smoothly as possible under these circumstances.

Protests ongoing for weeks

The protests were triggered by deep-rooted discontent over the country's precarious economic situation, with foreign exchange reserves of less than $50 million and rapidly rising inflation. Significant losses in tourism revenues caused by the Covid 19 pandemic, combined with a series of short-sighted government policy measures that have further weakened the economy, have reached a critical point in recent weeks.

Quelle: srf.ch

UN criticism: Rights of people with disabilities neglected in Switzerland's international cooperation

In mid-March, the UN Committee reviewed how Switzerland implements the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at home and abroad. Switzerland is still a long way from inclusive development cooperation and humanitarian aid. The committee's recommendations are in line with the long-standing demands of the Swiss Disability and Development Consortium - of which FAIRMED is also a member - on the federal government.

From March 14 to 16, Switzerland had to take a stand for the first time on the status of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). Switzerland ratified the UN CRPD in 2014. The purpose of the Convention is to ensure the rights of all persons with disabilities. The review covered both the implementation of the Convention in Switzerland and in its international cooperation. After hearing the Swiss delegation, the UN committee published recommendations that the federal government must now implement by the next review in 2028.

Far-reaching recommendations

With regard to its international cooperation, Switzerland receives fundamental criticism from the committee: In its strategies and projects, it disregards the cross-cutting nature of disability. Moreover, the Confederation does not involve organizations of persons with disabilities in the development of these strategies and projects.

For Switzerland's development cooperation and humanitarian aid, the Committee comes to the following recommendations, among others:

Guidelines: The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) must develop and adopt guidelines to ensure that all of its projects ensure the concerns and rights of persons with disabilities and are consistent with the UN CRPD.

Participation: Persons with disabilities and their self-advocacy organizations must be consulted by the federal government as well as actively involved in the planning, development, monitoring and evaluation of its international cooperation strategies and projects.

Humanitarian Action Plan: in 2016, the Charter on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Assistance was adopted. Switzerland adopted the Charter in 2020, but has not yet provided evidence of implementation. Therefore, the UN Committee recommends adopting an action plan that demonstrates the implementation of the Charter and includes clear and measurable targets and indicators.

Data: In future, SDC development and humanitarian projects must collect and evaluate data that is explicitly disaggregated by disability. Only in this way can it be seen to what extent the living conditions of people with disabilities are improved by Swiss projects in countries of the Global South.

The Swiss Disability and Development Consortium (SDDC) welcomes the recommendations of the committee. They reflect the gaps that still exist and coincide with what SDDC has long been calling for from Swiss international cooperation: Switzerland must finally take elementary steps. In particular, the adoption of guidelines to ensure that all international cooperation projects include people with disabilities. These guidelines should serve as the basis for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all of Switzerland's development and humanitarian work.

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