Six months ago, a new government was put into place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following the breakup of the coalition between President Félix Tshisekedi and his predecessor, Joseph Kabila. How do Congolese perceive the Sama Lukonde government today? How do people view the new government’s first measures, including the creation of a “state of siege” in North Kivu and Ituri, as well as the work of parliament?
Over the past decade, the Democratic Republic of Congo has experienced several outbreaks, including cholera and Ebola. Yet, as with COVID-19, whose first case in the country was announced on March 10, 2020, the Congolese health system is still unable to cope with these epidemics today without significant financial support from external partners. This has not prevented the government from creating several ad hoc structures, often budgetary, that are supposed to contribute to the fight against the spread of Covid-19. These include the multisectoral committee, the technical secretariat, the advisory board, the presidential task force, and the national solidarity fund against the coronavirus. This new report demonstrates how the multiplication of structures in the response to epidemics does not solve the problems raised by the previous responses: poor management of human and financial resources, poor circulation of information and rivalries between actors.
The flagship report of the Pathfinders Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion is about the solutions that will deliver equality and inclusion. It is the culmination of several years of research and mobilization undertaken by a unique partnership of ten countries, the United Nations, the World Bank, the OECD, Oxfam, and CIVICUS, along with numerous partners and international experts. The report constructs a bridge between the rhetoric of “build back better” and action: a bridge between promise and progress.
On Friday, September 10, Secretary-General António Guterres presented Our Common Agenda, his response to the request made by UN member states for recommendations in the 75th anniversary declaration adopted in 2020. The secretary-general does not mince his words about the problems the world is facing, from the pandemic that is upending our world, conflicts that continue to rage and worsen, and the disastrous effects of a changing climate—famine, floods, fires, and extreme heat—that threaten our very existence.
Perhaps the most discordant note in President Biden's speech last Tuesday was the contrast between the deep empathy for US service members and their families, and the apparent lack of empathy for those left at immediate risk in Afghanistan, let alone the country’s larger population. It was jarring to see him tack back and forth between soft empathy and a harsh and palpable anger. Reading the transcript alone does not do it justice.