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DGI Brief - Sep 7, 2016

Happy Wednesday all. Today's top 5 global issues news are about #Africa, #Poland, #Brazil, #Asia and the children #refugee crisis around the world

- AFRICA: Researchers & WHO warn that the number of Africans at risk of malaria who live near water dams will triple each year due to climate change. The rising temperatures will create conditions for malaria-carrying mosquitoes to breed in areas previously unaffected by the disease. Malaria already kills around 400,000 people each year, most of them children in sub-Saharan Africa. Scientists predict that malaria cases could triple to 3 million every year. Why this matters: we must take the broad consequences of global warming into account for effective planning. Considering & predicting the impact of climate change is critical for strategies & interventions across all sectors – economy, health, social & environment, peace & security.

- POLAND enters the final stages of negotiations by seeking formal US approval to buy 8 Patriot missile defense systems from Raytheon, US weapons manufacturer. The deal is part of Poland’s military modernization efforts brought on in part by Russia’s assertiveness in the region. Why this matters: Russia could not protest any more intensively against locating anti-missile systems in Europe, creating friction with NATO. Will this move, so clearly aimed at possible Russian aggression, play out through the current Syrian conflict negotiations? Don’t doubt for a moment that this issue will be used as a bargaining chip.

- Since BRAZIL’s president Dilma Rousseff was impeached for fiscal mismanagement last week, people have been protesting the new president, Michel Temer. Today, which marks Brazil’s Independence Day, saw demonstrations across 40 cities with thousands of people reportedly taking to the streets. Why this matters: Although approval ratings for former president Rousseff were abysmal, President Temer’s unpopularity is just as serious. People’s discontent is manifesting all around the country & has far reaching consequences for the economy – international investment & trade continue to decline. How will Brazil endure?

- ASIA: Southeast Asian nations issued a statement at the close of the ASEAN summit expressing concern over “recent & ongoing developments” in the disputed (& mineral deposits-rich) South China Sea without mentioning China by name. Why this matters: Despite UN arbitration court recently ruling against China’s activities in the South China Sea, leaders of Southeast Asia clearly do not want to alienate China. I believe this signals the uneasiness around the world about the presidential race in the United States. Would the US back its allies should the dispute over the waters escalate? Unlikely with a president Trump. Such a non-rebuke stance against China’s assertiveness signals how foreign policies of Asian countries may shape.

- Children make up over half of the WORLD’s refugee & migrant population – nearly 50 million children have been forced to flee their countries & we are seeing more of them doing so unaccompanied by adults. Staggering 28 million children have been displaced by violent conflicts. In fact, the number of refugees globally has skyrocketed by 75% between 2010 & 2015. Why this matters: what kind of world are creating when entire generations are lost, uprooted, deeply traumatized & left to depend on aid for survival? We need to take stock of the massive scale for we all are affected and change our interventions and social investment.

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