Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this to be a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
This year’s theme is The Right of Peoples to Peace, chosen to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace by the United Nations. You can read the special message for the Day of Peace by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, here.
Lacking peace, a country struggles to educate its children. It can’t provide health care, employment opportunities for youth, infrastructure or public services, safety and security, or a stable economy. Since a country and its peoples have no future without peace, peace is a human right.
Each summer, the Fund for Peace publishes a Fragile States Index (FSI) scoring countries on 12 socioeconomic and political indicators. Overall scores fall into four categories: Sustainable, Stable, Warning and Alert, with different levels. A county’s FSI level often tracks closely to its HDI (Human Development Index) tier: Very High, High, Medium or Low.
The HDI measures health, education and income (adjusted for inequality) at a moment in time, while the FSI predicts future conflict. Factors such as the number of refugees, uneven economic development, the flight of educated citizens to other countries, economic decline and poverty, human rights and external influences are all taken into account to determine a country’s status in the Fragile States Index.
Among the countries where ChildFund Ireland works in, four are in the Alert level (Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Sri Lanka); four are in the Very High Warning level (Zambia, Mozambique, The Philippines and Guatemala) and four are in the High Warning level (India, Thailand, Vietnam and Mexico). The last country of the list where ChildFund Ireland works in, Brazil, is in Warning level. Mozambique and the Philippines are among the top 10 most worsened countries since last year’s report. On the other hand, Mexico is among the top 10 most improved countries in the last year, and in a 5-year trend (2009 – 2014) Brazil is one of the most improved countries by score. Overall, there are good news, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
ChildFund supports vulnerable children throughout their journey from birth to young adulthood in areas where children are impacted by war, natural disasters, poverty and global health issues such as HIV and AIDS. We help families to provide nurturing and protective home environments, and assist community leaders to create lasting and meaningful change in their localities. With programmes focused on education, health, nutrition, micro-enterprise and economic development, and emergency response and psychosocial interventions, and with the help of our donors, sponsors and supporters, ChildFund works to bring sustainable and long-lasting development not only to children and their families, but to entire communities.