This is the second edition of Making It Clear and this week we’re going to analyze the following topics: humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia, potentially new medications to COVID-19 and updates about COP26.
For over a year now, Ethiopia is facing a war that began with the containment of a rebellion in the northern region of Tigray which escalated to the country entering in an emergency state on November 2nd. The conflict is not just in Tigray anymore, and there has been threats from the rebel group Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) to take over the capital, Addis Ababa. Other groups are joining the TPLF against the Ethiopian military, such as the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), and these are considered terrorists by the government. The Ethiopian government is also blocking humanitarian help in Tigray to assist the food crisis, claiming that the aid convoys are trying to bring weapons into the region, which was denied by the agencies. Also, essential services, like energy, were cut out in Tigray and in a few places in Amhara and Afar, the TPLF is fighting against the government to bring those back into Tigray. When it comes to negotiations, the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed denied a peaceful approach towards the end of the conflict and the situation is worsening while the TPFL forces head to Addis Ababa.
Recently two laboratories have been working on a medication to reduce the risks and hospitalizations of patients with COVID-19. Both Pfizer Inc. and Merk & Co Inc. are developing a new drug, however neither of them has finished the necessary trials to release the pill into the market, but the results are promising, and Pfizer’s pill can reduce the risk of severe cases by 89%. Still, doctors strongly advise that the vaccines are the best way to overcome the pandemic and the medications are made to reduce the risk of severe complications, not to prevent any infections. There’s a concern about people not wanting to get vaccinated now that the oral treatments are being developed. Pfizer Inc. is looking forward into releasing the drug in the U.S. before this year’s Thanksgiving and the Merk’s pill has been approved by the United Kingdom.
The most recent climate conference is taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, and it’s being targeted by protests from young activists, including Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate. The activists were allowed to participate as “observers” from a distance due to COVID-19 distancing measures and they want actions to be taken regarding the environmental problems, such as deforestation, carbon emissions, use of fossil fuels etc. Indigenous activists from Brazil were present and the activist Txai Suruí even received death threats after making a speech at the opening of COP26. So far, the conference hasn’t settled on any measures, but there is a strong demand from the global youth for effective actions towards the climate situation worldwide.