We will end this year with a Christmas like no other. While you are hopefully going to connect with your families and loved ones in some form, we all know this year won’t be the same as usual.
This will be painful and challenging for us, and in many ways that’s the story of this incredibly difficult and unprecedented year. A year most of us simply want to forget about and move on.
A year like no other
Covid dominated our lives this year. Our whole way of life has been disrupted, in ways that we could never have imagined possible. Over 1.5 million people have lost their lives to the virus, an enormous human tragedy.
Global lockdowns have put the brakes on the world’s economy and this has had devastating effects for people, especially in the poorest countries of the world.
This Christmas over 270 million people are facing hunger, that’s double the number since last year, due to the impact of Covid and drought.
Women and girls have been particularly affected as violence against women has increased during the pandemic. Calls to helplines have reportedly increased by five times in some countries as violence increased during Covid lockdowns.
The pandemic has also been used as a ‘smokescreen’ by many repressive regimes to clamp down on human rights, as we recently exposed in our documentary ‘Never Waste a Crisis’.
Despite calls for a global ceasefire during Covid, conflicts have continued apace and violence and oppression have forced people to flee for their lives. This year we passed a grim new milestone, for the first time there are over 80 million people in the world who have been forced from their homes.
On top of all of this, we also faced unexpected catastrophes this year such as the explosion in Beirut which made 300,000 people homeless in an instant and caused untold destruction. Two devastating hurricanes hit Central America within the space of just three weeks.
Yet there is cause for hope.
The fact that we now have Covid vaccines means that we can begin to hope that the end is in sight for the pandemic. Vaccine development is usually a long and complex process that typically takes a decade. Yet an incredible effort has resulted in a Covid vaccine in less than one year.
This is an inspiring story of human ingenuity and collective effort. It shows that if we have enough energy, political will and shared resources, we could rally together to tackle other global issues such as hunger and climate change.