Today, around 21,000 children died around the world. This daily tragedy, from poverty and other preventable causes, rarely makes headline news.

Latest World News

World

  1. Global Devaluation of Work Drives Up Unemployment in Brazil

    Saturday, June 24, 2017

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Jun 24 (IPS) - In addition to driving up the number of unemployed people to 14.2 million, the severe recession of the last two years led Brazil to join the global trend of flexibilisation of labour laws in order to further reduce labour costs.

  2. “Torture Works” — in All the Wrong Ways

    Friday, June 23, 2017

    COPENHAGEN, Jun 23 (IPS) - "Torture works" might rank among the most sweeping generalisations ever uttered, one brutal in its disregard of the pain and suffering created by this abhorrent practice. Indeed, torture works, but to all the wrong ends.

  3. The High Cost of Ageing

    Friday, June 23, 2017

    Jun 23 (IPS) - Evidence shows that health systems must be recast to accommodate the needs of chronic disease prevention.

  4. “Black Soils’ - Excessive Use of Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury…

    Friday, June 23, 2017

    ROME, Jun 23 (IPS) - Soil are polluted due mostly to human activities that leave excess chemicals in soils used to grow food, the United Nations reports.

  5. The World Is Burning

    Friday, June 23, 2017

    ROME, Jun 23 (IPS) - Record high temperatures are gripping much of the globe and more hot weather are to come and. This implies more drought, more food insecurity, more famine and more massive human displacements.

  6. UN Response Teams Underfunded as Costs Hit Staggering $23.5 Billion

    Friday, June 23, 2017

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 23 (IPS) - UN response teams that help the most vulnerable people in the world are still largely underfunded, a new status report has revealed.

    The funding available to the teams is no match for the record number of people—141 million—who need assistance today.

  7. “Big Reflection” Needed on Opioid Crisis

    Thursday, June 22, 2017

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 22 (IPS) - Opioids are among the most devastating drugs and are creating a crisis of epidemic proportions, said the UN drug agency.

  8. No Wall for Ethiopia, Rather an Open Door—Even for Its Enemy

    Thursday, June 22, 2017

    ADINBRIED, Ethiopia, Jun 22 (IPS) - It's one thing to read about the exodus of souls flowing out of Eritrea, it's quite another to look into the tired eyes, surrounded by dust and grime, of a 14-year-old Eritrean girl who's just arrived on the Ethiopian side of the shared border.

  9. East Asia’s real lessons

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017

    KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 21 (IPS) - International recognition of East Asia's rapid economic growth, structural change and industrialization grew from the 1980s. In Western media and academia, this was seen as a regional phenomenon, associated with some commonality, real or imagined, such as a supposed ‘yen bloc'.

  10. Refugee Protection an Obligation Under International Law

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 21 (IPS) - It is impossible to be ten years as High Commissioner for Refugees, doing my best to try to help the most vulnerable of the vulnerable, without changing your life. And, indeed, not only witnessing the suffering of people but also learning the extraordinary courage, resilience and capacity to permanently generate hope of refugees is something that has changed my perspective of the world and, to a large extent, changed my life.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Global Devaluation of Work Drives Up Unemployment in Brazil

    Saturday, June 24, 2017

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Jun 24 (IPS) - In addition to driving up the number of unemployed people to 14.2 million, the severe recession of the last two years led Brazil to join the global trend of flexibilisation of labour laws in order to further reduce labour costs.

  2. UN Response Teams Underfunded as Costs Hit Staggering $23.5 Billion

    Friday, June 23, 2017

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 23 (IPS) - UN response teams that help the most vulnerable people in the world are still largely underfunded, a new status report has revealed.

    The funding available to the teams is no match for the record number of people—141 million—who need assistance today.

  3. East Asia’s real lessons

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017

    KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 21 (IPS) - International recognition of East Asia's rapid economic growth, structural change and industrialization grew from the 1980s. In Western media and academia, this was seen as a regional phenomenon, associated with some commonality, real or imagined, such as a supposed ‘yen bloc'.

  4. UN Work Stoppage in Geneva Halts Human Rights Meeting

    Monday, June 19, 2017

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 19 (IPS) - As UN staffers in Geneva threaten a strike, protesting a proposed salary cut of over 7.5 percent, a token two-hour "work stoppage" last week forced the Human Rights Council to suspend its meeting.

  5. Achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Kenya through Innovative Financing

    Monday, June 19, 2017

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 19 (IPS) - Every year, one million Kenyans are driven below the poverty line by healthcare-related expenditures. Poverty predisposes them to disease and slows all aspects of growth in the economy.

  6. IFAD’s President Houngbo Calls for Investment in Climate Smart Agriculture for Poverty-Free Future

    Friday, June 16, 2017

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 16 (IPS) - Implementing climate-smart agriculture is critical to reduce hunger and poverty, according to International Fund for Agricultural Development's (IFAD) new president Gilbert Houngbo.

  7. Migrant Workers Pour Trillions into World Economy

    Thursday, June 15, 2017

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 15 (IPS) - A new report by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) says the flow of money from migrants—commonly located in developed countries—to their families in lower income countries has doubled over the last decade.

  8. East Asian Miracle Myth Making

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017

    KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 14 (IPS) - Even before the term ‘Washington Consensus' (WC) was popularized, it was already coming under great criticism despite the ‘counter-revolutions' against ‘development economics' and Keynesian economics associated with Thatcherism and Reaganomics. At the World Bank, the Japanese Executive Director argued that the WC menu of policy advice and conditionalities had resulted in the 1980s' ‘lost decade' in Latin America and Africa. In contrast, the East Asian region had seen rapid growth and industrialization.

  9. Digitization Can Improve Financial Inclusion for Smallholder Farmers

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017

    KAKAMEGA, Kenya, Jun 14 (IPS) - Mathew Khaemba, a smallholder farmer in western Kenya, remembers a time when his children were failing in school because they were too hungry to concentrate on their lessons.

  10. Genetic Engineering Lobbyist’s Trumpian Methods

    Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 13 (IPS) - To her credit, Dr Mahaletchumy has pioneered and promoted science journalism in Malaysia. This is indeed commendable in the face of the recent resurgence of obscurantism of various types, both traditional and modern.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. “Black Soils’ - Excessive Use of Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury…

    Friday, June 23, 2017

    ROME, Jun 23 (IPS) - Soil are polluted due mostly to human activities that leave excess chemicals in soils used to grow food, the United Nations reports.

  2. The World Is Burning

    Friday, June 23, 2017

    ROME, Jun 23 (IPS) - Record high temperatures are gripping much of the globe and more hot weather are to come and. This implies more drought, more food insecurity, more famine and more massive human displacements.

  3. Children Now More Than Half of the 65 Million Displaced

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 20 (IPS) - Around 20 people are newly displaced every minute of the day, according to a new report.

    In its annual Global Trends reportthe UN's refugee agency UNHCR has recorded unprecedented and concerning levels of displacement around the world.

  4. New Inhumane Record: One Person Displaced Every Three Second

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    ROME/GENEVA, Jun 20 (IPS) - Nearly 66 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes last year, the United Nation refugee agency has reported.

  5. Asia-Pacific: Farming Rice and Fish Together to Reduce Poverty

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    ROME/BANGKOK, Jun 20 (IPS) - Rice is a major food commodity and staple food for many, and adding fish to flooded rice paddies has been a farming tradition practiced in a number of Asian countries for many centuries—even for more than 1000 years in some Chinese areas, the United Nations reports.

  6. Africa: Drought and Jobless, Hopeless Youth, Fertile Grounds for Extremism

    Monday, June 19, 2017

    ROME/OUAGADOUGOU, Jun 19 (IPS) - Ignoring the plight of jobless young people in sub-Saharan Africa is a recipe for political instability and global insecurity, warned a high-level symposium of Africa's interior, environment and foreign affairs ministers in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

  7. Latin America's Rural Exodus Undermines Food Security

    Saturday, June 17, 2017

    BUENOS AIRES, Jun 17 (IPS) - In Latin America and the Caribbean, which account for 12 per cent of the planet's arable land, and one-third of its fresh water reserves, a number of factors contribute to soil degradation and to a rural exodus that compromises food security in a not-so-unlikely future.

  8. Africa Could Help Feed the World – If Its Fertile Land Doesn’t Vanish

    Friday, June 16, 2017

    OUAGADOUGOU, Jun 16 (IPS) - The 23rd World Day to Combat Desertification was celebrated in Burkina Faso's capital of Ouagadougou on June 15 with a call to create two million jobs and restore 10 million hectares of degraded land.

  9. BRICS to Lead World’s Efforts to Eradicate Hunger, Poverty by 2030

    Friday, June 16, 2017

    ROME, Jun 16 (IPS) - With the clock ticking toward the 2030 deadline for meeting the international goals to eradicate hunger and poverty, five of the world's most important emerging economies are well positioned to take a leading role in helping to achieve these objectives, according to the United Nations.

  10. IFAD’s President Houngbo Calls for Investment in Climate Smart Agriculture for Poverty-Free Future

    Friday, June 16, 2017

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 16 (IPS) - Implementing climate-smart agriculture is critical to reduce hunger and poverty, according to International Fund for Agricultural Development's (IFAD) new president Gilbert Houngbo.

  11. More stories…

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Issues In depth

Latest

Action on climate change is cheaper than inaction

Posted Monday, February 02, 2015.

Many are afraid that tackling climate change is going to be too costly. But increasingly, studies are showing action will not just be cheaper than inaction, but could actually result in economic, environmental and even health benefits, while improving sustainability.

Read “Action on climate change is cheaper than inaction” to learn more.

Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction

Last updated Sunday, February 01, 2015.

The climate is changing. The earth is warming up, and there is now overwhelming scientific consensus that it is happening, and human-induced. With global warming on the increase and species and their habitats on the decrease, chances for ecosystems to adapt naturally are diminishing.

Many are agreed that climate change may be one of the greatest threats facing the planet. Recent years show increasing temperatures in various regions, and/or increasing extremities in weather patterns.

This section looks at what causes climate change, what the impacts are and where scientific consensus currently is.

Read “Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction” to learn more.

COP20—Lima Climate Conference

Posted Saturday, January 24, 2015.

An overview of the Climate Change Conference (also known as COP 20), held in Lima, Peru in December 2014.

While it seemed like it was a successful meeting, because developing nations were committed to drawing up their own plans for emissions reductions for the first time, a number of important issues were left undecided such as how financing would work.

This page is an overview of the Lima Climate conference.

Read “COP20—Lima Climate Conference” to learn more.

Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

Posted Saturday, September 27, 2014.

An overview of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa that has been described by the World Health Organization as the largest, most severe and most complex outbreak in the history of the disease.

The epidemic began at the end of 2013, in Guinea. From there it spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. Many of the affected countries face enormous challenges in stopping its spread and providing care for all patients.

Thousands of people have died and many are at risk as the fatality rate from this virus is very high. As the crisis worsens, as well as the enormous health challenges involved, the social and economic consequences may set these countries back, reversing some gains a number of these countries have made in recent years.

Read “Ebola Outbreak in West Africa” to learn more.

Foreign Aid for Development Assistance

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

In 1970, the world’s rich countries agreed to give 0.7% of their gross national income as official international development aid, annually.

Since that time, billions have certainly been given each year, but rarely have the rich nations actually met their promised target.

For example, the US is often the largest donor in dollar terms, but ranks amongst the lowest in terms of meeting the stated 0.7% target.

Net ODA in dollars and percent of GNI

Furthermore, aid has often come with a price of its own for the developing nations. Common criticisms, for many years, of foreign aid, have included the following:

  • Aid is often wasted on conditions that the recipient must use overpriced goods and services from donor countries
  • Most aid does not actually go to the poorest who would need it the most
  • Aid amounts are dwarfed by rich country protectionism that denies market access for poor country products while rich nations use aid as a lever to open poor country markets to their products
  • Large projects or massive grand strategies often fail to help the vulnerable; money can often be embezzled away.

This article explores who has benefited most from this aid, the recipients or the donors.

Read “Foreign Aid for Development Assistance” to learn more.

Nature and Animal Conservation

Last updated Sunday, January 19, 2014.

Preserving species and their habitats is important for ecosystems to self-sustain themselves.

Yet, the pressures to destroy habitat for logging, illegal hunting, and other challenges are making conservation a struggle.

Read “Nature and Animal Conservation” to learn more.

More updates

Most Popular

Poverty Facts and Stats

Last updated Monday, January 07, 2013.

Most of humanity lives on just a few dollars a day. Whether you live in the wealthiest nations in the world or the poorest, you will see high levels of inequality.

The poorest people will also have less access to health, education and other services. Problems of hunger, malnutrition and disease afflict the poorest in society. The poorest are also typically marginalized from society and have little representation or voice in public and political debates, making it even harder to escape poverty.

By contrast, the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to benefit from economic or political policies. The amount the world spends on military, financial bailouts and other areas that benefit the wealthy, compared to the amount spent to address the daily crisis of poverty and related problems are often staggering.

Some facts and figures on poverty presented in this page are eye-openers, to say the least.

Read “Poverty Facts and Stats” to learn more.

Global Financial Crisis

Last updated Sunday, March 24, 2013.

Following a period of economic boom, a financial bubble — global in scope — burst, even causing some of the world’s largest financial institutions have collapsed. With the resulting recession, many governments of the wealthiest nations in the world have resorted to extensive bail-out and rescue packages for the remaining large banks and financial institutions while imposing harsh austerity measures on themselves.

Some of the bail-outs have also led to charges of hypocrisy due to the apparent socializing of the costs while privatizing the profits. Furthermore, the institutions being rescued are typically the ones got the world into this trouble in the first place. For smaller businesses and poorer people, such options for bail out and rescue are rarely available when they find themselves in crisis.

Plummeting stock markets at one point wiped out 33% of the value of companies, $14.5 trillion. Taxpayers bailed out their banks and financial institutions with large amounts of money. US taxpayers alone have spent some $9.7 trillion in bailout packages and plans. The UK and other European countries have also spent some $2 trillion on rescues and bailout packages. More is expected. Much more.

Such numbers, made quickly available, are enough to wipe many individual’s mortgages, or clear out third world debt many times over. Even the high military spending figures are dwarfed by the bailout plans to date.

Taxpayers are paying for some of the largests costs in history

This problem could have been averted (in theory) as people had been pointing to these issues for decades. However, during boom, very few want to hear such pessimism. Does this crisis spell an end to the careless forms of banking and finance and will it herald a better economic age, or are we just doomed to keep forgetting history and repeat these mistakes in the future? Signs are not encouraging as rich nations are resisting meaningful reform…

Read “Global Financial Crisis” to learn more.

Causes of Poverty

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

Poverty is the state for the majority of the world’s people and nations. Why is this? Is it enough to blame poor people for their own predicament? Have they been lazy, made poor decisions, and been solely responsible for their plight? What about their governments? Have they pursued policies that actually harm successful development? Such causes of poverty and inequality are no doubt real. But deeper and more global causes of poverty are often less discussed.

Read “Causes of Poverty” to learn more.

Climate Change and Global Warming

Last updated Monday, February 02, 2015.

The climate is changing. The earth is warming up, and there is now overwhelming scientific consensus that it is happening, and human-induced. With global warming on the increase and species and their habitats on the decrease, chances for ecosystems to adapt naturally are diminishing. Many are agreed that climate change may be one of the greatest threats facing the planet. Recent years show increasing temperatures in various regions, and/or increasing extremities in weather patterns.

This section explores some of the effects of climate change. It also attempts to provide insights into what governments, companies, international institutions, and other organizations are attempting to do about this issue, as well as the challenges they face. Some of the major conferences in recent years are also discussed.

Read “Climate Change and Global Warming” to learn more.

Environmental Issues

Last updated Monday, February 02, 2015.

Environmental issues are also a major global issue. Humans depend on a sustainable and healthy environment, and yet we have damaged the environment in numerous ways. This section introduces other issues including biodiversity, climate change, animal and nature conservation, population, genetically modified food, sustainable development, and more.

Read “Environmental Issues” to learn more.

Racism

Last updated Sunday, August 08, 2010.

Racism is the belief that characteristics and abilities can be attributed to people simply on the basis of their race and that some racial groups are superior to others. Racism and discrimination have been used as powerful weapons encouraging fear or hatred of others in times of conflict and war, and even during economic downturns. This article explores racism from around the world.

Read “Racism” to learn more.

More articles

Topical

Global Financial Crisis

Last updated Sunday, March 24, 2013.

Following a period of economic boom, a financial bubble — global in scope — burst, even causing some of the world’s largest financial institutions have collapsed. With the resulting recession, many governments of the wealthiest nations in the world have resorted to extensive bail-out and rescue packages for the remaining large banks and financial institutions while imposing harsh austerity measures on themselves.

Some of the bail-outs have also led to charges of hypocrisy due to the apparent socializing of the costs while privatizing the profits. Furthermore, the institutions being rescued are typically the ones got the world into this trouble in the first place. For smaller businesses and poorer people, such options for bail out and rescue are rarely available when they find themselves in crisis.

Plummeting stock markets at one point wiped out 33% of the value of companies, $14.5 trillion. Taxpayers bailed out their banks and financial institutions with large amounts of money. US taxpayers alone have spent some $9.7 trillion in bailout packages and plans. The UK and other European countries have also spent some $2 trillion on rescues and bailout packages. More is expected. Much more.

Such numbers, made quickly available, are enough to wipe many individual’s mortgages, or clear out third world debt many times over. Even the high military spending figures are dwarfed by the bailout plans to date.

Taxpayers are paying for some of the largests costs in history

This problem could have been averted (in theory) as people had been pointing to these issues for decades. However, during boom, very few want to hear such pessimism. Does this crisis spell an end to the careless forms of banking and finance and will it herald a better economic age, or are we just doomed to keep forgetting history and repeat these mistakes in the future? Signs are not encouraging as rich nations are resisting meaningful reform…

Read “Global Financial Crisis” to learn more.

Climate Change and Global Warming

Last updated Monday, February 02, 2015.

The climate is changing. The earth is warming up, and there is now overwhelming scientific consensus that it is happening, and human-induced. With global warming on the increase and species and their habitats on the decrease, chances for ecosystems to adapt naturally are diminishing. Many are agreed that climate change may be one of the greatest threats facing the planet. Recent years show increasing temperatures in various regions, and/or increasing extremities in weather patterns.

This section explores some of the effects of climate change. It also attempts to provide insights into what governments, companies, international institutions, and other organizations are attempting to do about this issue, as well as the challenges they face. Some of the major conferences in recent years are also discussed.

Read “Climate Change and Global Warming” to learn more.

Food and Agriculture Issues

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

Food and agriculture goes to the heart of our civilizations. Religions, cultures and even modern civilization have food and agriculture at their core. For an issue that goes to the heart of humanity it also has its ugly side.

This issue explores topics ranging from the global food crisis of 2008, to issues of food aid, world hunger, food dumping and wasteful agriculture such as growing tobacco, sugar, beef, and more.

Read “Food and Agriculture Issues” to learn more.

Foreign Aid for Development Assistance

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

In 1970, the world’s rich countries agreed to give 0.7% of their gross national income as official international development aid, annually.

Since that time, billions have certainly been given each year, but rarely have the rich nations actually met their promised target.

For example, the US is often the largest donor in dollar terms, but ranks amongst the lowest in terms of meeting the stated 0.7% target.

Net ODA in dollars and percent of GNI

Furthermore, aid has often come with a price of its own for the developing nations. Common criticisms, for many years, of foreign aid, have included the following:

  • Aid is often wasted on conditions that the recipient must use overpriced goods and services from donor countries
  • Most aid does not actually go to the poorest who would need it the most
  • Aid amounts are dwarfed by rich country protectionism that denies market access for poor country products while rich nations use aid as a lever to open poor country markets to their products
  • Large projects or massive grand strategies often fail to help the vulnerable; money can often be embezzled away.

This article explores who has benefited most from this aid, the recipients or the donors.

Read “Foreign Aid for Development Assistance” to learn more.

Tax Avoidance and Tax Havens; Undermining Democracy

Last updated Monday, January 07, 2013.

Through tax havens, transfer pricing and many other policies — both legal and illegal — billions of dollars of tax are avoided. The much-needed money would helped developing (and developed) countries provide important social services for their populations.

Some tax avoidance, regardless of how morally objectionable it may be to some people, is perfectly legal, and the global super elite are able to hide away trillions of dollars, resulting in massive losses of tax revenues for cash-strapped governments who then burden ordinary citizens further with austerity measures during economic crisis, for example. Yet these super elite are often very influential in politics and business. In effect, they are able to undermine democracy and capitalism at the same time.

As the global financial crisis has affected many countries, tackling tax avoidance would help target those more likely to have contributed to the problem while avoid many unnecessary austerity measures that hit the poorest so hard. But despite rhetoric stating otherwise, it does not seem to high on the agenda of many governments as you might think.

Read “Tax Avoidance and Tax Havens; Undermining Democracy” to learn more.

World Military Spending

Last updated Sunday, June 30, 2013.

World military spending had reduced since the Cold War ended, but a few nations such as the US retain high level spending.

In recent years, global military expenditure has increased again and is now comparable to Cold War levels. Recent data shows global spending at over $1.7 trillion. 2012 saw the first dip in spending — only slightly —since 1998, in an otherwise rising trend.

After a decline following the end of the Cold War, recent years have seen military spending increase

The highest military spender is the US accounting for almost two-fifths of the world’s spending, more than the rest of the G7 (most economically advanced countries) combined, and more than all its potential enemies, combined.

Read “World Military Spending” to learn more.

More issues

“If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence.” — Bertrand Russell, Roads to Freedom