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. Will a Global Fund Help Deliver UN’s Development Agenda?

    Friday, July 19, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 19 (IPS) - The United Nations, which has been tracking both the successes and failures of its highly-ambitious Agenda for Sustainable Development, has warned that "progress has been slow" in many of the 17 Goals after four years of implementation.

  2. US Leads Donor Funding to Fight HIV/AIDS Amidst Overall Decline

    Friday, July 19, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 19 (IPS) - Since 2010, donor funding to fight HIV/AIDS in low-and middle-income countries has dropped significantly, according to a new report released here.

  3. Here’s How the World Can Be Better Prepared to Handle Epidemics

    Friday, July 19, 2019

    ABUJA, Jul 19 (IPS) - The 2019 G20 Summit was held recently in Osaka, Japan. The Summit ended with the "G20 Osaka Leaders' Declaration", which identifies health as a prerequisite for sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and the leaders committed to various efforts to improve epidemic preparedness. 

  4. How China’s Africa Alliance is Shifting World Order

    Friday, July 19, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 19 (IPS) - When the United Nations General Assembly met in 2007 to vote on North Korea's human rights record, only 10 of the 56 African countries voted with the U.S.-led western coalition.

  5. Parts of Kenya are Already Above 1.5˚C

    Thursday, July 18, 2019

    NAIROBI, Jul 18 (IPS) - Kenya's getting hotter. Much hotter than the 1.5˚C increase that has been deemed acceptable by global leaders, and it is too hot for livestock, wildlife and plants to survive. Thousands of households, dependent on farming and livestock, are at risk too.

  6. Heatwaves are a ‘New Normal’, Says Red Cross

    Thursday, July 18, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 18 (IPS) - It is barely the middle of the month, but the verdict is in: July has been hot.

  7. How Skills Can Change Lives of World’s Youth

    Thursday, July 18, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 18 (IPS) - When the United Nations commemorated World Youth Skills Day, there was one stark reality that emerged out of the event: the world's youth account for over a third of the global population of more than 7.7 billion people, and they also account for over a third of those unemployed across the globe.

  8. UN Report Shows Mixed Results in Meeting SDGs

    Thursday, July 18, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 18 (IPS) - The United Nations launched its 2019 report on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), showing inadequate progress in the fourth year into the sustainable development agenda and highlighting the need for imminent global action.

  9. Desperation and Fear on the Mexican Border

    Thursday, July 18, 2019

    SAN FRANCISCO, California, US, Jul 18 (IPS) - Ariana Sawyer is with the US program at Human Rights Watch

    On the 2,000-mile journey from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to the US-Mexico border, the 20-year-old asylum seeker and her 16-year-old brother took turns sleeping every time they managed to catch a ride or get on a bus. She told me they kept each other safe that way.

  10. The Road to Zero Hunger

    Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 17 (IPS) - Over 820 million people across the globe are currently undernourished, according to a new report released here.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. How China’s Africa Alliance is Shifting World Order

    Friday, July 19, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 19 (IPS) - When the United Nations General Assembly met in 2007 to vote on North Korea's human rights record, only 10 of the 56 African countries voted with the U.S.-led western coalition.

  2. UN Report Shows Mixed Results in Meeting SDGs

    Thursday, July 18, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 18 (IPS) - The United Nations launched its 2019 report on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), showing inadequate progress in the fourth year into the sustainable development agenda and highlighting the need for imminent global action.

  3. Growing African Agriculture One Byte at a Time

    Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Jul 17 (IPS) - Ella Mazani is a mobile phone farmer.

    "My mobile phone is part of my farming. It supports my farming and my family's welfare through the services I get via the phone," the smallholder maize farmer from Shurugwi in central Zimbabwe quips. 

  4. Facebook and Friends Threaten to Libralize the World

    Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Jul 16 (IPS) - On 17 June, a Facebook white paper proposed a new global digital currency it plans to launch in the first half of 2020. The Libra will be managed by a ‘not for profit' Swiss-based Facebook-led consortium of ‘for profit corporations', with Uber, eBay, Lyft, Mastercard and PayPal among its founding members.

  5. Rwanda Prepares the Foundations for Climate-Resilient Cities

    Monday, July 15, 2019

    KIGALI, Jul 15 (IPS) - How do you plan a resilient city? A city that can withstand climate change impacts, and the natural disasters that it produces at increased frequencies. And how do you protect the city, its individuals and communities, its business and institutions from either the increased flooding or prolonged droughts that result? It's a complex question with an even more complex solution, but one that the central African nation of Rwanda is looking to answer.

  6. Rwanda: Open for Business

    Friday, July 12, 2019

    WASHINGTON DC, Jul 12 (IPS) - Andrew Kanyegirire is Senior Communications Officer at the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

    Claire Akamanzi spends her days working on innovative ways to bring more business to her country.

    As CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), a multiagency governmental department billed as a "one-stop shop" for investors, Akamanzi has seen the country earn accolades for its business-friendly environment, recently winning the #2 spot regionally in the World Bank's ease of doing business rankings.

  7. Today’s Menu: Pesticide Salad, Leaded Fish with Plastic, Chemical Fruit

    Wednesday, July 10, 2019

    MADRID, Jul 10 (IPS) - In case you were not aware or just do not remember: all you eat, drink, breathe, wear, take as a medicine, the cosmetics you use, the walls of your house, among others, is full of chemicals. And all is really ALL.

  8. Industrial Policy Finally Legitimate?

    Tuesday, July 09, 2019

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Jul 09 (IPS) - For decades, the two Bretton Woods institutions have rejected the contribution of industrial policy (IP), or government investment and technology promotion efforts, in accelerating and sustaining growth, industrialization and structural transformation.

    Finally, two International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff members, Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov, have broken the taboo. They embrace industrial policy, arguing against the current conventional wisdom that East Asian industrial policies cannot be successfully emulated by other developing countries.

  9. The Libyan Disaster: Little Bits of History Repeating

    Tuesday, July 09, 2019

    STOCKHOLM / ROME, Jul 09 (IPS) -

    And I've seen it before,
    and I'll see it again.
    Yes I've seen it before,
    just little bits of history repeating.

    -- Propeller Heads: History repeating

    The Libyan catastrophe and the suffering of "illegal" migrants are generally depicted as fairly recent events, though they are actually the results of a long history of greed, contempt for others and fatal shortsightedness. Like former Yugoslavia, Libya was created from a mosaic of tribal entities, subdued by colonial powers and then ruled by an iron-fisted dictator. Now, Libya is a quagmire where local and international stakeholders battle to control its natural resources. The country holds the largest oil reserves in Africa, oil and gas account for 60 percent of GDP and more than 90 percent of exports.1 This is one reason why Egypt, France, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., and many other nations are enmeshed in Libya. Furthermore, European nations try to stop mainly sub-Saharan refugees and migrants from reaching their coasts from Libya. An attempt to understand Italy´s essential role in the struggle over Libya´s oil and attempts to control unwanted immigration may help to clarify some issues related to the current situation.

  10. Of Leaders Then and Now

    Monday, July 08, 2019

    COTONOU, Benin, Jul 08 (IPS) - Richard Dossevi parks his motorcycle taxi on one of the busiest street corners in Cotonou, Benin's commercial capital, to wait for commuters amid the summer heat.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Will a Global Fund Help Deliver UN’s Development Agenda?

    Friday, July 19, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 19 (IPS) - The United Nations, which has been tracking both the successes and failures of its highly-ambitious Agenda for Sustainable Development, has warned that "progress has been slow" in many of the 17 Goals after four years of implementation.

  2. Parts of Kenya are Already Above 1.5˚C

    Thursday, July 18, 2019

    NAIROBI, Jul 18 (IPS) - Kenya's getting hotter. Much hotter than the 1.5˚C increase that has been deemed acceptable by global leaders, and it is too hot for livestock, wildlife and plants to survive. Thousands of households, dependent on farming and livestock, are at risk too.

  3. Heatwaves are a ‘New Normal’, Says Red Cross

    Thursday, July 18, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 18 (IPS) - It is barely the middle of the month, but the verdict is in: July has been hot.

  4. The Road to Zero Hunger

    Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 17 (IPS) - Over 820 million people across the globe are currently undernourished, according to a new report released here.

  5. Want to Inspire More People to Act on Climate Change? Broaden the Framing

    Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    ILLINOIS, United States, Jul 16 (IPS) - "It has never happened before," is a sentence that is becoming excessively common in the news  due to a changing climate where new extremes are becoming normal.

  6. Rwanda Prepares the Foundations for Climate-Resilient Cities

    Monday, July 15, 2019

    KIGALI, Jul 15 (IPS) - How do you plan a resilient city? A city that can withstand climate change impacts, and the natural disasters that it produces at increased frequencies. And how do you protect the city, its individuals and communities, its business and institutions from either the increased flooding or prolonged droughts that result? It's a complex question with an even more complex solution, but one that the central African nation of Rwanda is looking to answer.

  7. A Relentless Battle Against Poverty & Hunger in World’s Most Populous Region

    Monday, July 15, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 15 (IPS) - The world's two most populous nations-– China and India—have been making steady progress in eradicating extreme poverty, but have fallen short in their attempts to eliminate extreme hunger, according to the Bangkok-based UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

  8. Avoiding the Mistakes of the Asian Green Revolution in Africa

    Thursday, July 11, 2019

    DODOMA, Tanzania, Jul 11 (IPS) - Research scientists are studying groundwater resources in three African countries in order to understand the renewability of the source and how people can use it sustainably towards a green revolution in Africa.

  9. Let's Talk About Sex – and Why Power Matters

    Thursday, July 11, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 11 (IPS) - Dr Natalia Kanem is Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

    Every year on World Population Day (July 11), UNFPA receives queries from journalists about the total number of people around the world. Numbers are indeed important because they help governments develop policies that respond to evolving needs for services such as education and health.

  10. Drought, Disease and War Hit Global Agriculture, Says U.N.

    Thursday, July 11, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 11 (IPS) - The United Nations has warned of drought, disease and war preventing farmers from producing enough food for millions of people across Africa and other regions, leading to the need for major aid operations.

  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