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. Solar Energy Drives Social Development in Brazil's Favelas

    Wednesday, November 21, 2018

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 21 (IPS) - "We can't work just to pay the electric bill," complained José Hilario dos Santos, president of the Residents Association of Morro de Santa Marta, a favela or shantytown embedded in Botafogo, a traditional middle-class neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro.

  2. The Blue Economy for the Blue Planet

    Tuesday, November 20, 2018

    NEW CALEDONIA, Nov 20 (IPS) - Cameron Diver is the Deputy Director-General of the Pacific Community (SPC).We live on a "blue planet" where water covers around 75 percent of the Earth's surface. Without water we would simply not survive as a species. As we strive to find pathways to and take action for inclusive sustainable development, we must ensure that our ocean, our seas, rivers, lakes, waterways and wetlands, together with their invaluable biodiversity, are preserved, sustainably used and integrated into development programming.

  3. Thailand First Asian Nation to Join Global Efforts to Control Tobacco

    Tuesday, November 20, 2018

    BANGKOK, Thailand, Nov 20 (IPS) - Wendell C Balderas is Media and Communications Manager, Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)Thailand is set to become the first Asian country to introduce standardized packaging of tobacco. On 14 November 2018, the Thai National Committee on Tobacco Control approved the Ministry of Health Regulation that requires cigarettes in Thailand to be sold in packaging stripped of the fancy, colorful and unique cigarette branding.

  4. UN Commemorates International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    UNITED NATIONS, Nov 19 (IPS) - Rangita de Silva de Alwis* is Associate Dean of International Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania Law School & Special Adviser to the President of Wellesley College on Women's Leadership. "From the tuk tuk drivers in Cambodia… to the school children in South Africa, women and men and girls and boys are taking a stand to prevent violence against women," says Executive Director of UN Women and Under Secretary General Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

  5. ‘Hate Is a Status Symbol. If You’re Not Being Hated You’re Not in the Game’ Says Celebrity Branding Guru Jeetendr Sehdev

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    LONDON, Nov 19 (IPS) - New York Times bestselling author Jeetendr Sehdev believes that chief marketing officers need to start thinking differently about the younger generations they're struggling to engage with.

    Ahead of his keynote, ‘Human 2.0: Sacrifice Everything If You Believe In Something', at The Future of Marketing on November 22, Sehdev chats to The Drum about his book ‘The Kim Kardashian Principle', how the Nike Colin Kaepernick campaign implemented his rules to create their success and why brands should embrace the hate from social media.

  6. Improved Husbandry Practices Boosts Aquaculture in Kenya

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    KISUMU/VIHIGA, Kenya, Nov 19 (IPS) - Despite the humid late October midday weather in Kisumu County near the shores of Lake Victoria, Jane Kisia is busy walking around her fish ponds feeding her fish. As she rhythmically throws handfuls of pellets into the ponds, located within her homestead, the fish ravenously gobble them up.

  7. Venture Capital Can Turbo Charge Growth in Emerging Markets

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    NEW YORK, Nov 19 (IPS) - Anna Shen is an international consultant for the United Nations, an entrepreneur, and advisor to start ups around the worldGlobal poverty is undoubtedly the most critical economic and moral challenge of the 21st century. While economists debate how to raise up the world's poorest – the more than 800 million people living on less than US$1.25 a day.-- entrepreneurs are spurring innovation and growth in emerging markets.

  8. Educating Children Starts With Parents

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    Nov 19 (IPS) - Parents from low-income families often struggle to find the time to support their children, are alienated from educational systems themselves, and lack access to the networks that middle- and higher-income parents have.Neha is a first-generation learner. Her mother, Hema, a maid, wants her only daughter to grow up to become a government servant. This, according to her, will give her family security, stable water and electricity connections, and also an attached toilet, apart from a better living environment.

  9. Teenage Pregnancy in Kenya: A Crisis of Health, Education and Opportunity

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 (IPS) - Siddharth Chatterjee is the United Nations Resident Coordinator to Kenya.That almost one in five Kenyan teenage girls is a mother represents not only a huge cost to the health sector, but also a betrayal of potential on a shocking scale.

  10. Cuba's Only Semiarid Region Reinvents Agriculture to Survive

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    SAN ANTONIO DEL SUR, Cuba, Nov 19 (IPS) - At a brisk pace, Marciano Calamato and Mireya Noa walk along the dry, yellow soil of their farm, where they even manage to grow onions in Cuba's unique semi-arid eastern region.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. The Blue Economy for the Blue Planet

    Tuesday, November 20, 2018

    NEW CALEDONIA, Nov 20 (IPS) - Cameron Diver is the Deputy Director-General of the Pacific Community (SPC).We live on a "blue planet" where water covers around 75 percent of the Earth's surface. Without water we would simply not survive as a species. As we strive to find pathways to and take action for inclusive sustainable development, we must ensure that our ocean, our seas, rivers, lakes, waterways and wetlands, together with their invaluable biodiversity, are preserved, sustainably used and integrated into development programming.

  2. Thailand First Asian Nation to Join Global Efforts to Control Tobacco

    Tuesday, November 20, 2018

    BANGKOK, Thailand, Nov 20 (IPS) - Wendell C Balderas is Media and Communications Manager, Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)Thailand is set to become the first Asian country to introduce standardized packaging of tobacco. On 14 November 2018, the Thai National Committee on Tobacco Control approved the Ministry of Health Regulation that requires cigarettes in Thailand to be sold in packaging stripped of the fancy, colorful and unique cigarette branding.

  3. ‘Hate Is a Status Symbol. If You’re Not Being Hated You’re Not in the Game’ Says Celebrity Branding Guru Jeetendr Sehdev

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    LONDON, Nov 19 (IPS) - New York Times bestselling author Jeetendr Sehdev believes that chief marketing officers need to start thinking differently about the younger generations they're struggling to engage with.

    Ahead of his keynote, ‘Human 2.0: Sacrifice Everything If You Believe In Something', at The Future of Marketing on November 22, Sehdev chats to The Drum about his book ‘The Kim Kardashian Principle', how the Nike Colin Kaepernick campaign implemented his rules to create their success and why brands should embrace the hate from social media.

  4. Improved Husbandry Practices Boosts Aquaculture in Kenya

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    KISUMU/VIHIGA, Kenya, Nov 19 (IPS) - Despite the humid late October midday weather in Kisumu County near the shores of Lake Victoria, Jane Kisia is busy walking around her fish ponds feeding her fish. As she rhythmically throws handfuls of pellets into the ponds, located within her homestead, the fish ravenously gobble them up.

  5. Venture Capital Can Turbo Charge Growth in Emerging Markets

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    NEW YORK, Nov 19 (IPS) - Anna Shen is an international consultant for the United Nations, an entrepreneur, and advisor to start ups around the worldGlobal poverty is undoubtedly the most critical economic and moral challenge of the 21st century. While economists debate how to raise up the world's poorest – the more than 800 million people living on less than US$1.25 a day.-- entrepreneurs are spurring innovation and growth in emerging markets.

  6. Africa Set for a Massive Free Trade Area

    Thursday, November 15, 2018

    UNITED NATIONS, Nov 15 (IPS) - Kingsley Ighobor, Africa Renewal*Following the unveiling of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement in Kigali, Rwanda, in March 2018, Africa is about to become the world's largest free trade area: 55 countries merging into a single market of 1.2 billion people with a combined GDP of $2.5 trillion.

  7. Kenya Looks to Lead the Way in Developing the Blue Economy’s Potential

    Thursday, November 15, 2018

    NAIROBI, Nov 15 (IPS) - Ambassador Macharia Kamau is Principal Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Kenya, also the coordinating Ministry of the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, 2018.For many years now, the economic potential of the African continent has been discussed, promoted and hailed by everyone from economists to policymakers to world leaders – and with very good reason. After all, Africa is a vast, populous, developing continent with enormous natural and human resource riches and a raft of rapidly developing economies which are helping create prosperity and raise living standards and social opportunities through economic growth.

  8. Q&A: All Sustainable Development Goals Relate in Some Way to the Oceans

    Wednesday, November 14, 2018

    UNITED NATIONS, Nov 14 (IPS) - IPS correspondent Carmen Arroyo interviews PETER THOMSON, United Nation's Special Envoy for the Ocean.When Peter Thomson, the United Nation's Secretary General's Special Envoy for the Ocean, heard in 2010 there was going to be a 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, he knew he had to include the ocean question.

  9. Creating Beauty and Worth from Bamboo Enhances the Livelihoods of Ghana’s Artisans

    Monday, November 12, 2018

    KUMASI, Ghana, Nov 12 (IPS) - Yaw Owiredu Mintah from Ghana has been working as an all-round processor of bamboo and rattan trees since the 1980s. And while he says that he can do most things with bamboo like weaving, framing and finishing, he admits, "I need to improve my skills and designs because all of us are, most of the time, doing the same things."

  10. Lack of Funds Prevent Ugandan Communities from Investing in Cage Aquaculture

    Monday, November 12, 2018

    JINJA, Uganda, Nov 12 (IPS) - Colvince Mubiru had heard about cage fish farming on Uganda's lakes. The small business owner decided to try his hand at it and spent USD8,000 to set up farming cages for Nile Tilapia on Lake Victoria, expecting to reap a huge profit. But just six months into his enterprise, he made huge losses.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Solar Energy Drives Social Development in Brazil's Favelas

    Wednesday, November 21, 2018

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 21 (IPS) - "We can't work just to pay the electric bill," complained José Hilario dos Santos, president of the Residents Association of Morro de Santa Marta, a favela or shantytown embedded in Botafogo, a traditional middle-class neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro.

  2. The Blue Economy for the Blue Planet

    Tuesday, November 20, 2018

    NEW CALEDONIA, Nov 20 (IPS) - Cameron Diver is the Deputy Director-General of the Pacific Community (SPC).We live on a "blue planet" where water covers around 75 percent of the Earth's surface. Without water we would simply not survive as a species. As we strive to find pathways to and take action for inclusive sustainable development, we must ensure that our ocean, our seas, rivers, lakes, waterways and wetlands, together with their invaluable biodiversity, are preserved, sustainably used and integrated into development programming.

  3. Improved Husbandry Practices Boosts Aquaculture in Kenya

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    KISUMU/VIHIGA, Kenya, Nov 19 (IPS) - Despite the humid late October midday weather in Kisumu County near the shores of Lake Victoria, Jane Kisia is busy walking around her fish ponds feeding her fish. As she rhythmically throws handfuls of pellets into the ponds, located within her homestead, the fish ravenously gobble them up.

  4. Venture Capital Can Turbo Charge Growth in Emerging Markets

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    NEW YORK, Nov 19 (IPS) - Anna Shen is an international consultant for the United Nations, an entrepreneur, and advisor to start ups around the worldGlobal poverty is undoubtedly the most critical economic and moral challenge of the 21st century. While economists debate how to raise up the world's poorest – the more than 800 million people living on less than US$1.25 a day.-- entrepreneurs are spurring innovation and growth in emerging markets.

  5. Cuba's Only Semiarid Region Reinvents Agriculture to Survive

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    SAN ANTONIO DEL SUR, Cuba, Nov 19 (IPS) - At a brisk pace, Marciano Calamato and Mireya Noa walk along the dry, yellow soil of their farm, where they even manage to grow onions in Cuba's unique semi-arid eastern region.

  6. E-Commerce Giants Under Fire for Retailing Hazardous Mercury-Based Cosmetics

    Friday, November 16, 2018

    NEW YORK, Nov 16 (IPS) - A coalition of over 50 civil society organizations (CSOs), from more than 20 countries, have urged two of the world's largest multi-billion dollar E-commerce retailers – Amazon and eBay – to stop marketing "dangerous and illegal mercury-based skin lightening creams."

  7. Kenya Looks to Lead the Way in Developing the Blue Economy’s Potential

    Thursday, November 15, 2018

    NAIROBI, Nov 15 (IPS) - Ambassador Macharia Kamau is Principal Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Kenya, also the coordinating Ministry of the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, 2018.For many years now, the economic potential of the African continent has been discussed, promoted and hailed by everyone from economists to policymakers to world leaders – and with very good reason. After all, Africa is a vast, populous, developing continent with enormous natural and human resource riches and a raft of rapidly developing economies which are helping create prosperity and raise living standards and social opportunities through economic growth.

  8. Earth’s Biodiversity: A Pivotal Meeting at a Pivotal Time

    Thursday, November 15, 2018

    SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov 15 (IPS) - Cristiana Pașca Palmer is the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Montreal, & Anne Larigauderie is the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), BonnThe quality of the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink depend directly on the state of our biodiversity, which is now in severe jeopardy. We need a transformational change in our relationship with nature to ensure the sustainable future we want for ourselves and our children.

  9. Q&A: All Sustainable Development Goals Relate in Some Way to the Oceans

    Wednesday, November 14, 2018

    UNITED NATIONS, Nov 14 (IPS) - IPS correspondent Carmen Arroyo interviews PETER THOMSON, United Nation's Special Envoy for the Ocean.When Peter Thomson, the United Nation's Secretary General's Special Envoy for the Ocean, heard in 2010 there was going to be a 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, he knew he had to include the ocean question.

  10. Northeast Nigeria: Urgent Need to Combat Deadly Cholera Outbreaks

    Monday, November 12, 2018

    MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, Nov 12 (IPS) - Janet Cherono is Norwegian Refugee Council's Program Manager in MaiduguriThe number of people who have been affected by cholera in northeast Nigeria has increased to 10,000. The disease is spreading quickly in congested displacement camps with limited access to proper sanitation facilities.

  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