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. A Crisis Deepens in Libya but Where Are the Cameras?

    Friday, February 16, 2018

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 16 (IPS) - Perhaps no major political or humanitarian disaster is as overlooked as the ongoing crisis in Libya. For example, although the New York Times in September 2017 published a total of seven articles mentioning Libya, only one of them touched on the violence ripping it apart. Even the Times' gesture merely highlighted the latest permutation of the US government's foreign military decisions.

  2. A Restructured African Development Bank Plans to Meet Economic Challenges Facing Continent

    Friday, February 16, 2018

    ABIDJAN, Cote d’Ivoire, Feb 16 (IPS) - Akinwumi A. Adesina is President of the African Development BankOver the past few years, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has confirmed its position as Africa's premier development finance institution, generating significant impact on the continent's economic and social development.

  3. Oxfam’s Sexual Abuse Episode Must Inspire a Culture Shift

    Friday, February 16, 2018

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 16 (IPS) - Sexual abuse allegations against Oxfam staff, and failings in the charity's response to them, delivered a body blow to an organisation renowned for years of humanitarian and development work. At the very least the accusations will leave a stain on the reputation of a charity that works in some of the toughest environments in the world, and has made a positive difference in the lives of the most vulnerable.

  4. Migrants Are Hit Hard by Nicaragua’s Closed-Border Strategy

    Thursday, February 15, 2018

    MANAGUA, Feb 15 (IPS) - Nicaragua's "closed-border" strategy, aimed at bolstering internal security, has been successful with regard to the fight against transnational crime. But its victims are migrants who are relentlessly blocked from passing through the country en route to their destination: the United States.

  5. UN Seeks Private Sector Leadership to End Violence Against Children

    Thursday, February 15, 2018

    STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Feb 15 (IPS) - It may seem as if achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, and its target of ending all violence against children, depends mostly on action from governments and civil society. But we also need leadership from the business community to achieve a world where every child is free from violence, abuse, trafficking and torture.

  6. Till Her Last Breath- Remembering Asma Jahangir

    Thursday, February 15, 2018

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 15 (IPS) - I first met Asma Jahangir, the champion of human rights in Pakistan, who died Sunday, as a teenager in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s. In a friendship that spanned political upheavals and turbulent transitions in Pakistan and in Sri Lanka, to the War on Terror in the US, Asma remained my mentor and muse.

  7. Internet Freedom Rapidly Degrading in Southeast Asia

    Thursday, February 15, 2018

    PHNOM PENH, Feb 15 (IPS) - Researchers recently evaluated 65 countries which represent 87 percent of internet users globally. Half of them experienced a decline of internet freedom. China, Syria and Ethiopia are the least free. Estonia, Iceland and Canada enjoy the most freedom online.

  8. Turning Promise into Action: Working Towards Gender Equality

    Thursday, February 15, 2018

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 15 (IPS) - Persistent and pervasive gender-based discrimination is undermining sustainable development and preventing communities and countries from reaching their full potential, said a UN agency.

  9. African Migration to Europe, Not a Crisis but an Opportunity

    Wednesday, February 14, 2018

    WASHINGTON DC, Feb 14 (IPS) - An increasingly common justification for European development assistance to Africa is the notion that it will reduce migration from the South. While this sounds intuitive and makes for an appealing argument, the research shows that it is highly unlikely.

  10. Development, Self-Interest & Countries Left Behind

    Wednesday, February 14, 2018

    DURHAM, North Carolina, Feb 14 (IPS) - The world's wealthiest countries today promote development abroad in a way that is relatively new. For centuries, some of these countries colonized the developing world. As former colonies gained independence they were caught in the international power struggle of the Cold War, often led by dictators who found it in their interest to serve as pawns in great power proxy conflicts.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Village Savings: Helping Small Farmers Weather Climate Shocks

    Wednesday, February 14, 2018

    LUSAKA, Zambia, Feb 14 (IPS) - In the past, Lameck Sibukale only knew savings in the form of rearing chickens, goats and more importantly, cattle—a long cherished cultural heritage of the Tonga-speaking people of southern Zambia.

  2. Intellectual Property Regime Undermines Equity, Progress

    Tuesday, February 13, 2018

    KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 (IPS) - Over the last few decades, people in the developing world have been rejecting the intellectual property (IP) regime as it has been increasingly imposed on them following the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) including its trade-related intellectual property rights (TRIPs) regime. IP rights (IPRs) have been further enforced through ostensible free trade agreements (FTAs) and investment treaties among two (bilateral) or more (plurilateral) partners.

  3. Stock Market Turmoil May Expose Flaws in Global Finance

    Monday, February 12, 2018

    PENANG, Malaysia, Feb 12 (IPS) - Was last week's global stock market sell-off only a "correction" or does it signify a new period of financial instability, caused by major flaws in the world financial system?

  4. Pyeongchang Olympics: A New Cornerstone for Peace and Prosperity

    Friday, February 09, 2018

    BANGKOK, Thailand, Feb 09 (IPS) - All eyes are on the 23rd Olympic Winter Games and 12th Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang this February. Top athletes will carry their national flags in an opening ceremony which has come to epitomize the international community. Sports fans worldwide eagerly await the Olympics, and this time there is cause for cautious optimism that sport diplomacy may lower tensions on the Korean Peninsula itself. Leaders, diplomats and citizens from the world over will witness North and South Korean athletes walking side by side. For this, there could be few better places than PyeongChang, which means peace (Pyeong) and prosperity (Chang): goals integral to the mission of the United Nations and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

  5. Bangladesh’s Garment Industry Boom Leaving Workers Behind

    Friday, February 09, 2018

    DHAKA, Feb 09 (IPS) - Although Bangladesh has made remarkable recent strides like building green factories and meeting stringent safety standards, garment workers here are still paid one of the lowest minimum wages in the world.

  6. Efficient Water Management in Central Asia

    Friday, February 09, 2018

    DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, Feb 09 (IPS) - In Tajikistan and other countries of Central Asia, local water user associations have proved vital for efficient irrigation management, and reasonably prolonged training is the key for enabling the associations to perform well.

  7. Business Unusual will Drive Africa’s Quest to achieve Health Care for All

    Monday, February 05, 2018

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 05 (IPS) - Africa's quest for health continues to be held back by a combination of factors such as natural disasters and pandemics, prevailing high rates of communicable and rising incidence of non-communicable diseases, sedentary lifestyles, road accidents and greater population mobility.

  8. Gender Empowerment: What Will You Do in 2018 to make a Change?

    Thursday, February 01, 2018

    NEW YORK, Feb 01 (IPS) - In the last year, a women's rights tidal wave flooded the world: over 4 million people marched in the first "Women's March" in January 2017and over a million marched a year laterfrom Washington DC to New York, from Sydney to Osaka, and from Rome to Nairobi.

  9. Tackling Inequality Talk Is Easy

    Tuesday, January 30, 2018

    SYDNEY & KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 (IPS) - At this year's Davos World Economic Forum (WEF), Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau warned the world's business leaders and fellow politicians, "tackle inequality or risk failure".

  10. Women on the Front Lines of Halting Deforestation

    Monday, January 29, 2018

    PLUMTREE, Zimbabwe, Jan 29 (IPS) - In Zimbabwe, the bulk of rural communities and urban poor still get their energy supplies from the forests, leading to deforestation and land degradation.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Village Savings: Helping Small Farmers Weather Climate Shocks

    Wednesday, February 14, 2018

    LUSAKA, Zambia, Feb 14 (IPS) - In the past, Lameck Sibukale only knew savings in the form of rearing chickens, goats and more importantly, cattle—a long cherished cultural heritage of the Tonga-speaking people of southern Zambia.

  2. Efficient Water Management in Central Asia

    Friday, February 09, 2018

    DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, Feb 09 (IPS) - In Tajikistan and other countries of Central Asia, local water user associations have proved vital for efficient irrigation management, and reasonably prolonged training is the key for enabling the associations to perform well.

  3. GGGI Eyes Expanding Role in Triggering Pro-poor Green Growth

    Friday, February 09, 2018

    ROME, Feb 09 (IPS) - Green used to be the color of money. Now it's the word we use to mean actions that don't hurt perhaps even help the environment.  Moving from paper currency to the world we live in is progress!

  4. Humanitarian Response Plan for Spreading Crisis in Nigeria

    Thursday, February 08, 2018

    ABUJA, Nigeria, Feb 08 (IPS) - The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for north-east Nigeria demonstrates the commitment of the international community to the people of Nigeria. It is also a clear and positive indication of the strong and continued partnership between us - the international humanitarian community - and the Government of Nigeria.

  5. Three Opportunities for Humanitarians in 2018

    Tuesday, February 06, 2018

    LONDON, Feb 06 (IPS) - As 2018 begins, the challenges of humanitarian crises are momentous. Humanitarians are responding to large-scale emergencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

  6. China, Once the Final Resting Place for Half the World’s Trash, Bans Waste Products

    Tuesday, February 06, 2018

    MAASTRICHT, Netherlands, Feb 06 (IPS) - China, once the final resting place for half the world's trash, has just banned the import of certain plastic, paper and textile waste. Western countries are scrambling to shift ‘the problem' elsewhere – but there could be another way. They could invest more in the circular economy, which would also help them achieve the 2030 Agenda. But what exactly is the circular economy?

  7. UN Refugee Agency Calls for Aid and Peace in South Sudan

    Monday, February 05, 2018

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 05 (IPS) - As South Sudan quickly becomes Africa's largest refugee and humanitarian crisis, the world must come to its aid, said the UN refugee agency.

    The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has launched a global appeal to support displaced persons amid South Sudan's rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation.

  8. Business Unusual will Drive Africa’s Quest to achieve Health Care for All

    Monday, February 05, 2018

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 05 (IPS) - Africa's quest for health continues to be held back by a combination of factors such as natural disasters and pandemics, prevailing high rates of communicable and rising incidence of non-communicable diseases, sedentary lifestyles, road accidents and greater population mobility.

  9. Climate Change is Hurting Children the Most: Here is How to Protect Them

    Friday, February 02, 2018

    Feb 02 (IPS) - In the United States, the 21 young people who are plaintiffs in the case Juliana v. United States will soon make their case against the government for failing to take action against climate change. Similar lawsuits have been filed in countries including PortugalIndiaand Pakistan.

  10. Impact of Climate Change on Karachi May be One of Pakistan’s Biggest Threats

    Friday, February 02, 2018

    KARACHI, Pakistan, Feb 02 (IPS) - Historically a small fishing village, Karachi has now turned into Pakistan's biggest commerce and industrial center that generates about half of the country's tax revenue.

  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