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. Biofortified Crops Improve Farmers’ Livelihoods in Zimbabwe

    Monday, January 27, 2020

    HARARE, Zimbabwe, Jan 27 (IPS) - HarvestPlus* Steven Seremwe, who is 57 years old, was retrenched from his job as an administrator at Lake Shore Missions in 2012. He decided to focus on farming, and he started growing various crops—white maize, sugar beans, and sweet potatoes, among others—for consumption and sale.

  2. US-Iran Confrontation & Implications for India

    Monday, January 27, 2020

    NEW DELHI, Jan 27 (IPS) - Simi Mehta holds a PhD in American Studies from School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She was a Fulbright Fellow at the Ohio State UniversityThe unease in the relations between the US and Iran have been in the international news for around a month now. Both sides have not shied away from using outright methods of warfare like the use of ballistic missiles and assassinations, along with attempts at economic and diplomatic sanctions.

  3. China Ranked World’s Second Largest Arms Producer Trailing Behind US

    Monday, January 27, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Jan 27 (IPS) - Donald Trump, the vociferously unpredictable US president, has long chastised China for seeking "unfair" advantage over trade and tariffs, violating intellectual property rights and "manipulating" the country's currency to its advantage.

  4. Inequality, Stagnation and Instability ‒ the New Normal for Finance Capitalism

    Friday, January 24, 2020

    GENEVA, Jan 24 (IPS) - The failure of large-scale bailout operations, historically low interest rates and rapid injection of liquidity to bring about a strong recovery from the 2008-2009 financial crisis and recession created a widespread concern that advanced economies suffered from a chronic demand gap and faced the spectre of stagnation.

  5. Nature Losses Threaten Emerging Economies

    Friday, January 24, 2020

    Jan 24 (IPS) - More than half of worldwide GDP is moderately or highly dependent on nature, putting biodiversity loss among the top five risks to the global economy, according to a report presented at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

  6. When UN’s Cash Crisis Undermines Human Rights, Are the World’s Torturers the Key Beneficiaries?

    Friday, January 24, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Jan 24 (IPS) - The UN's ongoing cash crisis, which has virtually destabilized the Organization's day-to-day operations, has also undermined the human rights mandate of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC).

  7. At the International Summit on Balanced & Inclusive Education: A Call to Transform Globally

    Friday, January 24, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Jan 24 (IPS) - In an increasingly unequal and divided world, what role can education play to achieve sustainable development globally?

  8. Experts laud International Court of Justice Order on Myanmar to Halt all Genocidal Conduct

    Friday, January 24, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Jan 24 (IPS) - In a groundbreaking and much anticipated ruling delivered on Thursday, the International Court of Justice demanded that Myanmar halt all measures that contribute to the genocide of the Rohingya community. 

  9. Am I Abused or Am I a Failure to Adjust? - A Migrant’s Story

    Friday, January 24, 2020

    NEW YORK, Jan 24 (IPS) - Every year hundreds of immigrants leave their homes and trail to a land of dream and hope where they aspire to find peace, happiness and sometimes a little bit of safety compared to what they leave behind.

  10. Top UN Court Orders Myanmar to Protect Rohingya from Genocide

    Thursday, January 23, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Jan 23 (IPS) - Myanmar must take steps to protect its minority Rohingya population, the top UN court unanimously ruled on Thursday.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Biofortified Crops Improve Farmers’ Livelihoods in Zimbabwe

    Monday, January 27, 2020

    HARARE, Zimbabwe, Jan 27 (IPS) - HarvestPlus* Steven Seremwe, who is 57 years old, was retrenched from his job as an administrator at Lake Shore Missions in 2012. He decided to focus on farming, and he started growing various crops—white maize, sugar beans, and sweet potatoes, among others—for consumption and sale.

  2. Inequality, Stagnation and Instability ‒ the New Normal for Finance Capitalism

    Friday, January 24, 2020

    GENEVA, Jan 24 (IPS) - The failure of large-scale bailout operations, historically low interest rates and rapid injection of liquidity to bring about a strong recovery from the 2008-2009 financial crisis and recession created a widespread concern that advanced economies suffered from a chronic demand gap and faced the spectre of stagnation.

  3. Nature Losses Threaten Emerging Economies

    Friday, January 24, 2020

    Jan 24 (IPS) - More than half of worldwide GDP is moderately or highly dependent on nature, putting biodiversity loss among the top five risks to the global economy, according to a report presented at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

  4. Blue Innovation in the Commonwealth

    Thursday, January 23, 2020

    Jan 23 (IPS) - New opportunities to invest in the ocean economyWith 95 per cent of the ocean still unexplored by humans, we are only just beginning to understand its profound influence on life on earth, including its effect on global climate and ecosystems.

  5. UN Plans to Launch a “Decade of Action” to Deliver Development Goals by 2030

    Thursday, January 23, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Jan 23 (IPS) - Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in an address to the General Assembly2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. I draw tremendous strength from all that we represent and all that we have achieved together.

  6. Bridging Africa’s Great Gender-Financing Divide

    Wednesday, January 22, 2020

    NAIROBI, Jan 22 (IPS) - What stands between Soi Cate Chelang and her dream of turning her small pallet-making business into a major enterprise is capital.

  7. UN Report: Rising Inequality Affects More Than 70% of the Globe

    Tuesday, January 21, 2020

    NEW YORK, Jan 21 (IPS) - Inequality is growing for more than 70 per cent of the global population, exacerbating the risks of divisions and hampering economic and social development. But the rise is far from inevitable and can be tackled at a national and international level, says a flagship study released by the UN on Tuesday.

  8. School Lunch Programmes for Progress

    Tuesday, January 21, 2020

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Jan 21 (IPS) - If well planned, coordinated and implemented, a government funded school feeding programme for all primary school children can be progressively transformative. Such a programme, involving government departments and agencies working together, can benefit schoolchildren, their families, farmers and public health, now and in the future.

  9. BIOGAS: Cow Dung Holds the Key to Nepal’s Green Economy

    Friday, January 17, 2020

    KASKI, Nepal, Jan 17 (IPS) - Nepal's future may not be in hydropower, as most assume, but actually in the dung heap. A new industrial-scale biogas plant near Pokhara has proved that livestock and farm waste producing flammable methane gas can replace imported LPG and chemical fertiliser.

  10. Genuine Reform Culture Lacking in Zimbabwe

    Thursday, January 16, 2020

    BULAWAYO, Jan 16 (IPS) - Zimbabwe needs urgent economic and political reforms to transform its economy amidst a growing national crisis, researchers say in a new study that urges swift policy changes and a sound financial framework to attract investment.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Biofortified Crops Improve Farmers’ Livelihoods in Zimbabwe

    Monday, January 27, 2020

    HARARE, Zimbabwe, Jan 27 (IPS) - HarvestPlus* Steven Seremwe, who is 57 years old, was retrenched from his job as an administrator at Lake Shore Missions in 2012. He decided to focus on farming, and he started growing various crops—white maize, sugar beans, and sweet potatoes, among others—for consumption and sale.

  2. Nature Losses Threaten Emerging Economies

    Friday, January 24, 2020

    Jan 24 (IPS) - More than half of worldwide GDP is moderately or highly dependent on nature, putting biodiversity loss among the top five risks to the global economy, according to a report presented at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

  3. Blue Innovation in the Commonwealth

    Thursday, January 23, 2020

    Jan 23 (IPS) - New opportunities to invest in the ocean economyWith 95 per cent of the ocean still unexplored by humans, we are only just beginning to understand its profound influence on life on earth, including its effect on global climate and ecosystems.

  4. Global Inequality Continues to Grow: UNDESA Report

    Thursday, January 23, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Jan 23 (IPS) - More than 70 percent of the global population is currently living in parts of the world where income inequality has grown, according to a World Social Report 2020 launched by United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)

  5. Will 2020 World Economic Forum Deliver on Combating Climate Change?

    Wednesday, January 22, 2020

    AMSTERDAM, Jan 22 (IPS) - Eco Matser is Hivos global Climate Change / Energy and Development CoordinatorFor the first time, the world's elites meeting this year at Davos have listed environmental issues as their top concerns about the next decade.

  6. Empowering Women in Poor Communities & Building Resilience Against Climate Pressure

    Friday, January 17, 2020

    AHMEDABAD, India, Jan 17 (IPS) - Bijal Brahmbhatt is Director, Mahila Housing TrustAs global temperatures continue to rise, vulnerable populations around the world are facing increasingly complex climate risks – with ongoing droughts in Zimbabwe and floods devastating Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.

  7. BIOGAS: Cow Dung Holds the Key to Nepal’s Green Economy

    Friday, January 17, 2020

    KASKI, Nepal, Jan 17 (IPS) - Nepal's future may not be in hydropower, as most assume, but actually in the dung heap. A new industrial-scale biogas plant near Pokhara has proved that livestock and farm waste producing flammable methane gas can replace imported LPG and chemical fertiliser.

  8. Climate Change and Financial Risk

    Thursday, January 16, 2020

    WASHINGTON DC, Jan 16 (IPS) - Climate change is already a reality. Ever-more-ferocious cyclones and extended droughts lead to the destruction of infrastructure and the disruption of livelihoods and contribute to mass migration.

  9. Climate Change: A Tale of Weather Extremes with Mixed Fortunes for Zambia

    Wednesday, January 15, 2020

    LUSAKA and PEMBA DISTRICT, Zambia, Jan 15 (IPS) - It is early Saturday morning and Planeta Hatuleke, a small scale farmer of Pemba District in Southern Zambia, awakens to the comforting sound of rainfall. As the locals say, the "heavens have opened" and it is raining heavily after a prolonged dry spell. 

  10. In Dealing With Climate Change: Foresight is Key

    Wednesday, January 15, 2020

    ILLINOIS, United States, Jan 15 (IPS) - United Nations World Food Program recently released 2020 Global Hotspots Report. According to the report, millions of citizens from Sub-Saharan African countries will face hunger in the first half of 2020 for several reasons including conflict, political instability and climate-related events such as below-average rainfall and flooding.

  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