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. Secondary Education Is a Bottleneck in Brazil

    - Inter Press Service

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Apr 15 (IPS) - Alice went for eight weeks without Portuguese language classes after starting her first year of high school on Feb. 5 in this Brazilian city. Her chemistry teacher taught only two classes and disappeared. But the worst part is the classroom without air conditioning in the heat of more than 35 degrees Celsius some days during the southern hemisphere summer.

  2. ‘Step back from the brink,’ to avert full-scale Middle East conflict, says UN chief

    - UN News

    The people of the Middle East are confronting a real danger of a devastating full-scale conflict, António Guterres said on Sunday, urging “maximum restraint” across a region “on the brink”, hours after Iran launched attack drones and missiles against Israel overnight Saturday.

  3. First Person: ‘I no longer amount to anything’ – Voices of the displaced in Haiti

    - UN News

    People affected by gang wars in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, have been describing to the UN how their lives have been violently changed, with one person saying he feels that he has lost his identity and “no longer amounts to anything”.

  4. Guterres condemns Iran’s attack on Israel, calls for immediate end to hostilities

    - UN News

    Strongly condemning the “large-scale attack” launched on Israel by Iran, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has urged maximum restraint by all parties and warned that “neither the region nor the world can afford another war.”

  5. Guterres welcomes creation of transitional council in Haiti to choose new leaders

    - UN News

    UN Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the establishment of a transitional council in Haiti tasked with choosing new political leadership and setting up elections in the crisis-torn Carribean country.

  6. Fishers in Madagascar adapt to deadly seas due to climate change

    - UN News

    Fishing communities in the south of Madagascar are facing sometimes deadly sea conditions due to climate change, but with the help of the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) are finding ways to adapt to the new circumstances they face.

  7. The Climate Alarm Is Ringing – It’s Time to Stop Silencing It

    - Inter Press Service

    LONDON, Apr 12 (IPS) - The heat records keep tumbling – 2023 was the hottest year in recorded history. Extreme weather events keep mounting up. And yet the voices most strongly calling for action to prevent climate catastrophe are increasingly being silenced.

  8. IPCI 2024: Oslo Commitment Protects Sexual and Reproductive Rights Across All Contexts

    - Inter Press Service

    OSLO, Apr 12 (IPS) - Parliamentarians from 112 countries have adopted the IPCI statement of commitment to protect and promote sexual and reproductive health rights, committing to the principle that Life or Death is a Political Statement.

  9. World Says Goodbye To a Caribbean Literary Giant

    - Inter Press Service

    PARIS, Apr 12 (IPS) - Maryse Condé, the acclaimed Guadeloupean author who died in France last week at the age of 90, will be bid an official farewell April 12, amidst an outpouring of tributes from across the world, and particularly from the Caribbean.

  10. IPCI 2024: Technology as a Tool to Advance and Threaten Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights

    - Inter Press Service

    OSLO, Apr 12 (IPS) - Technology emerged as a core theme of IPCI Oslo for its relevance in advancing the objectives of the Cairo Programme of Action.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Fishers in Madagascar adapt to deadly seas due to climate change

    - UN News

    Fishing communities in the south of Madagascar are facing sometimes deadly sea conditions due to climate change, but with the help of the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) are finding ways to adapt to the new circumstances they face.

  2. The Climate Alarm Is Ringing – It’s Time to Stop Silencing It

    - Inter Press Service

    LONDON, Apr 12 (IPS) - The heat records keep tumbling – 2023 was the hottest year in recorded history. Extreme weather events keep mounting up. And yet the voices most strongly calling for action to prevent climate catastrophe are increasingly being silenced.

  3. Climate Governance, Adaptation, and Digital Solutions

    - Inter Press Service

    SUVA, Fiji, Apr 12 (IPS) - Let's take a moment to reflect on a critical question: In the decade since the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS3), what tangible progress have we made in addressing the challenges faced by our SIDS?

  4. Women Affected by Gender-Biased Climate Change Deserve Justice

    - Inter Press Service

    BULAWAYO, Apr 11 (IPS) - While research into the unequal impacts of climate change on women is growing, more is needed to enable them to realize their rights to climate justice.

  5. The US Must Address More Than LNG To Mitigate Climate Change

    - Inter Press Service

    WASHINGTON DC, Apr 10 (IPS) - Earlier this year, the Biden administration paused action on pending approvals for U.S. liquefied natural gas exports to countries without a U.S. free-trade agreement, with President Biden citing ”the urgency of the climate crisis.” The decision was hailed by climate activists and criticized by oil and gas industry representatives.

  6. To Mitigate Climate Change Associated Disasters That Impact the Agricultural Sector - Launch Multipronged Efforts

    - Inter Press Service

    URBANA, Illinois, US, Apr 10 (IPS) - Recently, the United Nations in collaboration and the World Meteorological Organization released a report that highlighted the impacts of climate change including on agriculture.

  7. Carbon Markets Biased, Distorted, Undermined

    - Inter Press Service

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Apr 09 (IPS) - Carbon dioxide emission taxes, prices and markets have been touted as key to stopping global heating. However, carbon markets have failed mainly because they favour the rich and powerful.

  8. Following Asian Countries’ Leads, Climate Action Opportunity for Developing Nations

    - Inter Press Service

    OSLO, Norway, Apr 06 (IPS) - In the deserts of Gujarat, something remarkable is happening. On my recent visit i saw hundreds of trucks moving under the warm Indian sun. Thousands of hardworking young people from all corners of Bharat, as Indians now often call their nation, are turning around the previously empty and harsh landscape.

  9. Social Protection, a Key Solution for Directing Climate Finance To Poor Small-Scale Farmers

    - Inter Press Service

    ROME, Apr 05 (IPS) - Climate change is exacerbating inequalities between and within countries, disproportionately affecting poor households in rural areas. In fact, we know that more than half of the resources of the poor – a large part of whom are small-scale farmers - are lost due to climatic hazards. This has negative impacts on the incomes of these people and their ability to meet their essential needs, including food.

  10. No Turning a Blind Eye to Protection of Dominican Republic's Natural Resources, Says Environment Minister

    - Inter Press Service

    STOCKHOLM, Apr 04 (IPS) - In 2020, general elections were held in the Dominican Republic. This took place while the COVID pandemic was becoming an increasingly serious threat, causing severe social and economic disruption. The elections were two months late as a result of the initial chaos COVID caused. The governing Dominican Liberation Party’s 16-year rule ended after the Modern Revolutionary Party’s candidate, Luis Abinader, received a majority of the votes. Elections are now scheduled for May 19 this year and IPS took the opportunity to ask Miguel Ceara Hatton, the country’s Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, how he perceived the past four years' efforts to mitigate a global crisis that now threatens us all, namely climate change and environmental degradation.

  11. More stories…

Health

  1. IPCI 2024: Technology as a Tool to Advance and Threaten Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights

    - Inter Press Service

    OSLO, Apr 12 (IPS) - Technology emerged as a core theme of IPCI Oslo for its relevance in advancing the objectives of the Cairo Programme of Action.

  2. Food Security and Food Safety in Africa Must Go Hand in Hand

    - Inter Press Service

    LUSAKA, Zambia, Apr 12 (IPS) - Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has restricted international exports and sent food costs soaring – particularly for vulnerable populations still experiencing shocks from the pandemic and who can least afford to pay more to feed their families. Two years on, global food supply chains are still just as susceptible to serious disruptions caused by war, disease, and climate change. Those inevitable disruptions are leaving those on the African continent particularly vulnerable.

  3. Nigeria first country to introduce ‘revolutionary’ meningitis vaccine

    - UN News

    Nigeria has become the first country to roll out a “revolutionary” five-in-one vaccine against meningitis, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement on Friday.

  4. Women Affected by Gender-Biased Climate Change Deserve Justice

    - Inter Press Service

    BULAWAYO, Apr 11 (IPS) - While research into the unequal impacts of climate change on women is growing, more is needed to enable them to realize their rights to climate justice.

  5. IPCI 2024: Oslo Conference Focuses on Parliamentary Power over Reproductive Rights

    - Inter Press Service

    OSLO, Apr 10 (IPS) - Gearing up for the 30th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the world’s parliamentarians and ministers are meeting in Oslo to determine the course of action needed to promote sexual and reproductive human rights (SRHR).

  6. Hepatitis killing thousands daily, WHO warns in new report

    - UN News

    The number of lives lost due to viral hepatitis infections is increasing and already accounts for 3,500 deaths daily, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) released on Tuesday.

  7. Gaza: ‘Systematic dismantling of healthcare must end’ says WHO

    - UN News

    With the largest hospital in Gaza largely destroyed and out of action, access to healthcare has now become “totally inadequate” following six months of brutal fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants, said the World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday.

  8. World News in Brief: Security Council condemns DR Congo attacks, cholera testing breakthrough, ‘my health, my right’ campaign

    - UN News

    The UN Security Council on Friday strongly condemned the latest rise in attacks by the M23 rebel group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s restive east, which has undermined security and exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation.

  9. Sudan: Aid lifeline reaches Darfur region in bid to avert ‘hunger catastrophe’

    - UN News

    Two aid convoys carrying lifesaving supplies have reached Sudan’s Darfurs for the first time in months, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday, as humanitarians try to avert a “hunger catastrophe”after nearly a year of heavy fighting.

  10. Breaking the Silence: Gender-Based Challenges in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project ll

    - Inter Press Service

    MASERU, Lesotho, Apr 03 (IPS) - In the journey towards gender equality and justice, recent decades have seen strides made, yet the road ahead remains treacherous. In the race to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, attention is turning to the role that over five hundred public development banks worldwide could play.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. The Climate Alarm Is Ringing – It’s Time to Stop Silencing It

    - Inter Press Service

    LONDON, Apr 12 (IPS) - The heat records keep tumbling – 2023 was the hottest year in recorded history. Extreme weather events keep mounting up. And yet the voices most strongly calling for action to prevent climate catastrophe are increasingly being silenced.

  2. Food Security and Food Safety in Africa Must Go Hand in Hand

    - Inter Press Service

    LUSAKA, Zambia, Apr 12 (IPS) - Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has restricted international exports and sent food costs soaring – particularly for vulnerable populations still experiencing shocks from the pandemic and who can least afford to pay more to feed their families. Two years on, global food supply chains are still just as susceptible to serious disruptions caused by war, disease, and climate change. Those inevitable disruptions are leaving those on the African continent particularly vulnerable.

  3. Wave of increased food insecurity hits West and Central Africa

    - UN News

    Almost 55 million people are facing further food and nutrition insecurity in West and Central Africa during the region’s three-month lean season from June through August, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday.

  4. Myanmar: Middle class ‘disappearing’ amid uptick in brutal fighting

    - UN News

    The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has warned that poverty is surging and the middle class in Myanmar is “disappearing” amidst worsening insecurity and conflict.

  5. The US Must Address More Than LNG To Mitigate Climate Change

    - Inter Press Service

    WASHINGTON DC, Apr 10 (IPS) - Earlier this year, the Biden administration paused action on pending approvals for U.S. liquefied natural gas exports to countries without a U.S. free-trade agreement, with President Biden citing ”the urgency of the climate crisis.” The decision was hailed by climate activists and criticized by oil and gas industry representatives.

  6. Carbon Markets Biased, Distorted, Undermined

    - Inter Press Service

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Apr 09 (IPS) - Carbon dioxide emission taxes, prices and markets have been touted as key to stopping global heating. However, carbon markets have failed mainly because they favour the rich and powerful.

  7. Senegal’s Democracy Passes Crucial Test

    - Inter Press Service

    MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, Apr 05 (IPS) - The fact that Senegal’s election took place on 24 March was in itself a triumph for civil society. That an opposition candidate, campaigning on an anti-establishment and anti-corruption agenda, emerged from jail to become the continent’s youngest leader offered fresh hope for democracy.

  8. The world is bigger than 5

    - Inter Press Service

    PORT LOUIS, Mauritius, Apr 03 (IPS) - Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, PhD, Former President of the Republic of MauritiusThe title of this piece is not my words.

    It’s from the President of Turkey calling for a reform of the United Nations Security Council.

    It has since become a motto in the UN reform campaign encapsulating the shared resentment at a global system that gives the five Permanent members – The P5 of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia – unfair and often destructive veto powers that undermines the very ideals for which the UN was established.

  9. Tensions with China Drive Investors Towards Vietnam

    - Inter Press Service

    HO CHI MINH CITY, Apr 03 (IPS) - In recent months, several European representatives embarked on trade missions to Vietnam. German President Steinmeier visited Hanoi in January. The Netherlands sent Prime Minister Mark Rutte, with the Dutch royal couple, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, soon to follow suit. Notably, the Netherlands stands as the most significant European investor in Vietnam.

  10. Food Security Issues in Asia

    - Inter Press Service

    SINGAPORE, Apr 03 (IPS) - Asia has about 60% of the World’s population but only about a third of the world’s arable land. This region additionally has some of the most economically active countries with increasing urbanisation and a growing middle class. Asia is also home to some of the most affected countries by climate change. For these and other reasons, food security in Asia affects global food security through many inter-links. A new book, “Food Security Issues in Asia”, edited by Paul Teng and with multiple authors, explicates many of the key issues continuing to cause food insecurity in Asia as well as discourses on exciting developments. Through its twenty-seven chapters, the book, published by World Scientific Publishers Singapore was launched on 27 March 2024 in Singapore by Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, former ASEAN Secretary General.

  11. More stories…

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Issues in depth

Latest

Action on climate change is cheaper than inaction

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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Poverty Facts and Stats

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.

80% of the world population lived on less than $10 a day in 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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