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. Democracy in Iraq Under Threat Following the Storming of Parliament

    - Inter Press Service

    AMMAN, Jordan, Aug 12 (IPS) - The storming of the Iraqi parliament by supporters of Al-Sadr was motivated by years of political impasse — threatening Iraq's democracy and peace

  2. A Safe Haven for Ousted Political Leaders Escaping Executions and Hangings

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    UNITED NATIONS, Aug 12 (IPS) - When world political leaders, mostly presidents and prime ministers, are ousted from power following military coups or street demonstrations, they flee to “safe havens” to avoid being jailed, executed by firing squads or hanged in public.

  3. After the storm: what an environmental tragedy can teach us about climate resilience and ecosystem restoration

    - UN News

    A tiny Caribbean Island known as 'the flower of the ocean' was decimated by Hurricane Iota in 2020. Although the loss of human life was minimal, the impact on precious ecosystems deeply changed the perspective of its inhabitants. Two years later, they’re still working to restore their environmental treasures and preparing for whatever curveballs climate change might throw at them next.

  4. ‘Very alarming’ conditions at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, IAEA chief warns

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    The situation at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has deteriorated rapidly to the point of becoming “very alarming,” Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi warned the Security Council on Thursday afternoon.

  5. Afghanistan: Humanitarian assistance has saved lives, but immense needs remain

    - UN News

    Despite an unprecedented scale-up in assistance in Afghanistan over the past year, immense needs still exist and the future looks bleak, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, said on Thursday.  

  6. Children with disabilities disproportionately impacted by war in Ukraine

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    The current humanitarian crisis stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is having “a disproportionate impact” on persons with disabilities, especially children in institutions there, four UN-appointed independent human rights experts said on Thursday.

  7. Barbados: New UN disaster preparedness hub built on ‘frontlines of climate change’

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    A new UN-backed humanitarian logistics hub and training centre in Barbados aims to strengthen emergency preparedness and response across the Caribbean, the World Food Programme (WFP) said in announcing the news on Thursday. 

  8. ‘Catastrophic’ drought displaces one million in Somalia, world asked to ‘step up’ support

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    A devastating drought in Somalia has reached unprecedented levels, leaving one million people within the country currently registered as displaced, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Thursday.

  9. Ukraine: UN chief appeals for end to military activities at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    Military activities around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant in Ukraine must stop immediately, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday, warning of the potential danger to the area and beyond amid ongoing shelling. 

  10. Pariah Solidarity Between Myanmar & Russia

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    BRUSSELS, Aug 11 (IPS) - On August 3rd residents of the Myanmar capital Naypyitaw were suddenly awakened by the sound of military helicopters in the air. The helicopters hovered over the city all day. The way to the regime's foreign ministry was also blocked for hours.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. After the storm: what an environmental tragedy can teach us about climate resilience and ecosystem restoration

    - UN News

    A tiny Caribbean Island known as 'the flower of the ocean' was decimated by Hurricane Iota in 2020. Although the loss of human life was minimal, the impact on precious ecosystems deeply changed the perspective of its inhabitants. Two years later, they’re still working to restore their environmental treasures and preparing for whatever curveballs climate change might throw at them next.

  2. Barbados: New UN disaster preparedness hub built on ‘frontlines of climate change’

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    A new UN-backed humanitarian logistics hub and training centre in Barbados aims to strengthen emergency preparedness and response across the Caribbean, the World Food Programme (WFP) said in announcing the news on Thursday. 

  3. ‘Catastrophic’ drought displaces one million in Somalia, world asked to ‘step up’ support

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    A devastating drought in Somalia has reached unprecedented levels, leaving one million people within the country currently registered as displaced, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Thursday.

  4. Belarus: Rights experts denounce withdrawal from key environmental agreement

    - UN News

    UN experts on Wednesday denounced the decision by Belarus to withdraw from an international agreement that upholds people’s right to access information, as well as justice, in environmental matters. 

  5. Climate Change Conclusion: Time for Bold Action

    - Inter Press Service

    PORTLAND, USA, Aug 10 (IPS) - With climate change bringing about increasing numbers of human deaths and untold sufferingand rising economic, social, and environmental consequences worldwide, it’s time for governments to take bold action to address the climate change emergency.

  6. UN's Education Summit: An Opportunity to Create a Bottom-Up Global Governance

    - Inter Press Service

    KATHMANDU, Nepal, Aug 10 (IPS) - The upcoming summit on Education, part of the UN Secretary General’s ambitious agenda, can truly bring accountability and participation to the inevitably new ways education will be imparted in the future.

  7. Nuclear-free Mongolia a ‘symbol of peace in a troubled world’: Guterres

    - UN News

    In a visit to Mongolia on Tuesday, Secretary-General António Guterres underscored the UN’s full solidarity for the country, which he described as “a symbol of peace in a troubled world”. 

  8. Heat, drought and wildfires during one of the warmest Julys on record– WMO

    - UN News

    Amidst extreme heat, drought and wildfires, many parts of the world had just experienced one of three warmest Julys on record, the UN weather agency said on Tuesday.

  9. Indigenous Women at the Forefront of Transformational Change

    - Inter Press Service

    UNITED NATIONS, Aug 08 (IPS) - The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoplescommemorated annually on August 9, is a day to celebrate the many contributions of the 476 million Indigenous peoples worldwide.

  10. Giraffes, parrots, and oak trees, among many species facing extinction

    - UN News

    Around one million species are facing extinction, according to a report from IPBES, an independent intergovernmental science and policy body supported by the UN.

  11. More stories…

Health

  1. UN's Education Summit: An Opportunity to Create a Bottom-Up Global Governance

    - Inter Press Service

    KATHMANDU, Nepal, Aug 10 (IPS) - The upcoming summit on Education, part of the UN Secretary General’s ambitious agenda, can truly bring accountability and participation to the inevitably new ways education will be imparted in the future.

  2. WHO calls for optimizing brain health to benefit people and society

    - UN News

    At some point in their life, one in three people will develop some type of neurological disorder – the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of death, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday, launching its first-ever position paper on optimizing brain health across the entire life span.

  3. More breathing devices needed for premature babies born in Ukraine

    - UN News

    The war in Ukraine is increasing the risks of premature births and causing babies to need more oxygen, the spokesperson for a UN-backed global health initiative told the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday in Geneva. 

  4. Heat, drought and wildfires during one of the warmest Julys on record– WMO

    - UN News

    Amidst extreme heat, drought and wildfires, many parts of the world had just experienced one of three warmest Julys on record, the UN weather agency said on Tuesday.

  5. April Fool’s Inflation Medicine Threatens Progress

    - Inter Press Service

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 09 (IPS) - The world economy is on the brink of outright recession, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Ukraine war and sanctions have scuttled recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  6. ILO calls for adequate workers conditions during extreme heat in Iraq

    - UN News

    The UN labour agency, ILO, says it is becoming increasingly concerned about working conditions in Iraq, where temperatures have soared to 50 degrees Celsius in recent weeks.

  7. Sri Lanka: UNFPA appeals for $10.7 million for ‘critical’ women’s healthcare

    - UN News

    The UN sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA, is leading efforts to protect women and girls’ rights to give birth safely and live without gender-based violence, according to a statement issued on Monday.

  8. Bringing Specialist Telemedicine to Children of Rural Kenya

    - Inter Press Service

    Nairobi, Aug 08 (IPS) - New telemedicine technology, Daktari Smart, aims to mitigate the gap between child patients and medical specialists in rural Kenya.

  9. Nuclear technology helps Mexico eradicate invasive insect pest

    - UN News

    One of the most devastating insect pests infesting fruits and vegetables in Mexico has been eradicated in the state of Colima, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

  10. Somalia: ‘We cannot wait for famine to be declared; we must act now’

    - UN News

    Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Young workers have been hit hardest by COVID fallout, says UN labour agency

    - UN News

    The number of young people globally who can’t find a job this year is set to reach 73 million – that’s a full six million more than before COVID-19 – the UN labour agency said on Thursday.

  2. UN trade body calls for halting cryptocurrency rise in developing countries

    - UN News

    The UN trade and development body, UNCTAD, has called for action to curb cryptocurrencies in developing nations, in three policy briefs published on Wednesday. 

  3. April Fool’s Inflation Medicine Threatens Progress

    - Inter Press Service

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 09 (IPS) - The world economy is on the brink of outright recession, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Ukraine war and sanctions have scuttled recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  4. Indigenous Women at the Forefront of Transformational Change

    - Inter Press Service

    UNITED NATIONS, Aug 08 (IPS) - The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoplescommemorated annually on August 9, is a day to celebrate the many contributions of the 476 million Indigenous peoples worldwide.

  5. From the Field: Outreach across the Horn of Africa

    - UN News

    In July, a UN human rights officer embarked on an outreach visit to the Horn of Africa’s Sool and Sanaag regions, a seven-day round-trip of more than 1,600 kilometres by road.

  6. First Person: The honey business owner creating a buzz in northern Uganda

    - UN News

    Sam Aderubo started his company, Honey Pride, in Arua, northern Uganda, in order to make a positive impact on his community. With support from the UN, the business is taking off, providing work for hundreds of local beekeepers, many of whom are marginalized women and youth.

  7. The Plastic Crisis Has Deep Corporate Roots: To Protect Our Planet, They Need To Be Exposed

    - Inter Press Service

    Aug 05 (IPS) - This spring, I taught a new undergraduate course in environmental sociology. Most of my students took the course because they were curious to see what their desire to live more sustainably had to do with sociology.

  8. Researchers Embrace Artificial Intelligence to Tackle Banana Disease in Burundi

    - Inter Press Service

    KIGALI, Aug 05 (IPS) - A group of scientists involved in finding solutions to minimize the impact of a devastating banana virus in Burundi have developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool for monitoring the disease.

  9. More lifesaving grain shipments authorized to leave Ukraine

    - UN News

    Three more ships have been given the green light to leave Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on Friday, carrying just over 58,000 tons of corn, in a move that will raise hopes further for the success of a UN initiative aimed at lowering prices of essential foods and easing the global crisis.

  10. UNFPA global innovation awards: 10 projects that will change lives of women and girls

    - UN News

    The UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA, has announced the ten winners of its first ever Joint Innovation Challenge; a cutting edge competition to provide funding for social enterprises with innovative solutions that advance the empowerment of women and girls worldwide.

  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.

More updates

Most Popular

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