Today, around 21,000 children died around the world. This daily tragedy, from poverty and other preventable causes, rarely makes headline news.

Latest World News

World

  1. A Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework Aims at Reinforcing Efforts to Save World’s Ecosystem

    Thursday, February 20, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 20 (IPS) - The UN's highly-touted socio-economic agenda, which lays out an ambitious global plan for "people, planet and prosperity", has been dominated by "goals, targets and deadlines."

  2. Generation Equality: Four Ways to Accelerate Progress

    Thursday, February 20, 2020

    NAIROBI, Feb 20 (IPS) - The global gender community will meet in New York in March to review progress on gender equality and women's empowerment in the 25 years since the Beijing declaration. The theme for this year's Commission on the Status of Women gathering is Generation Equality, emphasizing how the current generation must close the gender gap. 

  3. Fiscal Policies For Women’s Economic Empowerment

    Thursday, February 20, 2020

    WASHINGTON DC, Feb 20 (IPS) - International Monetary Fund (IMF) Making sure that opportunities to enter the workforce are fair and rewarding for women benefits everyone. Yet, the average female workforce participation rate across countries is still 20 percentage points lower than the male rate, largely because gender gaps in wages and access to opportunities, such as education, stubbornly persist.

  4. What Future for the Rohingyas after the ICJ Ruling?

    Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    ROME, Feb 19 (IPS) - In a groundbreaking ruling in January 2020, the International Court of Justice demanded that Myanmar halt all measures that contribute to the genocide of the Rohingya community.

  5. Popular Pakistani Singer Pushes for Corporal Punishment be Made a Crime

    Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    ISLAMABAD, Feb 19 (IPS) - "He struck his head, his side, his stomach and went on hitting him. When Hunain said he could not breathe, the teacher slammed him against the wall, saying, 'Being dramatic are we?'" This is the eye witness account from the classmate of 17-year-old Pakistani student, Hunain Bilal, who was allegedly beaten to death by his teacher after he failed to memorise his lessons.

  6. U.S. President’s Global Gag Rule is Having Negative Impact on the Health of Malawians: Report

    Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 19 (IPS) - A report released last week has detailed the complex ways in which President Donald Trump's ‘Global Gag Rule' (GGR), that blocks U.S. global health assistance to foreign non-governmental facilities providing abortion or abortion-related services, is affecting the population in Malawi, a country already hard hit with numerous climate change disasters. 

  7. How Nigeria’s Police used Telecom Surveillance to Lure & Arrest Journalists

    Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    NEW YORK, Feb 19 (IPS) - As reporters for Nigeria's Premium Times newspaper, Samuel Ogundipe and Azeezat Adedigba told CPJ they spoke often over the phone. They had no idea that their regular conversations about work and their personal lives were creating a record of their friendship.

  8. As Planet Burns, One Million Species in World’s Eco-System in Danger of Extinction

    Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 18 (IPS) - When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the 193-member General Assembly last December, he focused on the smoldering climate crisis-- pointing out that the last five years have been the hottest ever recorded.

  9. Will Zimbabwe Allow Freedom of Airwaves and Freedom of Speech too?

    Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Feb 18 (IPS) - Zimbabwe is making fresh commitments to open up its airwaves with government promising to issue licences to private television and community radio stations before the end of the year.

  10. Global Economy Still Slowing, Dangerously Vulnerable

    Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 (IPS) - In an annual ritual early in the year, most major economic organizations have released forecasts for the global economy in 2020. Incredibly, almost as a reminder of where financial power resides in this day and age, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its forecasts at the World Economic Forum's 50th annual meeting in Davos.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Global Economy Still Slowing, Dangerously Vulnerable

    Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 (IPS) - In an annual ritual early in the year, most major economic organizations have released forecasts for the global economy in 2020. Incredibly, almost as a reminder of where financial power resides in this day and age, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its forecasts at the World Economic Forum's 50th annual meeting in Davos.

  2. Tackling Climate Change and Preserving the Water Body: A Bangladeshi Perspective

    Monday, February 17, 2020

    NEW YORK, Feb 17 (IPS) - For any riverine country, the state of the water body around big cities and conditions of major rivers hold a leadership position in the overall climate effects and how the water body is protected and preserved impacts the entire economy and living standards of that country.

  3. Why Trade in Services Matters for Development and Inclusiveness in Africa

    Monday, February 17, 2020

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 17 (IPS) - The rise of the services economy around the world represents a profound transformation that offers significant opportunities for countries' sustainable development strategies.

  4. From Cocoa to Chocolate, With Love from Africa

    Friday, February 14, 2020

    BULAWAYO, Feb 14 (IPS) - It produces 70 percent of the world's cocoa and yet Africa has very little hand in making the final product - chocolate. But one producer in Sao Tome and Principe is on a drive to become a global brand for African chocolate.

    A premium chocolate maker in São Tomé and Príncipe is on a drive to promote the taste for "made in Africa" chocolate, and tap into a $100 billion global indulgence associated with Valentine's Day.

  5. Are Economic Systems Sexist?

    Wednesday, February 12, 2020

    DELHI, India, Feb 12 (IPS) - Women's unpaid care work is the hidden engine that keeps the wheels of our economies, businesses, and societies moving, yet it is not accounted for.

  6. Intellectual Property Raises Costs of Living

    Tuesday, February 11, 2020

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Feb 11 (IPS) - Many medicines and medical tests are unaffordable to most of humanity owing to the ability of typically transnational pharmaceutical giants to abuse their monopoly powers, enforced by intellectual property laws, to set prices to maximize profits over the long-term.

  7. Inequalities in Human Development in the 21st Century

    Tuesday, February 11, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 11 (IPS) - Inequalities. The evidence is everywhere. And although they may be hard to measure and summarize, there is a sense in many countries that many are approaching a precipice beyond which it will be difficult to recover.

  8. Synergy with Hydropower Plants Boosts Biogas Production in Brazil

    Monday, February 10, 2020

    FOZ DO IGUAÇU, Brail, Feb 10 (IPS) - Fomenting biogas production among agricultural producers may seem at first glance to be a distraction from the purpose of Itaipu, the giant hydroelectric power plant shared by Brazil and Paraguay, but in fact it is part of their energy business strategy.

  9. Pulses for a Sustainable Future

    Monday, February 10, 2020

    ROME, Feb 10 (IPS) - Reducing poverty and inequalities, eliminating hunger and all forms of malnutrition and achieve food insecurity for all – these are some of the most important objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Still, the rate of poverty and inequalities is increasing and over 820 million people are going hungry. In addition, 2 billion people in the world are food insecure with great risk of malnutrition and poor health.

    This alarming situation is further aggravated by current trends such as the rate of population growth, impacts of climate change, loss of biodiversity, soil degradation and many others.

    Transition to more sustainable food systems can provide adequate solutions to all these challenges.

  10. Strengthening Caribbean Regional Integration

    Friday, February 07, 2020

    WASHINGTON DC, Feb 07 (IPS) - The Caribbean economies have long recognized the value of working together. Improving regional integration—for instance, through more intraregional trade and policy coordination—can help the region's small-size economies build greater resilience and scale, as well as enhance bargaining power on the global stage.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. A Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework Aims at Reinforcing Efforts to Save World’s Ecosystem

    Thursday, February 20, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 20 (IPS) - The UN's highly-touted socio-economic agenda, which lays out an ambitious global plan for "people, planet and prosperity", has been dominated by "goals, targets and deadlines."

  2. As Planet Burns, One Million Species in World’s Eco-System in Danger of Extinction

    Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 18 (IPS) - When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the 193-member General Assembly last December, he focused on the smoldering climate crisis-- pointing out that the last five years have been the hottest ever recorded.

  3. Biodiversity & Agriculture: Nature’s Matrix & Future of Conservation

    Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    OAKLAND, California, Feb 18 (IPS) - When we were children, a long auto trip would require a stop every hour or so to clean the windshield of the insects that had been intercepted.

  4. Tackling Climate Change and Preserving the Water Body: A Bangladeshi Perspective

    Monday, February 17, 2020

    NEW YORK, Feb 17 (IPS) - For any riverine country, the state of the water body around big cities and conditions of major rivers hold a leadership position in the overall climate effects and how the water body is protected and preserved impacts the entire economy and living standards of that country.

  5. That Mobile Game that’ll Generate Climate Solutions from Players Around the World

    Monday, February 17, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 17 (IPS) - The United Nations Development Programme is leading a climate change effort that might finally address concerns many advocates have: bridging the gap between people and governments. 

  6. Amplifying Voices of Climate Activists of Color

    Friday, February 14, 2020

    ILLINOIS, United States, Feb 14 (IPS) - Recently, the Associated Press cropped out Ugandan climate change activist Vanessa Nakate from a photo at the World Economic Forum. The remaining activists in the photo, including Greta Thunberg, were all white.

  7. Inequalities in Human Development in the 21st Century

    Tuesday, February 11, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 11 (IPS) - Inequalities. The evidence is everywhere. And although they may be hard to measure and summarize, there is a sense in many countries that many are approaching a precipice beyond which it will be difficult to recover.

  8. Synergy with Hydropower Plants Boosts Biogas Production in Brazil

    Monday, February 10, 2020

    FOZ DO IGUAÇU, Brail, Feb 10 (IPS) - Fomenting biogas production among agricultural producers may seem at first glance to be a distraction from the purpose of Itaipu, the giant hydroelectric power plant shared by Brazil and Paraguay, but in fact it is part of their energy business strategy.

  9. How Encroachments, Willows and Silt Ate up Half of Kashmir’s Own Sea

    Monday, February 10, 2020

    BANDIPORA, India, Feb 10 (IPS) - Warming himself with a kangri (a firepot) kept under his pheran (a long winter cloak worn by Kashmiris), 66-year-old Mohammad Subhan Dar sat chatting with a bunch of his fellow villagers on a January afternoon on the edge of the road overlooking Wular Lake in Saderkote-Bandipora, northern India.

  10. Pulses for a Sustainable Future

    Monday, February 10, 2020

    ROME, Feb 10 (IPS) - Reducing poverty and inequalities, eliminating hunger and all forms of malnutrition and achieve food insecurity for all – these are some of the most important objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Still, the rate of poverty and inequalities is increasing and over 820 million people are going hungry. In addition, 2 billion people in the world are food insecure with great risk of malnutrition and poor health.

    This alarming situation is further aggravated by current trends such as the rate of population growth, impacts of climate change, loss of biodiversity, soil degradation and many others.

    Transition to more sustainable food systems can provide adequate solutions to all these challenges.

  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