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. Video: Roraima in Search of Safe and Sustainable Energy Autonomy

    - Inter Press Service

    BOA VISTA, Brazil, Feb 06 (IPS) - Roraima, the northernmost state of Brazil, on the border with Guyana and Venezuela, is undergoing an energy transition that points to the dilemmas and possible solutions for a safe and sustainable supply of electricity in the Amazon rainforest.

  2. Australia Leads Against Large Multinational Corporations Tax Dodging

    - Inter Press Service

    MELBOURNE and SYDNEY, Feb 06 (IPS) - Australia is set to become the first country or jurisdiction to require large multinational corporations (MNCs), with a global consolidated income of at least AU$1 billion, to publicly report country-by-country (CbC) tax information. The new Labor Government announced on 25 October, 2022 in its budget paper that MNC’s public CbC tax reporting will begin from 1 July, 2023. Australia’s public CbC reporting rules will apply to all companies headquartered in Australia and companies headquartered elsewhere with sufficient nexus in the country.

  3. Sleepwalking into Escalation

    - Inter Press Service

    HAMBURG, Germany, Feb 06 (IPS) - The decision of Germany and other NATO states to supply modern battle tanks and other armoured infantry vehicles to Ukraine takes the West’s involvement in the war to a new level.

  4. Race to Prosperity as Least Developed Countries Top Agenda at UN Conference

    - Inter Press Service

    UNITED NATIONS & NAIROBI, Feb 06 (IPS) - It is a race against time to form a new global partnership to secure a better future for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable nations by 2030 in line with the UN’s SDGs. All 46 countries classified as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are pressed for time in a bid to deliver critical development goals.

  5. China: Tibetan children forced to assimilate, independent rights experts fear

    - UN News

    Roughly one million Tibetan minority children in China have been separated from their families and placed into Government-run boarding schools, forcing their assimilation into the dominant culture, three independent UN human rights experts said on Monday. 

  6. UN human rights chief calls on Mali to reverse ‘regrettable’ expulsion order

    - UN News

    The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Monday called on Malian authorities to rescind their expulsion order for his top representative in the country.

  7. ‘Put people first’ in drive to realize Sustainable Development Goals

    - UN News

    Addressing the opening of the Commission for Social Development’s latest sessionthe president of the UN Economic and Social Council on Monday said it was imperative to put people first, if the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be realized by the 2030 deadline.

  8. ‘Act decisively before it is too late’, Guterres warns countries, laying out his priorities for 2023

    - UN News

    Time is running out as the world inches closer to meltdown and countries must change course before it is too late, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned on Monday, presenting his priorities for the year. 

  9. UN relief chief tells Security Council ‘we can do better’ in Ukraine

    - UN News

    The UN’s humanitarian affairs chief warned the Security Council on Monday that efforts must improve to reach nearly 18 million in need in war-torn Ukraine, since Russia’s full-scale invasion last year.

  10. Around 4.2 million girls at risk for Female Genital Mutilation says Guterres, stressing men must also speak out

    - UN News

    Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM, is an “abhorrent violation of fundamental human rights” said the UN Secretary-General on Monday, marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance against the scourge, which remains a threat for a staggering 4.2 million girls this year.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Video: Roraima in Search of Safe and Sustainable Energy Autonomy

    - Inter Press Service

    BOA VISTA, Brazil, Feb 06 (IPS) - Roraima, the northernmost state of Brazil, on the border with Guyana and Venezuela, is undergoing an energy transition that points to the dilemmas and possible solutions for a safe and sustainable supply of electricity in the Amazon rainforest.

  2. Global Leaders Urge Participation in High-Level Financing Conference to Fund Education for 222 Million Crisis-Impacted Children

    - Inter Press Service

    NAIROBI, Feb 03 (IPS) - The world is in the throng of a monumental, damaging, and unprecedented global education crisis. Wars, protracted conflict, extreme climate changes, hunger, COVID-19, and economic uncertainties are pushing children out of the education system.

  3. Revive and restore wetlands, home to 40 per cent of all biodiversity

    - UN News

    Although coastal and freshwater wetlands – such as swamps, mangroves and marshes - contain 40 per cent of all plant and animal species, many are polluted or degraded due to climate change and human development. 

  4. Climate change: WMO unveils plans for sustainable monitoring of greenhouse gases

    - UN News

    A UN-led plan to tackle climate change by radically improving the way heat-trapping atmospheric pollutants are measured all over the planet, is being given serious consideration by governments and the international scientific community, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Wednesday.

  5. Overcoming the Currency Mismatch to Finance Clean Energy in Developing Countries

    - Inter Press Service

    WASHINGTON DC, Jan 31 (IPS) - Meeting our climate change goals will require massive investments in clean energy projects, in both advanced economies and across the Global South.  But financing projects in the latter group of countries requires an increase in foreign capital inflows that will be constrained by currency exchange rate risk. Creating an innovative Exchange Rate Coverage Facility can help to overcome this constraint.

  6. Environmental Accountability, Justice & Reconstruction in Russian War on Ukraine

    - Inter Press Service

    STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan 31 (IPS) - Next month (February 24) will mark one year since Russia began its full-scale war on Ukraine. This large-scale land invasion has had repercussions across the geopolitical, humanitarianfinancial, and even food and energy domains. It has also had devastating ecological impacts.

  7. Management of Protected Areas Is a Latin American Priority for 2023

    - Inter Press Service

    CARACAS, Jan 31 (IPS) - The environmental priority for South America in 2023 can be summed up in the management of its terrestrial and marine protected areas, together with the challenges of the extractivist economy and the transition to a green economy with priority attention to the most vulnerable populations.

  8. The Value of Insects: Why We Must Act Now to Protect Them

    - Inter Press Service

    URBANA, Illinois, USA, Jan 27 (IPS) - Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture granted a conditional license for the first-ever honeybee vaccine. This is an exciting step that will protect bees from American foulbrood disease and ultimately help to stop the alarming decline in their numbers.

  9. Climate crisis and migration: Greta Thunberg supports IOM over ‘life and death’ issue

    - UN News

    The head of the UN migration agency IOM, and leading climate justice activist, Greta Thunberg, called on Friday for immediate action to help tackle the impacts of climate change on those forced to flee their homes, or leaving in search of a better life.

  10. As the Climate Crisis Bites, Soil Needs Doctors Too

    - Inter Press Service

    ROME, Jan 26 (IPS) - In a wiser world, the term ‘treating someone like dirt’ would be a good thing. After all, 15 of the 18 nutrients essential to plants are supplied by soils and around 95% of the food we eat comes directly or indirectly from them, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

    So dirt is actually a precious resource that deserves to be treated with respect, care and perhaps even a little love.

  11. More stories…

Health

  1. WHO launches bid to tackle inequalities behind global breast cancer threat

    - UN News

    A UN-led global initiative to tackle breast cancer could save 2.5 million lives by 2040, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Fridayjust ahead of World Cancer Day.

  2. African leaders commit to end AIDS among children by 2030

    - UN News

    UN agencies have welcomed a pledge by 12 African countries to end AIDS in children by 2030, announced on Wednesday at a meeting in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. 

  3. Senior UN Leaders Show Their Support to Afghan Women and Girls, Urge Taliban to Reverse Their Bans

    - Inter Press Service

    UNITED NATIONS, Jan 31 (IPS) - Recent visits to Afghanistan by senior-led UN delegations underscore the urgency to protect the rights of women and girls, including their access to humanitarian aid and their right to work.

  4. “I Was Blind, But Now I See” – Celebrating Malawi’s Progress on World NTD Day

    - Inter Press Service

    LILONGWE, Jan 30 (IPS) - “I was blind, but now I see.” This is what Vainesi, from Salima District in Central Malawi, said after surgery to treat trachoma. A mother of three, Vainesi had been unable to work or provide for her family once the disease began to affect her eyesight.

  5. Tedros: COVID-19 remains an international health threat

    - UN News

    The head of the UN health agency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Monday that COVID-19 is still a global health threat and that now is not the time to declare the pandemic over.

  6. WHO calls for more action to end ‘cycles of poverty and stigma’ related to tropical diseases

    - UN News

    More countries have worked to eliminate dengue, leprosy and other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) over the past decade, but greater efforts and investment are needed in the face of pandemic-related disruptions, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday. 

  7. Destruction of Ukraine's Healthcare Facilities Violates International Humanitarian Law

    - Inter Press Service

    BRATISLAVA, Jan 27 (IPS) - While recent reports highlight the growing list of human rights abuses and war crimes committed by Russian troops in Ukraine, new research has laid bare the massive scale of arguably Russia’s most systematic and deadly campaign of rights violations in the country – the targeting and almost complete destruction of healthcare facilities.

  8. New Business Technology Transfer Provides Benefits for African Pharmaceutical Industry

    - Inter Press Service

    KIGALI, Jan 25 (IPS) - A few months after German biotechnology company BioNTech announced the establishment of the first-ever local vaccine manufacturing in Rwanda, experts believe the successful implementation of such initiatives across the continent will require countries to acquire know-how while encouraging potential industrial partners in the pharmaceutical industry.

  9. Digital Politics: Disconnected Citizens Are Kept Away from Opportunities

    - Inter Press Service

    BRUSSELS, Jan 25 (IPS) - In 2022, Saudi Arabia “quietly” sentenced Salma al-Shehab to 34 years in prison over her Twitter activity, marking the longest Saudi sentence ever for a peaceful activist. Fast forward and award-winning Ugandan author Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was charged with two counts of "offensive communication" after making unflattering remarks about the president and his son on Twitter. The message is clear: your well-crafted 280 characters can land you in jail.

  10. Pope, Sasakawa in Global Appeal for a Leprosy Free World

    - Inter Press Service

    NAIROBI, Jan 24 (IPS) - In the four years preceding the COVID-19 pandemic, the spread of leprosy or Hansen’s disease, seemed to be losing steam. Between 2016 and early 2020, new case numbers remained more or less constant.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Australia Leads Against Large Multinational Corporations Tax Dodging

    - Inter Press Service

    MELBOURNE and SYDNEY, Feb 06 (IPS) - Australia is set to become the first country or jurisdiction to require large multinational corporations (MNCs), with a global consolidated income of at least AU$1 billion, to publicly report country-by-country (CbC) tax information. The new Labor Government announced on 25 October, 2022 in its budget paper that MNC’s public CbC tax reporting will begin from 1 July, 2023. Australia’s public CbC reporting rules will apply to all companies headquartered in Australia and companies headquartered elsewhere with sufficient nexus in the country.

  2. ‘Put people first’ in drive to realize Sustainable Development Goals

    - UN News

    Addressing the opening of the Commission for Social Development’s latest sessionthe president of the UN Economic and Social Council on Monday said it was imperative to put people first, if the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be realized by the 2030 deadline.

  3. Peru's Democracy at a Crossroads

    - Inter Press Service

    MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, Feb 02 (IPS) - On 25 January, roughly six weeks after being sworn in following her predecessor’s removal, Peruvian president Dina Boluarte finally recognised that elections were the only way out of political crisis. Elections were rescheduled for April 2024, much earlier than the end of the presidential term she’s been tasked with completing, but not soon enough for thousands who’ve taken to the streets demanding her immediate resignation.

  4. US Policies Slowing World Economy

    - Inter Press Service

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Feb 02 (IPS) - Few policymakers ever claim credit for causing stagnation and recessions. Yet, they do so all the time, justifying their actions by some supposedly higher purpose.

  5. Management of Protected Areas Is a Latin American Priority for 2023

    - Inter Press Service

    CARACAS, Jan 31 (IPS) - The environmental priority for South America in 2023 can be summed up in the management of its terrestrial and marine protected areas, together with the challenges of the extractivist economy and the transition to a green economy with priority attention to the most vulnerable populations.

  6. Global growth will be weak in 2023 before rebounding next year: IMF

    - UN News

    The global economy is set to slow down this year before bouncing back in 2024, a senior official with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said, citing China’s sudden re-opening following the end of its “zero-COVID” policy, and a mild winter, in Europe as factors. 

  7. Eight trends that will impact children in 2023

    - UN News

    A series of interconnected crises are expected to have a huge impact on children in 2023. A report from the UN children’s agency (UNICEF), released on Tuesday, details the trends that will shape their lives over the next 12 months.

  8. The Year of Debt Distress and Damaging Development Trade-Off

    - Inter Press Service

    SYDNEY, Jan 27 (IPS) - As the year 2022 drew to an end, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warned, “Developing countries face ‘impossible trade-off’ on debt”, that spiralling debt in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) has compromised their chances of sustainable development.

  9. Solar Energy Useless Without Good Batteries in Brazils Amazon Jungle

    - Inter Press Service

    BOA VISTA, Brazil, Jan 25 (IPS) - “Our electric power is of bad quality, it ruins electrical appliances,” complained Jesus Mota, 63. “In other places it works well, not here. Just because we are indigenous,” protested his wife, Adélia Augusto da Silva, of the same age.

  10. India Can Use The G20 to Fight Corruption and Reduce Global Inequalities

    - Inter Press Service

    Sanjeeta Pant, Jan 25 (IPS) - The G20 India Presidency is marked by unprecedented geopolitical, environmental, and economic crises. Rising inflation threatens to erase decades of economic development and push more people into poverty. Violent extremism is also on the rise as a result of increasing global inequality, and the rule of law is in decline everywhere. All of these challenges impact the G20's goal of realizing a faster and more equitable post-pandemic economic recovery.

    But as India prioritizes its agenda for 2023, it is corruption that is at the heart of all of these other problems- and which poses the greatest threat to worldwide peace and prosperity.

  11. More stories…

More news by World, Economy, Environment, Geopolitics, Health, Human Rights, More news topics

World news powered by Inter Press Service International News Agency and UN News

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