Welcome to the global issues web site. This site presents numerous global issues, aiming to show how they are inter-related.

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

LONDON, Jan 22 (IPS) – As Iraq this month faces the threat of new conflicts including a proxy war between the US and Iran the shadow of the last conflict runs long.

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

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 22 (IPS) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared last week that the United Nations just managed to survive its deepest financial crisis in a decade.

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

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

ABUJA, Jan 21 (IPS) – Thecoronavirus outbreak– which began in Wuhan, China, and causes a pneumonia-like illness — is raging across Asia, infecting close to 300 people and killing four. It was initially known to be transmitted from animals to human, and was just confirmedto be transmitted from human to human.

Marlne Schiappa, Minister of State for Gender Equality and the Fight against Discrimination in France, attended the 25th year Regional Review Meeting of the Beijing Platform for Action for the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Region last month. She highlighted why this meeting is key for advancing the gender equality agenda and the priorities for the Generation Equality Forum in 2020, a global gathering for gender equality, convened by UN Women and co-chaired by France and Mexico.

MBABANE, Jan 21 (IPS) – When 14-year-old Nomcebo Mkhaliphi first noticed the blood discharged from her vagina, she was shocked. Confused, she turned to her older sisters for advice.

My sisters told me that they were experiencing the same every month and that they used fabric, toilet paper and newspapers as sanitary wear, recalls the now 45-year-old Mkhaliphi. She had to follow suit and use these materials because she had no money to buy sanitary pads.

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

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, Jan 20 (IPS) – The digital revolution arrived late at the heart of ministries of foreign affairs across the Western world. Ministries latched on to social media around the time of Tahrir Square and Irans 2009 Green Revolution, beguiled by a vision of the technology engendering a networked evolution toward more liberal societies.

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

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

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

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

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

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Jan 14 (IPS) – Many argue that Chinas impressive growth for last four decades has been due to deliberate exchange rate undervaluation, promoting exports and discouraging imports. Last year, the Trump administration accused China of engaging in currency manipulation.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13 (IPS) – One of the highlight activities as the United Nations commemorates its 75th anniversary this year will be the launch of an annual temperature check on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), progress. With only ten years left to the final whistle for the Goals, this activity that will take place each September will provide a snapshot of whats working, and where countries need more action.

GENEVA, Jan 09 (IPS) – Like his predecessors, United Nations Secretary-General Antnio Guterres has been pushing a reform program to help the organization adjust to the demands of contemporary global governance.

BANGKOK, Thailand, Jan 07 (IPS) – Imagine going through the day without consuming or using some product, service, data, technology, personal contact, or payment which has not at least in some part crossed one or more national borders before reaching you.

SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 07 (IPS) – The latest November2019 UBS/PwC Billionaires Reportcounted 2,101 billionaires globally, or 589 more than five years before. Earlier,Farhad Manjoohad seriously recommended, Abolish Billionaires, presenting a moral case against the super-rich as they have and get far, far more than what they might reasonably claim to deserve.

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

AHMEDABAD, India, Jan 17 (IPS) – Bijal Brahmbhatt is Director, Mahila Housing TrustAs global temperatures continue to rise, vulnerable populations around the world are facing increasinglycomplex climate risks withongoing droughts in Zimbabweandfloods devastating Indonesias capital, Jakarta.

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

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

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

ILLINOIS, United States, Jan 15 (IPS) – United Nations World Food Program recently released2020 Global Hotspots Report. According to the report, millions of citizens from Sub-Saharan African countries will face hunger in the first half of 2020 for several reasons including conflict, political instability and climate-related events such as below-average rainfall and flooding.

SYDNEY, Australia, Jan 14 (IPS) – The chatter of cockatoos and lorikeets has given way to an eerie silence in smoke enveloped charred landscapes across south-eastern Australia. The unrelenting bushfires have driven many native animal and plant species to the brink of extinction and made several fauna more vulnerable with vast swathes of their habitat incinerated.

SILVER SPRINGS, Maryland, Jan 13 (IPS) – Unprecedented. Hell on Earth. Catastrophic.

In Australia, these terms are being used to describe 17.9 million acres of burned land so far. While fires of this magnitude are certainly unprecedented, theyre far from unexpected.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13 (IPS) – One of the highlight activities as the United Nations commemorates its 75th anniversary this year will be the launch of an annual temperature check on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), progress. With only ten years left to the final whistle for the Goals, this activity that will take place each September will provide a snapshot of whats working, and where countries need more action.

SYDNEY, Australia, Jan 08 (IPS) – As natures fury wreaked havoc across Australia, reducing to ashes all that came in its way – people, flora, fauna, picturesque historic towns and villages once popular with local and overseas tourists it was unlike anything the country had witnessed before. The staggering scale and intensity of the devastation could best be summed up as apocalyptic.

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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.

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.

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 COP20Lima Climate Conference to learn more.

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.

In 1970, the worlds 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.

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.

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.

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.

Some of the bail-outs have also led to charges of hypocrisy due to the apparentsocializing 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 individuals mortgages, or clear out third world debt many times over. Even the high military spending figures are dwarfed by the bailout plans to date.

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

Poverty is the state for the majority of the worlds 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.

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.

Some of the bail-outs have also led to charges of hypocrisy due to the apparentsocializing 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 individuals mortgages, or clear out third world debt many times over. Even the high military spending figures are dwarfed by the bailout plans to date.

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

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.

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.

In 1970, the worlds 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.

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.

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 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.

The highest military spender is the US accounting for almost two-fifths of the worlds spending, more than the rest of the G7 (most economically advanced countries) combined, and more than all its potential enemies, combined.

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

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When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist. Dom Hlder Câmara