Stories written by Baher Kamal
Baher Kamal is Senior Advisor to IPS Director General on Africa & the Middle East. He is an Egyptian-born, Spanish-national, secular journalist, with over 43 years of experience. Since the late 70s, he specialised in all development related issues, as well as international politics. He also worked as Senior Information Expert for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership at the European Commission in Brussels, and as the first-ever Information Officer and Spokesperson at UNEP’s Mediterranean Action Plan in Athens. Kamal speaks Spanish, Arabic, English and Italian. | Twitter |

Every Year 700 Million People Fall Ill from Contaminated Food

It may sound like an endless tale of modern seven plagues: mad cows, avian flu, led-poisoned fish, swine fever, desert locusts being the most dangerous of migratory pests, let alone new, aggressive rust threatening entire wheat crops in three continents, just to mention a few. Now it is about contaminated food that every year causes illness to 1 in 10 people around the world – or around 700 million - killing 420,000 people as a result.

A Dire Vacuum in a World in Crisis

“The world is in a crisis, not least because governing élites have estranged themselves from the needs and aspirations of ordinary people. This sense of being left behind has lead the latter to rebel against their country’s stratified governance,” warns a Geneva-based human rights and dialogue centre.

Indigenous Peoples Lands Guard 80 Per Cent of World’s Biodiversity

They are more than 370 million self-identified peoples in some 70 countries around the world. In Latin America alone there are over 400 groups, each with a distinct language and culture, though the biggest concentration is in Asia and the Pacific– with an estimated 70 per cent. And their traditional lands guard over 80 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity.

IFAD 2017 – It’s Women’s Turn in Rural Development

Josefina Stubbs, from the Dominican Republic, may become the first woman to preside over the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty.

World’s 40,000 MP’s Must Enjoy Their Rights – But Are They?

“Members of Parliament must be free to enjoy their human rights. If not, how can they defend and promote the rights of those who elected them? Yet, around the world vocal parliamentarians find themselves under threat. The 40,000-strong community of parliamentarians includes many men and women who have risked careers and even their lives to express their beliefs.”

Want to Prevent Stroke, Diabetes, Cancer? Get Moving… Now!

Tired, lazy, bored, laying down long hours watching TV or seated checking your email? Wrong. And dangerous: not enough exercise contributes to cancer, diabetes, depression and other non-communicable diseases.

Trump to Pull Out of the UN, Expel It from the US?

So far, Donald Trump’s first decisions as president of the United States have left no doubt that he intends to implement his electoral threats, while most likely not fulfilling the promises he made as a candidate.

Inequality (III): Less Employment… and More ‘Junk’ Jobs

While just eight men are enjoying their huge wealth, equivalent to that of half the world, new forecasts project darker shadows by predicting rising unemployment rates, more precarious jobs and worsening social inequality. To start with, there will be more than 1.4 billion people employed in vulnerable working conditions.

Inequality (II): “It Will Take 170 Years for Women to Be Paid as Men Are”

While just eight individuals, all of them men, own the same wealth as 3.6 billion people -- half of world’s total population -- it will take 170 years for women to be paid the same as men, warns a new major report on inequality.

Inequality (I): Half of World’s Wealth, in the Pockets of Just Eight Men

Just eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a major new report by an international confederation of 19 organisations working in more than 90 countries.

Is Cash Aid to the Poor Wasted on Tobacco and Alcohol?

Not at all. Or at least not necessarily. The fact is that cash transfer programmes –regular money payments to poor households—are meant to reduce poverty, promote sustainable livelihoods and increase production in the developing world. One in four countries on Earth are applying them. But are they effective?

When Your Healers Become Your Killers

There is a major though silent global threat to human and animal health, with implications for both food safety and food security and the economic well-being of millions of farming households. It is so-called anti-microbial resistance.

Trump, the Banks and the Bomb

When pro-nuclear disarmament organisations last October cheered the United Nations decision to start in 2017 negotiations on a global treaty banning these weapons, they probably did not expect that shortly after the US would elect Republican businessman Donald Trump as their 45th president. Much less that he would rush to advocate for increasing the US nuclear power.

Poor Darwin – Robots, Not Nature, Now Make the Selection

When British naturalist Charles Darwin published in 1859 his theory of evolution in his work On the Origin of Species, he most likely did not expect that robots, not nature, would someday be in charge of the selection process.

“Bonn Has Become an Insider Tip on the International Stage”

With around 320,000 inhabitants on 141 square kilometres, no other relatively small city has played such a historically critical role like the City of Bonn.

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