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 |

Yet Another Scourge: A Third of All Women are Subjected to Violence

Thirty percent of women and girls suffered physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner. And more than 70 percent of all sold, bought and enslaved victims of human smuggling and trafficking are women and girls -- three out of four of them are sexually exploited.

‘The Brutal Death of a Child’s Dream’

Kailash Satyarthi,  an Indian social reformer and co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Malala Yousafzai, spoke in a recent international forum about the devastating impacts of child labour.

1 in 2 Humans Cannot Celebrate World Toilet Day – This Is Why

Did you know that half of the world's population do not have toilets? And that, globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces? And that every day, over 700 children under five years old die from diarrhoea linked to unsafe water, sanitation and poor hygiene?

Politicians Subsidise Fossil Fuel with Six Trillion Dollars in Just One Year

It sounds incredible: while politicians have been cackling about the climate emergency and profiling in empty promises to halt it, they have spent six trillion US dollars from taxpayers' money to subsidise fossil fuels in just one year: 2020. And they are set to increase the figure to nearly seven trillion by 2025.

Antibiotics? Handle with Care

Antibiotics, like other antimicrobials, have become a threat to health rather than healing it. Why? Because their misuse and overuse have created such a strong resistance that they no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. Much so that antimicrobial resistance is now considered among the top 10 global public threats facing humanity.

Half World’s Population, Exposed to Floods, Storms, Tsunamis, by 2030

While negotiators from all over the world have been discussing, since 31 October 2021 in Glasgow, every single word, coma and dot in order to reach a final text that is expected to apparently keep everyone happy but really not everybody satisfied, 50% of world’s population will live in coastal areas, exposed to floods, storms and tsunamis by the year 2030.

Daughters of a Lesser God (II) 200 Million Girls Mutilated

While male circumcision is spread mainly among Muslim and other religious communities, and it is apparently accepted by some medical spheres, more than 200 million girls have already fallen prey to a dangerous, abhorrent practice, which is carried out in the name of social and religious traditions: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Daughters of a Lesser God (I) 800 Million Girls Forced to Be Mothers

Imagine your child, your daughter, being genitally mutilated and, further on, sold or even handed over for free to an older man who will force her to become a child mother, when her body is still far from being formed and thus able to bear with a so early pregnancy.

Any End to This Suicidal War? (II): More Lethal Gases and Fewer, Weaker Sinks

Another Year Another Record! The emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise, the land and sea temperatures are higher than ever since there are records, and the ecosystems could fail their role as vital sinks absorbing carbon dioxide and as a buffer against larger temperature increases.

Any End to This Suicidal War? (I) The Destruction of the Web of Life

Can yet another dispendious world gathering find a way to halt the ongoing suicidal war on Nature, which is leading to the destruction of all sources of life?

Disarmament Week? But Hundreds of Nukes Can Be Launched Within Minutes

Hadn't it been so worrisome, it would be ironic to hear that humanity is to mark the World Disarmament Week (Oct 24 to 30, 2021) barely six months after learning that the world’s biggest military powers had spent last year some 2,000,000,000,000 US dollars on killing machines.

Grabbed

“Imagine that the land your family has worked for generations is suddenly stripped away from you, purchased by wealthy companies or governments to produce food or bio-fuels or simply as a profitable investment for other people, often far away. You watch on helplessly as vast tracts of land are cleared for mono-culture crops and rivers are polluted with run-off and chemicals.”

Climate Change: How 1.3 Billion Africans Cause Least But Suffer Most

While Africa reportedly causes just 4 percent of global emissions of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) —an acidic colourless gas with a density about 53% higher than that of dry air, causing climate change—, this vast continent, home to over 1.3 billion inhabitants in 52 countries, bears the heaviest brunt of 80 percent of the climate crisis destructive impacts.

What Fate for Three Billion of Humans Who Are Born Equals?

While more than a third of all purchased food is wasted in rich, mostly Western States, and a similar percentage is lost in poor countries due to the lack of appropriate harvesting, storage and transportation facilities, over three billion people --or some 40 percent of world population-- cannot afford a healthy diet. Add to these figures --which were released by UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 16 October this year, marking the World Food Day-- another dramatic fact.

Today’s Menu: Pesticide Salad, Leaded Fish with Plastic, Chemical Fruit

In case you were not aware or just do not remember: all you eat, drink, breathe, wear, take as a medicine, the cosmetics you use, the walls of your house, among others, is full of chemicals. And all is really ALL.

The Immense Cost 200 Million Migrant Workers Pay to Rescue their Families

Straight to the point: while right and far-right politicians keep marketing their image with intensive campaigns of hatred, discrimination and stigmatisation against migrants, 200 million migrant workers worldwide will sacrifice over half a trillion dollars from their hard-earned money, to rescue 800 million members of their impoverished families. And that’s only this year 2019.

The Implacable Desertification of Planet Earth

Yet another under-reported human-made disaster: the relentless desertification of Planet Earth that may make uninhabitable some regions like the Middle East, endanger food security, aggravate climate crisis, and force more and more millions of people to flee.

Watch Out: Your Money Is Being Used to Destroy the World!

Perhaps the most direct way to introduce this tough issue is what the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, stated just one week ahead of the 5 June World Environment Day, which focuses this year on air pollution, caused chiefly by the use of fossil fuels both in transport, industry and even household cooking, heating, etc.

Lost in Globalisation

Do not panic! This is not about telling you how bank accounts and pension funds have been used to finance the production of nuclear bombs (they call it ‘investment’).

These Aliens Are Here to Stay (And They Are Dangerous)

No, no, no. Nothing to do with what US and Europe’s far-right fanatics now use to vociferate, saying once and again that “migrants come here to destroy our democracy, our civilisation, and our life-style”.

Long Life to Their Majesties, the Bees!

Amazingly organised social communities, bees ensure food chain. ‘Bee’ grateful to them… at least on their World Day!

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