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 |

Indigenous Peoples – Best Allies or Worst Enemies?

It all happened on the very same day—4 April. That day, indigenous peoples were simultaneously characterised as fundamental allies in the world’s war on hunger and poverty, while being declared as collective victims of a “tsunami” of imprisonments in Australia. See what happened.

Middle East, Engulfed by a ‘Perfect Storm’

A perfect storm has engulfed the Middle East, and continues to threaten international peace and security.

Yemen, World’s Largest Humanitarian Crisis

With 18.8 million people –nearly 7 in 10 inhabitants-- in need of humanitarian aid, including 10.3 million requiring immediate assistance, Yemen is now the largest single-nation humanitarian crisis in the world, the United Nations informs while warning that the two-year war is rapidly pushing the country towards “social, economic and institutional collapse.“

ACP: One Billion People to Speak To Europe with One Voice

Seventy-nine countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, which are home to around one billon people, will speak with one voice as they prepare to negotiate a major partnership agreement with the European Union (500 million inhabitants) in May.

Did You Know that the Oceans Have It All?

Perhaps you are not aware enough of the fact the oceans have it all! What is “all”? Well, oceans have from microscopic life to the largest animal that has ever lived on Earth, from the colourless to the shimmering, from the frozen to the boiling and from the sunlit to the mysterious dark of the deepest parts of the planet. Who says that?

The Unbearable Cost of Drought in Africa

Nearly 50 per cent of all emergency multilateral food assistance to Africa is due to natural disasters, with advancing droughts significantly threatening both livelihoods and economic growth, warns the African Union through its ground-breaking extreme weather insurance mechanism designed to help the continent’s countries resist and recover from the ravages of drought.

Humanity and Social Justice, a Must for the Future of Work – Ryder

“The future of work must be inspired by considerations of humanity, of social justice and peace. If it is not, we are going to a dark place, we are going to a dangerous place,” said the head of the leading world body specialised on labour issues.

Work, What Future? Seven Big Questions Needing Urgent Response

Around the world, profound changes in the nature of work are underway, that’s clear. So it is a fact that the on-going transformations in the world of labour are disrupting the connection between work, personal development and community participation.

Plastic No More… Also in Kenya

Good news: Kenya has just joined the commitment of other 10 countries to address major plastic pollution by decreeing a ban on the use, manufacture and import of all plastic bags, to take effect in six months.

Depressed? Let’s Talk

Just three weeks after celebrating the International Day of Happiness, the United Nations now asks you the following questions: do you feel like life is not worth living? Are you living with somebody with depression? Do you know someone who may be considering suicide?

Slaves

For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history. Slavery is, nevertheless, far from being just a chapter of the past—it still there, with estimated 21 million victims of forced labour and extreme exploitation around the world--nearly the equivalent to of the combined population of Scandinavian countries.

Don’t Understand Clouds? But You Should!

Obviously, there are so many issues and phenomena that have been brought up by growing impact of climate change that one would likely not think about. Some of them, however, are essential and would be good to learn about. For instance, the fact that clouds play a "pivotal role" in weather forecasts and warnings.

No Water, No Life – Don’t Waste It!

During the final exams of Spanish official high school of journalists, a student was asked by the panel of professors-examiners: If scientists discover that there is water in Planet Mars, how would you announce this news, what would be your title? The student did not hesitate a second: “There is life in Mars!” The student was graduated with the highest score.

Oh Happy Day!

Once a year, there is a day when the seven billion inhabitants of Planet Earth should feel happy or at least are encouraged to do so--the World Happiness Day, which is marked every year on March 20. So far, so good.

UN FARMS to Create One Million Days of Work for Mideast Migrants

The problem is rather complex and often not recognised: in one of the major regions of both origin and destination for migrants and refugees -- the Near East and North of Africa, 10 per cent of rural communities is made up of forcibly displaced persons, while more than 25 per cent of the young rural people plan to emigrate.

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