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 |

Climate Migrants Might Reach One Billion by 2050

Imagine a world with as many as one billion people facing harsh climate change impacts resulting in devastating droughts and/or floods, extreme weather, destruction of natural resources, in particular lands, soils and water, and the consequence of severe livelihoods conditions, famine and starvation.

Yemen: African Migrants Beaten, Starved, Sexually Violated by Criminal Groups

African migrants who arrive on Yemen’s shores --that’s if they are not forced into the sea to drown—risk to fall in the hands of criminal networks who hold them captive for several days to extort money in exchange for their “freedom,” according to UN sources.

Can the Gender Gap Be Measured in Dollars Only?

Until a decade or so ago, experts and world organisations measured the impact of natural and man-made disasters in terms of human losses. For instance, they would inform about the number –and suffering—of human beings falling victims of extraordinary floods, droughts, heat or cold waves, and armed conflicts. This is not the case anymore.

Millions of Women and Children for Sale for Sex, Slavery, Organs…

It is happening now. Millions of humans are forced to flee armed conflicts, climate change, inequalities, and extreme poverty. They fall easy prey to traffickers lurking anyone who can be subjected to sexual exploitation, forced labour and even sell their skin and organs.

Halting Sexual Exploitation of Children in Tourism, Mission Impossible

While the business sector jumps for joy as the number of tourists grew in 2016 for the seventh consecutive year to reach 1.2 billion, and as the first four months of 2017 have registered 6 per cent increase, the sheer speed, abetted by technology, of an atrocious crime—the sexual exploitation of children in tourism, has, to date, out-paced all attempts to put an end to it.

Not Just Numbers: Migrants Tell Their Stories

Every single day, print and online media and TV broadcasters show images and footage of migrants and refugees adrift, salvage teams rescuing their corpses--alive or dead, from fragile boats that are often deliberately sunk by human traffickers near the coasts of a given country. Their dramas are counted –and told-- quasi exclusively in cold figures.

Climate Change-Poverty-Migration: The New, Inhuman ‘Bermuda Triangle’

World organisations, experts and scientists have been repeating it to satiety: climate change poses a major risk to the poorest rural populations in developing countries, dangerously threatening their lives and livelihoods and thus forcing them to migrate.

Drought Pushes 1 in 3 Somalis to a Hunger Knife-Edge

Another famine in former European colonies in Africa and another time in its Eastern region, with Ethiopia and Somalia among the major victims of drought and made-made climate disasters mainly caused by US and European multinational business.

Mideast: Drought to Turn People into Eternal Migrants, Prey to Extremism?

Worldwide, land degradation, severe droughts and advancing desertification are set to force populations to flee their homes and migrate. In the specific case of the Middle East and North of Africa (MENA), such an obliged choice implies the additional risk to turn peoples into easy prey to extremist, terrorist groups.

More Plastic than Fish or How Politicians Help Ocean Destruction

World’s oceans are dangerously exposed to at least three major threats: climate change; the sharp degradation of marine biodiversity, and politicians. These simply encourage the destruction of oceans by subsidising over-fishing and turning a blind eye on illegal captures. See what happens.

What Future for 700 Million Arab and Asian Youth?

With a combined population of around 400 million inhabitants, 22 Arab countries are home to nearly 300 million youth. Meantime, there are 400 million youth living in Asia and the Pacific. In both regions, these 700 million young people aged 15–24 years account for up to 60 per cent of world’s youth population. What future for them?.

The Relentless March of Drought – That ‘Horseman of the Apocalypse’

By 2025 –that’s in less than 8 years from today-- 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and two thirds of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions. Now it is feared that advancing drought and deserts, growing water scarcity and decreasing food security may provoke a huge ‘tsunami” of climate refugees and migrants.

Re-Connect with Nature Now… Before It Is Too Late!

Now that president Donald Trump has announced the withdrawal of the world’s largest polluter in history—the United States, from the Paris Accord, perhaps one of the most specific warnings is what a United Nations independent expert on rights and the environment has just said: “We should be fully aware that we cannot enjoy our basic human rights without a healthy environment.”

The ‘Water-Employment-Migration’ Explosive Nexus

Water--everybody talks about it, warns against its growing scarcity, excessive waste, the impact of climate change, the frequent severe droughts and so on. Now, a global action network with over 3,000 partner organisations in 183 countries comes to unveil the dangerous nexus between water, employment and migration, in particular in the Mediterranean region.

Asia: 260 Million Indigenous Peoples Marginalised, Discriminated

Asia is home to the largest number of indigenous peoples on Earth, with an estimated 260 million of a total of 370 million original inhabitants worldwide. In spite of their huge number-equaling half of the combined population of Europe-- they are often victims of discrimination and denial of their rights.

Mideast: Growing Urbanisation Worsens Water Scarcity, Food Imports

Conflict and insecurity remain the key barriers to development progress in the Middle East and North Africa. In Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, about half the population—around 40 million people—require humanitarian assistance. Across the region, countries depend heavily on food imports. As their populations urbanise and grow, the need for imports will increase.

A Grisly Tale of Children Falling Easy Prey to Ruthless Smugglers

Don’t read this story if you are a parent or have children relatives. It is the bloodcurdling story of over 300,000 unaccompanied refugee and migrant children who are just a small part of millions of children that are innocent, easy prey for smugglers and human traffickers worldwide.

Agony of Mother Earth (II) World’s Forests Depleted for Fuel

Humankind is the biggest ever predator of natural resources. Just take the case of forests, the real lungs of Mother Earth, and learn that every 60 seconds humans cut down 15 hectares of trees primarily for food or energy production. And that as much as 45,000 hectares of rainforest are cleared for every million kilos of beef exported from South America.

Agony of Mother Earth (I) The Unstoppable Destruction of Forests

The world’s forests are being degraded and lost at a staggering rate of 3.3 million hectares per year. While their steady destruction in many Asian countries continues apace, deforestation of the world's largest tropical forest - the Amazon - increased 29 per cent from last year’s numbers. And some of the most precious ecosystems in Africa are threatened by oil, gas and mineral exploration and exploitation.

Who Are the Best ‘Eaters’ and How to Use Eggplants as a Toothbrush

The news is this: Japan is a global model for healthy diets and it currently has the lowest rate of obesity among developed countries--below four per cent. This is on the one hand. On the other, African eggplant gorongo is often used as toothbrush.

African Migrants Bought and Sold Openly in ‘Slave Markets’ in Libya

Hundreds of migrants along North African migration routes are being bought and sold openly in modern day ‘slave markets’ in Libya, survivors have told the United Nations migration agency, which warned that these reports “can be added to a long list of outrages” in the country. The International Criminal Court is now considering investigating.

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