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 |

Take a Deep Breath? But 9 in 10 People Worldwide Live with Excessive Air Pollution!

The warning is sharp and the facts, alarming: 92 per cent of the world’s population live in places where levels exceed recommended limits. And 6.5 million people die annually from air pollution.

Believe It or Not, Pulses Reduce Gas Emissions!

Lentils, beans, chick peas, and other pulses often produce negative “collateral social effects" on people hanging around, just a couple of hours after eating them. But, believe it or not, they contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. How come?

Ships Bring Your Coffee, Snack and TV Set, But Also Pests and Diseases

“Every evening, millions of people all over the world will settle into their armchairs to watch some TV after a hard day at work. Many will have a snack or something to drink…

Arable Lands Lost at Unprecedented Rate: 33,000 Hectares… a Day!

Humankind is a witness every single day to a new, unprecedented challenge. One of them is the very fact that the world's arable lands are being lost at 30 to 35 times the historical rate. Each year, 12 million hectares are lost. That means 33,000 hectares a day!

One Humanity? Millions of Children Tortured, Smuggled, Abused, Enslaved

Children are being smuggled, sexually abused, maimed, killed for their vital organs, recruited as soldiers or otherwise enslaved. Not only: 69 million children under five will die from mostly preventable causes, 167 million will live in poverty, and 263 million are out of school. And 750 million women will have been married as children by 2030.

War on Climate Terror (II): Fleeing Disasters, Escaping Drought, Migrating

"No one can deny the terrible similarities between those running from the threat of guns and those fleeing creeping desertification, water shortages, floods and hurricanes.”

War on Climate Terror (I): Deserts Bury Two Thirds of African Lands

Two-thirds of the African continent is already desert or dry-lands. But while this vast extension of the second largest continent on Earth after Asia is “vital” for agriculture and food production, nearly three-fourths of it is estimated to be degraded to varying degrees.

African Farmers Can Feed the World, If Only…

Can African farmers feed the world?. Apparently the answer is “yes.” Bold as it may sound, this statement is based on specific facts: Africa is home to 60-65 per cent of the world’s uncultivated arable land and 10 per cent of renewable freshwater resources, and it has registered a 160 per cent increase in agricultural output over the past 30 years.

Climate Victims – Every Second, One Person Is Displaced by Disaster

Climate change and related extreme weather events have devastated the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of most vulnerable people worldwide-- by far exceeding the total of all the unfortunate and unjustifiable victims of all terrorist attacks combined. However, the unstoppable climate crisis receives just a tiny fraction of mainstream media attention. See these dramatic facts.

400 Million People Live with Hepatitis But They Do Not Know

With some 400 million people around the world infected with hepatitis B or C, mostly without being aware, the United Nations top health agency encourages countries to boost testing and access to services and medicines for people in need to combat the 'ignored perils' of this disease.

Rights of Indigenous Peoples ‘Critical’ to Combat Climate Change

No longer it is about restoring the legitimate rights of over 370 indigenous peoples spread across 70 countries worldwide, many of them living in dire situation, but now about their central, critical role in combating climate change.

Forests: To Farm or Not to Farm? This Is the Question!

The dilemma is critical: on the one hand, there is an absolute need to produce more food for the world’s steadily growing population; on the other, there is pressing urgency to halt -and further revert- the increasing trend to deplete the forests, which are as necessary for human survival as it is for ensuring their dietary needs.

‘Monster’ El Niño Subsides, La Niña Hitting Soon

As if human-made armed conflicts, wickedness, rights abuse, gender violence, cruel inequality and climate catastrophes were not enough, now the saying “God Always Forgives, Men Sometimes, Nature Never” appear to be more true than ever. See what happens.

Human Security a Must in a Chaotic, Confused World – Japan

The question is simple and the answer, short: does eating more mean being better nourished?... Not Necessarily!

Xenophobic Rhetoric, Now Socially and Politically ‘Acceptable’ ?

“Xenophobic and racist rhetoric seems not only to be on the rise, but also to be becoming more socially and politically acceptable.”The warning has been heralded by the authoritative voice of Mogens Lykketoft, current president of the United Nations General Assembly, who on World Refugee Day on June 20, reacted to the just announced new record number of people displaced from their homes due to conflict and persecution.

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