Poverty & MDGs

Bolivia’s School Meals All About Good Habits and Eating Local

A successful school meals programme that serves breakfast and lunch with Andean flavours to 140,000 students in La Paz gave rise to a new law aimed at promoting healthy diets based on local traditions and products in Bolivia’s schools, while combating malnutrition and bolstering food sovereignty.

Congolese Citizens Forced to Pay for Police, Protection Services

Parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo are as dangerous and lawless as ever, with police and the state offering citizens little or no protection from armed groups.

From the Mountains to the Sea, Timorese Women Fight for More

In Timor-Leste, the gap between rich and poor is most keenly felt by rural women and children. But while women are working hard to help rebuild Timor-Leste, their contributions are not always recognised, in a country where men’s narratives still heavily dominate.

The 15 Journalists Putting Women’s Rights on the Front Page

Media coverage of maternal, sexual and reproductive health rights is crucial to achieving international development goals, yet journalists covering these issues often face significant challenges.

In India, an Indoor Health Crisis

For years, Kehmli Devi, a middle-aged woman from the village of Chachadeth in India’s northern Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, has prepared her family’s meals on a wood-burning stove.

World Misses Its Potential by Excluding 50 Percent of Its People

The meeting is billed as one of the biggest single gatherings of women activists under one roof.

Opinion: Eco-efficient Crop and Livestock Production for Nicaraguan Farmers

For Roberto Pineda, a smallholder farmer in the Somotillo municipality of Nicaragua, his traditional practice after each harvest was to cut down and burn all crop residues on his land, a practice known as “slash-and-burn” agriculture.

Newly Recognised Indigenous Rights a Dead Letter?

Nearly three years after the rights of El Salvador’s indigenous people were recognised in the constitution, there are still no public policies and laws to translate that historic achievement into reality.

Can Indigenous and Wildlife Conservationists Work Together?

Indigenous and wildlife conservationists have common goals and common adversaries, but seem to be struggling to find common ground in the fight for sustainable forests.

Opinion: Bridging the Gap – How the SDG Fund is Paving the Way for a Post-2015 Agenda

The countdown has begun to September’s Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with world leaders discussing the 17 goals and 169 targets proposed by the United Nations Open Working Group.

Opinion: Reforming Mental Health in India

India is not only poised for greatness, some say it is already on its way. The events that have shaped the nation's dialogue over the past month showcase an India with a bold vision – to transform industry, to close the gap on inequality and ultimately, to redefine its place as a leader among the world.

Prominent Lawyer Defending the Poor Gunned Down in Mozambique

As billions pour into Mozambique from foreign investors scooping up fields of coal and natural gas, the signs of newfound wealth are impossible to miss.

Burundi-Watchers See Erosion of Human Rights and Civic Freedoms

The bad old days of the 1980s and 1990s when Burundi was widely considered a police state may be making a comeback.Some 300,000 people lost their lives in the country’s civil war from the 1990s to 2003, which broke out following the death of the country’s first democratically elected president.Human rights defenders and journalists are now routinely smeared as enemies of the state.According to a recent report by an East African rights group: “Human rights defenders in Burundi are operating in one of the most restrictive and hostile environments in East Africa as evidenced by an alarming pattern of harassment, intimidation, threats and legislative reforms.” Public gatherings have been banned, members of the opposition are attacked. Violence is escalating in the run up to the June 2015 elections, the East and Horn of Africa defenders project observed.Even group jogging, a popular Burundian hobby that officials now say leads to uprisings, has been banned.A tiny dot wedged between Tanzania to the south and east, and Rwanda to the north, the DRC to the west, Burundi was once a battleground between Hutus and Tutsis, much like Rwanda. The current president, Pierre Nkurunziza, was a Hutu rebel leader.The most contentious issue to date is whether the current president, Pierre Nkurunziza, will try for a third term – an apparent violation of the constitution.A prominent rights activist, Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa, fears that a militarized youth wing of the ruling party is responsible for extrajudicial killings including beheadings.An international spotlight was drawn to Burundi in September with the murder of three Italian nuns at their convent in Bujumbura. A radio journalist, Bob Rugurika, broadcast the purposed confession of a man claiming to be one of the killers.Authorities detained Rugurika and then charged him with complicity in the murders and disclosing confidential information about the case.His release last month prompted huge rallies of support. Hundreds of people crammed into dozens of cars and motorbikes followed Mr Rugurika after being released from prison some 30 miles away, the AFP news agency reported.“I have no words to thank the Burundian population," Mr Rugurika said in a radio broadcast. "Thanks to your support, your commitment... I'm free at last."A spotlight has again been drawn to Burundi with the late night prison breakout this week of the president’s political rival, Hussein Radjabu. A former ally of the current president, he was regarded as Burundi’s most powerful man until his arrest in 2007.Edited by Roger Hamilton-Martin

By Girls, For Girls – Nepal’s Teenagers Say No to Child Marriage

If not for a group of her school friends coming to her rescue, Shradha Nepali would have become a bride at the tender age of 14.

Opinion: Let’s Grant Women Land Rights and Power Our Future

Women are not only the world’s primary food producers. They are hardworking and innovative and, they invest far more of their earnings in their families than men. But most lack the single most important asset for accessing investment resources – land rights.

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