Economy & Trade

A Look at Colombian Coffee Prices One Year on From the Stabilization Fund

It’s been just over a year since the Colombian government launched its landmark price stabilization fund. With a budget of $64 million, the fund was designed to provide a hedge against low prices by subsidizing farmers during periods when prices dropped below production costs.

Humanitarian & Food Aid Can Never be Enough to Manage Cascading Disasters

The intersection of crisis, climate change and COVID-19 has resulted in a “rapid rise in hunger”, according to United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Deputy Executive Director Amir Abdullah.

End Vaccine Apartheid Before Millions More Die

At least 85 poor countries will not have significant access to coronavirus vaccines before 2023. Unfortunately, a year’s delay will cause an estimated 2.5 million avoidable deaths in low and lower-middle income countries. As the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General has put it, the world is at the brink of a catastrophic moral failure.

Brexit Shows Why Traders Need Reliable Information But Many Are Ahead of the Game

It’s now almost three months since the United Kingdom entered into a new trade agreement with the European Union. During that time, we’ve seen traders struggle to get to grips with the new arrangements. From lorry drivers having their sandwiches confiscated by Dutch customs officers to estimates of additional paperwork costs of $7 billion a year, and pig breeders watching their meat rot on the quayside for want of the correct forms.

Achieving Gender Equality for Women’s Re-entry to the Labour Force Post COVID-19

During the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns, while many sought safety being at home, women in the healthcare, child care, aged care, teaching and services fields — who hold the majority of jobs in those occupations — went to work everyday. 

A Global South Organization – a Sine Qua Non for Developing Nations’ Influence in World Arena

I observed the Group of 77 (G77) shortly after the 1964 Geneva Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the 1968 UNCTAD 2 in New Delhi and the 1972 UNCTAD 3 in Santiago. The Group was influential at the time, benefiting from several factors helpful for its functioning which are no longer present, namely:

Five Steps to Combat Gender-Based Violence Globally

The 410 Legal Aid Centers that I manage in Bangladesh for BRAC’s Human Rights and Legal Aid Services received approximately 35,900 requests for assistance in 2020. Almost all of them involve gender-based violence against women and girls.

Inequality, COVID-19 and the Plight of the Young

Inequality characterizes the world we live in, predisposing how we act and think. We perceive our existence as composed of dichotomies – men and women, young and old, black or white, as well as a difference between those who have and those who do not have access to wealth, health, education and influence. Dichotomies are also born out of comparisons, about how things are now and how they could have been, how they were before and how they are now.

Sustainable Development Goals Can Guide Asia-Pacific to Build Back Better

The COVID-19 crisis poses an unprecedented threat to development in the Asia-Pacific region that could reverse much of the hard-earned progress made in recent years. The good news is we know how to tackle this challenge. Recovery from the pandemic and our global efforts to deliver the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 must go hand-in-hand. The Goals provide a compass to navigate this crisis, faster and greener, everywhere and for everyone.

COP26 and India’s NDCs

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues that the world is collectively facing at the moment. It is contended that strengthening the global response is pertinent to combat the threat of climate change.

Magellan, Inquisition and Globalisation

Globalisation’s beginnings are symbolised by Ferdinand Magellan’s near circumnavigation of the world half a millennium ago. But its history is not simply of connection and trade, but also of intolerance, exploitation, slavery, violence, aggression and genocide.

The Fruition of the “China Dream”: Beijing’s Inexorable Rise

China is on the roll. Already the second largest economy in the world, it is poised to become the first sooner than expected, possibly within this decade. Small wonder that the focus of the globe should be on the lianghui currently being held in Beijing. This is the ‘two sessions,’ China’s annual Parliamentary meeting. They entail back- to- back sessions of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the highest advisory body, and the National People’s Congress (NPC), the principal legislative forum. There might lack the scintillating repartees of a debate in the House of Commons, and the thrill of the Question hour in Commonwealth Parliaments. But nonetheless would have an enormous impact on the lives of global citizens, including the proverbial man on the Clapham omnibus. That is because the sessions provide an insight into the plans and aspirations of the world’s most rising power.

International Women’s Day, 2021
More Women Leaders Make Better Societies

This year it will be 128 years since the right of women to vote was first recognized, with New Zealand becoming the first nation to allow the participation of women in its general election in 1893. From the suffragettes - to today’s feminists, both men and women have fought to increase women’s political participation and representation. It has been a slow, sometimes bitter and occasionally even dangerous struggle. Yet global progress remains slow and uneven – as it does in Samoa. As we approach the 2021 General Election on 9 April, it is important to remember that women’s full and effective participation in all areas of life drives progress for everyone.

Death of an Ambassador and the Congolese Slaughter

On the morning of 22nd February a jeep from the World Food Programme (WFP), followed by another one with the Italian ambassador, Luca Anastasio, was driving along Route Nationale 2 passing by The Virunga National Park, an UNESCO Congolese World Heritage Site famous for its dwindling population of unique mountain gorillas.

Malawian Youth Wipe Away Unemployment Tears with Agribusiness

After getting tired of searching for employment for seven years, Feston Zale from Chileka area in Malawi’s Southern Region decided to venture into agribusiness.

Down in Hell

I am about 200 feet down a rickety old mine shaft, in the Ashanti gold mining region of Ghana. It is stiflingly hot and darker than a moonless night. I can only feel the touch of sweaty bodies passing in the darkness and hear the reverberating sound of miners coughing and breaking rocks. The lack of oxygen and dust make it hard to breathe. I have no idea how deep this shaft goes – hundreds of feet? More? If there is a Hell this must be what it feels like.

What Africa Expects of New WTO Chief Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

When on 15 February the chair of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) General Council, Ambassador David Walker of New Zealand, announced that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala would be the new Director-General, the mood among delegates was of relief.

Prioritise Pandemic Relief, Recovery: No Time for Debt Buybacks

Developing country governments are being wrongly advised to use their modest fiscal resources to pay down accumulated debt instead of strengthening pandemic relief and recovery. Thus, debt phobia risks deepening and extending COVID-19 recessions by prioritising buybacks.

International Women’s Day, 2021
Why Green Growth and Climate Action Fall Short Without Addressing Gender Inequality

As the global effort to address climate change has strengthened over the last few years, so has the realization that rising temperatures and climactic disruptions disproportionately impact women, particularly in developing countries, as they tend to be more dependent upon natural resources and are thus overrepresented in resource-intensive economic sectors. Furthermore, inherent in gender inequality are disadvantages for and discrimination against women in all facets of society, including in the economy and politics. Thus, it is unfortunate, yet perhaps unsurprising, that these structural disparities are mirrored in the negative effects of climate change. Therefore, if gender differences are not incorporated into climate change plans, women will be unable to access the co-benefits that arise from concerted climate action.

The Mexican Economy: A Short or Long Recession Cycle?

The trend of the Mexican economy during the last two years has not been positive. INEGI, the official bureau of statistics, has just reported that GDP registered a fall of 8.5 percent compared to 2019 with seasonally adjusted figures. But in 2019 GDP also receded, although in far less measure, less than one percentage point. However, it must be considered that the Mexican economy has been falling for 6 quarters (compared to the previous year). Considering the population growth rate (1.2 percent per year), the fall in the GDP per capita is close to 11 percent. This figure matters because it gives a more accurate idea of the size of the downturn. It is also necessary to take into account the two years, since our interest should be now to try to figure out how long the recession will be the endure, that is, when will Mexico reach the pre-pandemic level of GDP.

International Women’s Day, 2021
Every Girl Has a Right to An Education

Access to an inclusive quality education is a universal human right. When the inherent right to a good education is ignored or denied, the consequences are severe. For a girl in country of conflict or forced displacement, the impact is brutally multiplied.

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