Economy & Trade

A World in Crisis Needs Both Trade and Aid

We are in the toughest period the world economy has faced since the creation of the multilateral system more than three-quarters of a century ago. A quadruple shock of COVID, climate change, conflict and cost-of-living has undone years of hard-fought development gains.

Stagflation: From Tragedy to Farce

Half a century after the 1970s’ stagflation, economies are slowing, even contracting, as prices rise again. Thus, the World Bank warns, “Surging energy and food prices heighten the risk of a prolonged period of global stagflation reminiscent of the 1970s.” In March, Reuters reported, “With surging oil prices, concerns about the hawkishness of the Federal Reserve and fears of Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, the mood on Wall Street feels like a return to the 1970s”.

April Fool’s Inflation Medicine Threatens Progress

The world economy is on the brink of outright recession, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Ukraine war and sanctions have scuttled recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indigenous Women at the Forefront of Transformational Change

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, commemorated annually on August 9, is a day to celebrate the many contributions of the 476 million Indigenous peoples worldwide.

The Plastic Crisis Has Deep Corporate Roots: To Protect Our Planet, They Need To Be Exposed

This spring, I taught a new undergraduate course in environmental sociology. Most of my students took the course because they were curious to see what their desire to live more sustainably had to do with sociology.

Researchers Embrace Artificial Intelligence to Tackle Banana Disease in Burundi

A group of scientists involved in finding solutions to minimize the impact of a devastating banana virus in Burundi have developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool for monitoring the disease.

Technology Helps Traffickers Hunt Their Victims, Enslave Them, Sell Their Organs

Human beings have proved to be capable of producing innumerable practical inventions while much too often making the worst use of them. Take the case, per example, of how criminal groups heavily rely on digital platforms to trap and enslave their victims also for extracting and selling their organs.

Slow food, Accelerating Biodiversity in the Field and On Our Plates

Edward Mukiibi was forced to do agriculture at school as punishment for misbehaviour. Instead of hating the punishment, he loved it, especially when he realised farming was the future of good food, health and wealth.

Biogas Production Awaits Greater Incentives in Cuba

Standing in front of a blue flame on her stove, getting ready to brew coffee, Mayra Rojas says the biodigester built in the backyard of her home in western Cuba has become a key part of her daily life and a pillar of her family's well-being.

Frugal Innovation is Key to Advancing the UN’s Global Goal for Education

The world needs tens of millions of new teachers by 2030, according to UNESCO – an order of magnitude that requires “frugal innovation.” I’ve studied frugal innovation for more than a decade, and it holds a vital key to this global challenge. A model created by BRAC in Bangladesh deserves special attention in this worldwide pursuit.

Neo-Colonial Currency Enables French Exploitation

Colonial-style currency board arrangements have enabled continuing imperialist exploitation decades after the end of formal colonial rule. Such neo-colonial monetary systems persist despite modest reforms.

Introducing Hope Over Fate: the Story of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and BRAC

About seven years ago, I started working on a project with Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder of BRAC. It was originally supposed to be a memoir: the story of Abed, the mild-mannered accountant who would rid the world of poverty, as told by the man himself. I was privileged to be Abed’s speechwriter for the last several years of his life, and I would sit for hours listening to stories from his remarkable life: of his boyhood in British India, his love life in London in the 1960s, his three marriages, and how, in 1972, with a few thousand pounds from the sale of his flat in Camden, he launched a small nonprofit organization to aid refugees, originally called the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee. Many people would go on to call BRAC, which Abed led until his death in 2019, the world’s most effective anti-poverty organization.

Salvadoran Farmers Learn Agricultural Practices to Adapt to Climate Change

With the satisfaction of knowing he was doing something good for himself and the planet, Salvadoran farmer Luis Edgardo Pérez set out to plant a fruit tree on the steepest part of his plot, applying climate change adaptation techniques to retain water.

Sidestepping Hunger & Boosting Food Security

Until Russia went to war on Ukraine in February, Ukraine was known as the “breadbasket of Europe”. One of the largest grain exporters in the world, it provided about 10 per cent of globally traded wheat and corn and 37 per cent of sunflower oil, United Nations figures show. The yellow and blue of its flag mimic its rolling golden fields under blue summer skies.

Pandemic and Poverty Fuel Child Labor in Peru

In the afternoons he draws with chalk on the sidewalk of a downtown street in the Peruvian capital. Passersby drop coins into a small blue jar he has set out. He remains silent in response to questions from IPS, but a nearby ice cream vendor says his name is Pedro, he is 11 years old, and he draws every day on the ground for about four hours.

Historic WTO Deal Could Threaten Subsidies, Lifeline for Jamaican Fishers

In the 21 years it took the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to agree on a historic deal on fishing subsidies, the lives of fisherfolk in Rocky Point, Clarendon, have seen many ups and downs.

Not a World for Young People

Many of us assume that an identification with a certain gender, race, nation or even age makes us particularly knowledgeable. When it comes to age, it is in most cultures of the world assumed that age and experience favour wisdom. I am not entirely sure about that, though I am convinced that as we grow older we tend to overestimate our own knowledge and importance. An arrogance that might burden and even marginalize the youth.

Fear Returns to Argentina, Once Again on the Brink

Darío is a locksmith in Flores, a traditional middle-class neighborhood in the Argentine capital, who will have to stop working in the next few days. "Suppliers have suspended the delivery of locks, due to a lack of merchandise or because of prices," he laments. His case is an illustration of an economy gone mad in a country that once again finds itself on the brink of the abyss.

Both UK & Congo Think They’re Climate Leaders – COP26’s Fallout Shows How Far Adrift They Are

From the fall-out of the pandemic to the interlocking cost of living and energy security crises currently gripping the world, it has been fascinating to see the world’s richest governments bending over backwards to help fossil fuel companies.

Africa Taken for ‘Neo-Colonial’ Ride

Like so many others, Africans have long been misled. Alleged progress under imperialism has long been used to legitimize exploitation. Meanwhile, Western colonial powers have been replaced by neo-colonial governments and international institutions serving their interests.

Unleashing Mangrove Superpower Through Soft Coastal Engineering

The swish of calm waters followed by unexpectedly high tides and violent waves is now too familiar for the fisher community along Kenya’s 1,420-kilometer Indian Ocean coastline.

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