TerraViva United Nations

World’s Poorest Nations Battle Rising Rural Poverty

The world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs), described as the poorest of the poor, are fighting a relentless battle against rising rural poverty.

Climate Refugees and a Collapsing City

With multiplying impacts of climate change - increasing floods, cyclones, and drought - thousands of climate refugees are migrating to Dhaka. And the city, well beyond its carrying capacity, is bursting at the seams.

Did Argentina’s Elections Mark Start of Shift to the Right in South America?

Different degrees of economic problems are a common denominator in South American countries where governments that identify as leftist may start to fall, in a shift that began in Argentina and could continue among its neighbours to the north.

Africa’s Climate Change Funding May Hit 100 Billion by Mid-Century

When the Climate Summit opens in Paris next week, one of the biggest issues facing world leaders is funding: how best to raise the billions of dollars needed to prevent the devastating consequences of global warming worldwide.

Children Extremely Vulnerable to Climate Change, Warns UNICEF

Climate change will disproportionately impact children, particularly in high poverty areas, the UN children’s agency UNICEF warned, in a new report released here.The report, “Unless We Act Now,” illustrates the dangers of climate change on livelihoods and urges for action ahead of the upcoming Paris Climate Change Conference, also known as COP21.“Today’s children are the least responsible for climate change, but they, and their children, are the ones who will live with its consequences,“ said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “And, as is so often the case, disadvantaged communities face the gravest threat,” he continued.UNICEF found that more than half a billion children live in extremely high flood occurrence zones, a majority of whom are in countries where half or more of the population lives in poverty. Another 160 million also live in areas of high or extremely high drought severity.Climate change will only increase the frequency of droughts, floods, and severe weather events, the report noted. Such extreme weather conditions exacerbate undernutrition and increase the spread of water-related diseases such as malaria and dengue which have lifelong effects on young children.Meanwhile, access to health services is also reduced during such natural disasters. During the 2010 floods in Pakistan, over 2.8 million children under 5 were affected but 15 percent of clinics and hospitals were damaged and all medicines destroyed, hindering access to health care.The risks to children go beyond physical health. Climate change threatens the complete loss of livelihoods.During the 2011 drought in Eastern Africa, the subsequent food crisis forced children to leave school and take dangerous jobs to support families. Families also often split up to search food, leaving children alone and exposed to violence and exploitation.Climate change will also worsen existing inequities, the report highlighted. Children and families already living in poverty and lacking access to resources such as water and sanitation are less likely to recover from a severe weather event, pushing them further into poverty and making them more vulnerable in ensuing crises.Of the 530 million children in flood-prone areas, nearly 100 million already lack access to safe water and over 270 million do not have access to sanitation.Similarly, approximately 130 million children in high drought zones do not have access to sanitation and/or safe water.In the report, UNICEF called for a cut in greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature increases. Without action, by 2050, the number of children living in higher-temperature and higher-risk zones is projected to triple to almost 1.5 billion.During the G20 meeting in Turkey, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also urged for action, warning of the consequences of global warming. “Even a 2 degree rise will have serious consequences for food security, economic stability and international security,” Ban told world leaders.“I urge you to look beyond national horizons and work in the common interest,” he continued.UNICEF also underscored the need to consider and include children in climate change adaptation.“If shocks are going to become more frequent in the future, it is imperative to build resilience and improve equitable outcomes for children today,” UNICEF stated in the report.At COP21, which begins on Nov 30, heads of State will meet to negotiate and set an international agreement keeping the average global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius.(End)

Not Yet Curtains for BRICs

With Goldman Sachs folding up its haemorrhaging BRIC fund, is it curtains for the acronym that defined the investment bankers’ fancy for emerging markets? It certainly appears so after China’s stock market crash and a fast slowing economy triggered fears that the dragon will set off the next global recession.

Hunger Heralds Climate Change’s Arrival in Botswana

A perfect storm of lower rainfall and a growing population beckons for Botswana. But others find climate change is already in the fields and paddocks. “As climate change ushers in more stress on the water sector, it is increasingly a concern that losses in rangeland productivity will result in food insecurity, especially in rural areas,” a country analysis report unveiled recently on Botswana states.

Analysis: Are Young People the Answer to Africa’s Food Security?

Are you young, energetic, creative, ambitious and need a job? Africa's agriculture sector needs you!

Sinking into Paradise: Climate Change Worsening Coastal Erosion in Trinidad

As unusually heavy rainfall battered Trinidad's east coast a year ago, a lagoon here was overwhelmed, flooding a major access road to the island’s south-eastern communities. As the flood waters poured over Manzanilla beach, they washed sand away, caved in sections of road and collapsed a seawall at a tourist beach facility. Further damages were also incurred with the flooding of homes and agricultural plots.

Cubans Seeking the American Dream, Stranded in Costa Rica

Thousands of Cubans heading for the United States have been stranded at the Costa Rican-Nicaraguan border since mid-November, waiting for the authorities in Managua to authorise their passage north.

End Media Sexism by 2020, Urges New Study

“We have to end media sexism by 2020,” said General Secretary of World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) Karin Achtelstetter at the launch of the new Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) report.

OPINION: Keep Family Farms in Business with Youth Agripreneurs

Finding a way to allow youth to contribute their natural and ample energies to productive causes is increasingly the touchstone issue that will determine future prosperity.

Against the Odds, Caribbean Doubles Down for 1.5 Degree Deal in Paris

Negotiators from the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are intent on striking a deal to keep the global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels, but many fear that a 10-year-old agreement to buy cheap petroleum from Venezuela puts their discussions in jeopardy.

Asia Wants Paris Climate Talks to Tackle Historic Emissions and Make Some Real Change

On a late Friday afternoon as choking smog descended on the Indian Capital, Francois Richier, the French ambassador to India , took some hard questions from scores of journalists about the upcoming climate change talks in Paris this month.

Global Hunger and Undernutrition Could End by 2025

The United Nations aims to help eliminate hunger and undernutrition – described as two of “greatest scourges” facing humankind -- by the year 2030.

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