Of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) -development targets agreed upon by the international community, whose 2015 deadline is approaching fast - MDG 7 has proven a particular challenge, especially for sprawling, populous countries like India.
Balancing her school bag on one shoulder and holding her three-year-old son by the hand, Farida Haque (19) ignores her in-laws’ complaints and her husband’s frown as she heads each morning for the tiny school in her remote village of Allah Bachayo, located in the Thatta district of Pakistan’s Sindh Province.
Currently classified as one of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Nepal has one of the highest malnutrition rates globally, with over 41 percent of children suffering from chronic under-nourishment, particularly in rural areas.
One hundred and ninety million – that’s more than the populations of Germany, France and Poland combined. It is also the number of children affected by vitamin A deficiency around the world.
Medical practitioners at the National Institute of Child Health (NICH), a leading government-run children’s hospital in Karachi, hope that this will be the last winter they have to treat a stream of children suffering from pneumonia.
Organisers of this year’s World Toilet Day, which falls on Nov. 19, are using the slogan ‘I give a shit – do you?’ to break the silence around the crucial issue of sanitation and remind the international community that 2.5 billion people around the world don’t have access to clean and private toilets.
Thirty-year-old Shahida Saleem, who was not educated past the tenth grade, is a mother of two, living with her family in Karachi. Six months ago she suffered a miscarriage and her doctor, concerned about her anaemic condition, advised her to space out her next pregnancy by taking contraceptives.
In 1996, Maria Mamerita Mestanza Chavez, a 33-year-old Peruvian mother of seven, was threatened with imprisonment if she did not comply with the government policy of undergoing sterilisation. After suffering post-operative complications for which she was refused treatment, Chavez died nine days later.
For far too many households in Burkina Faso, going to the toilet means heading for the bush. The Burkinabè government has launched a new campaign to change this, calling on prominent personalities as both sponsors and champions.
Agriculture provides a livelihood to the majority of the population in Papua New Guinea, a developing island nation of approximately seven million in the south west Pacific. However, the loss and waste of an estimated half of all fresh produce between harvesting and marketing is threatening improvements to food security and local incomes.
At the Kakonko Health Centre, about 250 kilometres from the nearest hospital in Kigoma Region, Western Tanzania, assistant medical officer Abdu Mapinduzi prepares to operate on Joanitha, a young pregnant mother.
Eighty-odd kilometres outside Dakar, the Senegalese capital, solar power and an irrigation scheme are transforming a traditional village into what the government hopes will be a model for the future of the countryside.
The success of cooperatives, values-based associations owned and managed by their own clients and hailed as an alternative business model, is highly dependent on their use of information and communications technologies (ICTs), experts say.
When world leaders from over 100 countries wind up their three-day Rio+20 summit in Brazil next week, they will leave behind the shattered remains of a slew of proposals that never got off the ground.