In four months’ time, Sri Lanka will mark the sixth anniversary of the end of its bloody civil conflict. Ever since government armed forces declared victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on May 19, 2009, the country has savored peace after a generation of war.
Jessi Jogeswaran, a 20-year-old woman from Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna district, waited over six hours with 18 friends in the sweltering heat just to get a glimpse of Pope Francis on Jan. 14.
As 14.5 million Sri Lankans prepare to select their next leader, there is growing fear that violence could mar the Jan. 8 elections, billed as the closest electoral contest in the island’s history.
Political and institutional corruption has become the main concern of Spanish citizens after unemployment and the dramatic social consequences of the economic crisis, according to opinion polls.
As unemployment deepens across this Southern African nation and as the country battles to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ahead of the December 2015 deadline, thousands of urban Zimbabweans here are facing starvation.
“It’s like putting explosive, gasoline and matches all in one shed. These are things that should be stored in separated places.”
The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has come a long way since 1997, when it faced the risk of closure in the aftermath of the end of the Cold War.
The Oct. 23 attack on the Canadian Parliament building by a Canadian who had converted to Islam just a month earlier should create some interest in why an increasing number of young people are willing to sacrifice their lives for a radical view of Islam.
“I would like to have a big house, and I wish my family didn’t have to go out and ask for food or clothes,” Encarni, who just turned 12, tells IPS in the small apartment she shares with five other family members in a poor neighbourhood in the southern Spanish city of Málaga.
The kids of Kodikaman, a dusty village straddling the newly laid railway line in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna District, enjoy a special treat these days.
The size of the youth population in the Pacific Islands is double the global average with 54 percent aged below 24 years, creating enormous challenges for slow-growing small island economies unable to create jobs fast enough.
Ulziikhutag Jigjid, 49, is a member of a 10-person group in the Khan-Uul district on the outskirts of Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar, which is producing brooms, chairs, containers, and other handmade products from discarded soda and juice containers.
Fifty-four-year-old Marlyn Maeda, an unmarried freelance writer living in Tokyo who never held a permanent job, is now watching her dream of aging independently go up in smoke.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees has launched an ambitious recovery plan for Gaza following the 50-day devastating war between Hamas and Israel which has left the coastal territory decimated.
In this dust bowl of a village deep inside Sri Lanka’s former conflict zone, locals will sometimes ask visitors to rub their palms on the ground and watch their skin immediately take on a dark bronze hue, proof of the fertility of the soil.
It’s two in the afternoon, and María stirs tomato sauce into a huge pot of pasta. School is out for the summer in Spain, but the lunchroom in this public school in the southern city of Málaga is still open, serving meals to more than 100 children from poor families.
Back in the day when the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ran a de-facto state in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, alcohol consumption was closely monitored, and sternly frowned upon.
While the United Nations claims to have met the Millennium Development Goal target of improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers well ahead of the 2020 deadline, the fact remains that millions around the world continue to live in informal, overcrowded and unsanitary housing conditions.
Rapid migration to cities and towns, driven by scarce public services and jobs in rural areas, is producing a profound social shift in Pacific Island countries, where agrarian life has dominated for generations. But the urban dream remains elusive as a severe lack of housing forces many into sprawling, poorly-serviced informal settlements.
Twenty-year-old Fabrice Shyaka sells popcorn in brown paper bags five nights a week from his stand in a small alleyway, situated next to a DVD shop blaring loud music, and a supermarket. Here in Kanombe, a suburb in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, he is the only person selling popcorn in the area.
-- International Women’s Day and the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) are overlooking a critical trend: while girls and women are making notable gains, boys and men are falling behind.