Humanitarian Emergencies

‘The Sahel – a Microcosm of Cascading Global Risks Converging in One Region’

The European Commission this week pledged $27.8 million in humanitarian support to the Sahel region as floods and the coronavirus pandemic exacerbate the stability in a region deeply in conflict. While the figure is less than 2 percent of the $2.4 billion that the United Nations has appealed for, Amnesty International researcher Ousmane Diallo told IPS that despite past donations from international development partners to Sahelian countries, the situation hasn’t improved over the years.

Human Trafficking Survivor Harold D’Souza: “The Perpetrators are More Aggressive Than Ever”

The fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic continues: as more people around the world lose their livelihoods, human trafficking is on the rise. Support services for survivors have been shut, and past gains to combat it have been reversed. Funding has dried up.

Enhanced Social Protection an Opportunity Asia Pacific Must Grasp

In the fight against COVID-19, success has so far been defined by responses in Asia and the Pacific. Many countries in our region have been hailed as reference points in containing the virus. Yet if the region is to build back better, the success of immediate responses should not distract from the weaknesses COVID-19 has laid bare. Too many people in our region are left to fend for themselves in times of need. This pandemic was no exception. Comprehensive social protection systems could right this wrong. Building these systems must be central to our long-term recovery strategy.

Education: Act Now, Don’t Wait for the Bill

School reopening doesn’t mean that education is back on course. For a start, schools remain closed in over 50 countries, affecting more than 800 million students. The poorest ones may never make it back to school, driven by poverty into child labour or early marriage. Distance learning has been out of reach for one third of the 1.6 billion students affected worldwide by school closures. They may disengage altogether if school closures continue.

Why Food System Transformation Needs Water

The impact of Covid-19 on supply chains and food security has dealt a blow to the already faltering global development ambition of ending hunger.

Q&A: Food Systems need to Mimic Nature

Despite the World Food Programme (WFP) being awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its work in addressing global hunger, sustainable food systems expert Emile Frison believes a lot more needs to be done. This includes the rethinking of approaches to agricultural production, establishing deeper relationships between consumers and producers, and taking a wholistic approach towards socio-economic factors.

Is the IMF Encouraging World Financial Leaders to Walk Blindly Towards More Austerity?

This week the world’s Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors meet virtually at the 2020 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and decide on the fate of the world. This year’s gathering is particularly important, given that the world is confronting an unprecedented crisis. Governments are struggling to finance emergency care and urgent socioeconomic support to cope with the COVID19 pandemic.

How the Pacific Islands are Balancing COVID-19 Survival Demands on Coastal Fisheries with Sustainable Management

Coastal fisheries in the Pacific Islands have become a food and livelihood lifeline to many people who have lost jobs, especially in urban centres and tourism, following COVID-19 lockdowns and border closures. Now governments and development organisations are trying to meet the crisis-driven survival needs of here and now, while also considering the long-term consequences on near shore marine resources and habitats.

Q&A: Women in Mali Play Critical Role in Preventing and Resolving Conflicts

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the safety and sense of community for many women in Mali given the travel restrictions and lockdowns in place, Bassirou Gaye, an assistant researcher for a 2019 report on the role of Mali women in peacekeeping, told IPS this weekend.


Gendering Agriculture so Women Take the Lead in Feeding Africa

Africa’s hopes of feeding a population projected to double by 2050 amidst a worsening climate crisis rest on huge investments in agriculture, including creating the conditions so that women can empower themselves and lead efforts to transform the continent’s farming landscape.

Scaling Up SDG4 in Crises

Out of global crises spring opportunities for change. In crisis, change is not an option. It is a necessity. And, as Plato famously noted: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is an invention that sprang out of crisis and was borne of necessity.

Mayors Explore how COVID-19 Pandemic will Redefine Urban Cities

The coronavirus  pandemic has the potential to bring about positive changes for cities, and give leaders the opportunity to make long-term, transformative changes as a result, according to renowned architect Norman Foster, who was speaking at the first ever Forum of Mayors 2020.

Forging Resilient Regional Supply Chains and Connectivity

Participation in global and regional supply chains has been one of the most reliable economic growth strategies, especially for developing countries in Asia and the Pacific. Smooth and efficient connectivity in both trade and transport has been indispensable to the region’s pursuit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Teachers Shoulder the Burden: Improving Support in Crisis Contexts

Teachers are at the heart of children and young peoples’ educational experiences. Teachers play multiple roles in their students’ lives by supporting their learning, providing them with inclusive and safe environments to grow and develop, and helping them become more confident as they make their way in the world. As we commemorate World Teachers’ Day on Monday, 5 October and its theme--Teachers: Leading in Crisis, Reimagining the Future--we must recognize the inspiring and transformative role that teachers working in armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate change induced disasters and protracted crises play in their students’ lives.


From Pledges to Policy and Practice: Moving Nature to the Heart of Decision-Making

This week, Heads of State and Government from 64 countries announced one of the strongest pledges yet to reverse the loss of biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people by 2030. Advancing from powerful pledges to concrete policy and action, however, means that nature must be moved to the heart of global, national and local decision-making. It’s time for nature to be reintegrated into everything we do.

Pivoting Through the Pandemic: A Global Problem with a Pacific Solution

As the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) reported earlier this year, COVID-19 has caused massive disruptions to ocean observing systems around the globe, as research cruises, maintenance visits, and sensor deployments have been postponed or cancelled.

No More Excuses – Time for Global Economic Solutions

On 29 September, the world’s heads of state will come together (virtually) at an extraordinary meeting to discuss financing for development during the 75th UN general assembly. This will be crucial in the battle to address the Coronavirus crisis.

Pushing the Reset Button will not Change the Game

Governments have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with unprecedented intensity. They have taken far-reaching regulatory measures to contain the pandemic and mobilized financial resources on an enormous scale.

Africa at the Crossroads: Time to Abandon Failing Green Revolution

As COVID-19 threatens farming communities across Africa already struggling with climate change, the continent is at a crossroads. Will its people and their governments continue trying to replicate industrial farming models promoted by developed countries? Or will they move boldly into the uncertain future, embracing ecological agriculture?

Central Sahel – Shaping peace together with women and young people Statement for International Peace Day

The countries of Central Sahel—Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger—face an unprecedented crisis, marked by violent extremism, forced displacement, and rising insecurity. The sharp increase in armed attacks on communities, health centres, schools and other public institutions and infrastructure has disrupted livelihoods and access to social services. The impact on affected people is devastating.

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