Poverty & SDGs

As the Climate Crisis Bites, Soil Needs Doctors Too

In a wiser world, the term ‘treating someone like dirt’ would be a good thing. After all, 15 of the 18 nutrients essential to plants are supplied by soils and around 95% of the food we eat comes directly or indirectly from them, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). So dirt is actually a precious resource that deserves to be treated with respect, care and perhaps even a little love.

How (Much) Are You Today?

Gone are those times when catastrophes were measured in terms of human suffering. Now, with an exception: Ukrainians victims of the Russian invasion, everything is calculated in just money.

Delivering On Our Promise of Universal Education

As we mark the International Day of Education, world leaders must make good on their promise of providing quality education for all by 2030. Education is our investment in peace where there is war, our investment in equality where there is injustice, our investment in prosperity where there is poverty.

Demography Doesn’t Care

Demography doesn’t care about such things as national strikes over pension retirement ages, public protests about contraception and abortion rights, sexual orientation, habits and preferences, political ideology and party affiliation, dress codes and head coverings, and religious identity, beliefs and practices.

Rebuilding Climate-Devastated Pakistan will Run in Excess of 16 Billion Dollars

For decades, I have been privileged to witness the boundless generosity and resilience of the Pakistani people amidst grave threats and upheaval.

Greening the City Gets Community Treatment in Zimbabwe

It's a typical story in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city. With the failure to provide services such as refuse collection by the local municipality, township residents dump garbage wherever they fancy, and with time, dumpsites become "official."

Can the UN do a Better Job with Democracy?

The UN Democracy Fund, also known as UNDEF, is an interesting tool but it is too small and lacking resources to mark a difference. How can the UN do a better job at promoting democracy? This is a key question that high-ranking policy makers at the UN should ask themselves.

African Parliamentarians Strongly Committed to Population and Development

Many Ghanian Members of Parliament (MPs) champion adolescent reproductive health rights to stop the practice of child marriage, which is prevalent in some areas of the country even though the country’s Constitution and Children’s Act outlaw it, Dr Rashid Pelpuo (MP) told IPS in an exclusive interview.

Africa’s Maternal Deaths Need Urgent Action to Meet SDG Goals

As the effects of COVID-19 on Africa’s health sector become clearer, it looks the continent will need to take urgent steps to overcome the disruptions suffered in the breakdown in antenatal and postnatal care for women and newborns and neonatal intensive care units. The pandemic brought some setbacks to the gains achieved in maternal mortality over the past decade.

Digitizing Africa: Key to Stronger Institutions

I recently overheard a conversation among three young people at a café in an African city. It was a passionate discussion on the management of funds allocated to the COVID-19 response and the effectiveness of the mechanisms in place to manage the money to achieve the intended purposes.

Raising the Alarm on the Slow Pace of Family Law Reform

In September 2021, in the midst of a pandemic-related lockdown, a 15-year-old Muslim girl from Colombo, Sri Lanka was married off by her relatives to a much older man.

Biogas Spreads Among Cuban Families as an Alternative Energy – Video

Mayra Rojas is one of a small but growing number of people in Cuba benefiting from the production of biogas, a renewable energy source still little used in a country highly dependent on fossil fuels.

Four Ways to Overcome Corruption in the Race Against Climate Crisis

Climate change is the defining issue of our time. In the words of the UN Secretary General at COP27, “we are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.” Cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050 is crucial when it comes to meeting the 1.5 degrees Celsius target.

The Digital Divide: Africa the Least Connected with 60 percent of the Population Offline

The digital divide – between the world’s rich and poor nations —remains staggeringly wide. For over 2.7 billion people, many of them living in developing and least developed countries (LDCs), meaningful connectivity remains elusive, according to a UN report released during the 17th Internet Governance Forum in Addis Ababa, last month.

Climate Change Meets Conflict Pushing Millions of Children in Ethiopia Out of School

A silent catastrophe is unfolding in Ethiopia on the backdrop of years of inter-communal conflict and the most prolonged and severe drought in recent years. High inflation and food insecurity in the drought-ravaged country is among the worst in the world.

We Indigenous Peoples are Rights-Holders, not Stakeholders

After four failed rainy seasons, the land of the Maasai has withered. The worst drought in 40 years is a slow-motion storm of devastation in the Greater Horn of Africa, ruining the livestock, the communities, the Maasai way of life. Their cattle have been their greatest source of wealth and nutrition, but with grazing lands shriveled from the dry heat and their livestock emaciated, the entire region is in peril.

To Achieve Human Rights, Start with Food

This year’s Human Rights Day marks the 74th year since the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an international document that enshrines the rights and freedoms of all people. The right to food became a legal obligation for countries to promote and protect as part of the economic, social and cultural rights in 1966.

Corruption: Europe Doing Nothing – Part II

"Western Europe and the European Union remains the highest scoring region in the world’s corruption index, progress has halted and worrying signs of backsliding have emerged.”

Toward Free Education for All Children – Momentum Building to Expand the Right to Millions

Education is fundamental for children’s development and a powerful catalyst for improving their entire lives. International human rights law guarantees everyone a right to education. But it surprises many to learn that the international human rights framework only explicitly guarantees an immediate right to free primary education—even though we know that a child equipped with just a primary education is inadequately prepared to thrive in today’s world.

A Little Land Helps Indigenous Venezuelans Integrate in Brazil

A group of Warao families are, through their own efforts, paving the way for the integration of indigenous Venezuelans in Brazil, five years after the start of the wave of their migration to the border state of Roraima.

Corruption: The Most Perpetrated –and Least Prosecuted– Crime – Part I

In these times when all sorts of human rights violations have been ‘normalised,’ a crime which continues to be perpetrated everywhere but punished nowhere: corruption is also seen as a business as usual. A business, by the way, that relies on the wide complicity of official authorities.

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