Economy & Trade

Global Austerity Alert: Looming Budget Cuts in 2021-25 and Alternatives

Last week Ministers of Finance met virtually at the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to discuss policies to tackle the pandemic and socio-economic recovery.

Studying Marine Life’s Brief Break from Human Noise

Travel and economic slowdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic have combined to brake shipping, seafloor exploration, and many other human activities in the ocean, creating a unique moment to begin a time-series study of the impacts of sound on marine life.

People’s Leader: A Dalit Woman Becomes The Voice of Farmers In India

On 12 January this year, somewhere in the outskirts of the capital, New Delhi, 24 year old Dalit activist Nodeep Kaur was arrested by the Haryana police for protesting outside a factory. During the lockdown in 2020, Nodeep joined a local workers’ rights organization called Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan (MAS) in the Kundli Industrial Area in Haryana. In January Nodeep was accused of allegedly manhandling management and staff of an industrial area during a protest and also assaulting the police team.

COVID-19 Teaches Us to Better Manage Global Systemic Risks

Millions of lives lost. Trillions of dollars in economic damage. Over 120 million more people pushed into extreme poverty. The human and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is almost unimaginable – a once-in-a-century catastrophe.

New Report Calls for Improved Eating Habits in a World of Extremes

With the two extremes of global hunger and obesity on the increase, a new report suggests a radical reset for food and nutrition to ensure the long-term sustainability of livelihoods and the environment.

Only Multilateral Cooperation Can Stop Harmful Tax Competition

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has urged all governments to support a global minimum corporate tax rate of at least 21%. The US is working with other G20 nations to get other countries to end the “thirty-year race to the bottom on corporate tax rates”.

Barilla Foundation Brings Health and Climate Together in New Double Pyramid

Following an extensive scientific review, the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation (BCFN) is preparing to launch a new food systems model which incorporates nutrition and climate.

In the Secretive World of Government-to-Government Lending, 100 Chinese Debt Contracts Offer a Trove of New Information

Is Chinese financing good for developing countries? This has become a provocative question, freighted with ideology, geopolitics, and commercial rivalries. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying to answer factually and empirically.

Clash of Cultures – Is it Real or a Smokescreen?

The notion of “Clash of Cultures” is most frequently used as a justification for anti-immigrant prejudice and, particularly in Europe and in the USA, for islamophobia. The reasoning goes as follows: immigrants, especially Muslims, have a deeply different culture from the hosting communities and these differences create unsurmountable tensions and conflicts.

The Invisible Women in Energy: Biomass Producers Who Deserve More Recognition

As the world looks to address issues of gender equity, development and climate change, the importance of increasing the participation of women in the energy sector is gaining attention. To date, this topic has generally been framed around the underrepresentation of women in the energy workforce.

Helping Youth Agribusiness Keep Pace with Fast Growing Africa

From small towns to big cities, sub-Saharan Africa has the fastest urban growth rate in the world. The continent’s population is expected to double by 2050 with the youth representing 60% of the overall population. The UN Department of Global Communication, for example, projects that for the next 15 years urban growth is set to double for several African cities: Dar es Salaam will reach over 13 million inhabitants and Kampala will exceed seven million.

A Healthy Indian Ocean Feeds, Protects, and Connects all South Asians

It is the oceans that engendered life. The lives of humans remain connected to the seas, making the good health of the seas and the efficient management of sea-based activity essential elements for the wellbeing of people and nations.

Women and Girls to the Front

Women hold up half the sky. Some years ago, Sarah al-Amiri, a young Emirati engineer, had a fixed gaze beyond the sky and towards our galaxy. “Space was a sector that we never dared to dream growing up,” she noted.

IMF, World Bank Must Support Developing Countries’ Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take an unprecedented human and economic toll, wiping away years of modest and uneven progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Developing countries now need much more support as progress towards the SDGs was ‘not on track’ even before the pandemic.

Pandemic Accentuates Need for Caribbean Countries to Improve Food and Nutrition Security

Last year, Jaxine Scott was off work as a caregiver at a primary school as a result of the pandemic. One day, she noticed a green shoot emerging from some garlic in her fridge. She decided to plant it, and to her surprise, it thrived. “I thought ‘It looks like I have a green thumb, let me plant something else,’” Scott says. She now has a backyard garden, including cucumber, pumpkin, melon, callaloo, cantaloupe, pak choy and tomatoes. “It makes me feel good,” she says. “I can help my family members and neighbours. It has saved me money. I’m not going to stop, I’m going to continue,” she says.

UN Leadership Necessary for Fairer Tax Cooperation

Illicit financial flows (IFFs) hurt all countries, both developed and developing. But poor countries suffer relatively more, accounting for nearly half the loss of world tax revenue. IFFs refer to cross-border movements of money and other financial assets obtained illegally at source, e.g., by corruption, smuggling, tax evasion, etc. This often involves trade mis-invoicing and transnational corporations’ (TNCs) transfer pricing via ‘creative’ accounting or book-keeping.

Farming-Specific Loans Help Tanzania’s Smallholders Increase Productivity

Small agricultural loans, disbursed through mobile phones and targeting specific farming activities at different phases of production, have more than doubled food productivity among thousands of smallholder farmers in southern and central parts of Tanzania over the past three years, improving their livelihoods.

Recipes with a Taste of Sustainable Development on the Coast of El Salvador

Salvadoran villager Maria Luz Rodriguez placed the cheese on top of the lasagna she was cooking outdoors, put the pan in her solar oven and glanced at the midday sun to be sure there was enough energy for cooking.

World Autism Awareness Day – 2 April 2021

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex condition that remains misunderstood. The effects of ASD and the severity of symptoms vary so much between individuals.

Covid19 a Wake-up Call to Address Development Fault Lines in Asia and the Pacific

The world is emerging from the biggest social and economic shock in living memory, but it will be a long time before the deep scars of the COVID-19 pandemic on human well-being fully heal. In the Asia-Pacific region, where 60 per cent of the world lives, the pandemic revealed chronic development fault lines through its excessively harmful impact on the most vulnerable. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) estimates that 89 million more people in the region have been pushed back into extreme poverty at the $1.90 per day threshold, erasing years of development gains. The economic and educational shutdowns are likely to have severely harmed human capital formation and productivity, exacerbating poverty and inequality.

Developing Countries COVID-19 Debt Crisis Could Put SDGs & Climate Agreement Completely Out of Reach

The inability of developing nations to spend on post COVID-19 recovery and resilience has placed the world on the "the verge of a debt crisis". “We face the spectre of a divided world and a lost decade for development,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday, Mar. 29, during a high-level meeting on financing development post COVID-19.

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