Headlines

Revival of Hope: How a Remote Indian Village Overcame Water Scarcity

The people of Patqapara Village, a hamlet in India's West Bengal State, were until recently reeling under absolute distress due to water scarcity. The lack of irrigation facilities in this far-flung and inaccessible hamlet had resulted in a steady decline in agricultural activities. With a population of around 7,000, as per government estimates, the village primarily depends on agriculture for its livelihood. However, in recent years, drastic changes in weather patterns, including unseasonal rainfall, delayed monsoons, and soaring temperatures above normal levels, led to the drying up of irrigation canals and wells in the village. This left the local population in chaos, as their cultivable fields were bereft of any irrigation facilities.

Ahead of UN Summit of the Future, Mobilizing Youth for Change

In a significant precursor to the United Nations Summit of the Future slated for September, the "Future Action Festival" convened at Tokyo's National Stadium on March 24, drawing a crowd of approximately 66,000 attendees and reaching over half a million viewers via live streaming. The event, a collaborative effort by youth and citizen groups, aimed to foster a deeper understanding and proactive stance among young people on nuclear disarmament and climate change solutions.

The Kids of the Islamic State: A Childhood Stolen

Rozena, a 31-year-old woman from Guyana, says she travelled to Turkey in 2015 to join an NGO which helped Syrian refugees. That’s all she’ll reveal when asked how and why she ended up living in the so-called Islamic State for four years.

The Gambia Must Not Repeal FGM Ban

Earlier this month, a UNICEF report on the prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) showed that while some success is taking place, the pace of progress remains slow - lagging behind population growth, especially in places where FGM is most common.

Global Governance: Time for Reform

At last the UN Security Council has passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. While stopping short of demanding a permanent end to the violence, it goes further than the world’s peak peace and security body had so far managed since the start of the current brutal phase of conflict in October. But the time it’s taken to get to this point signals an ongoing failure of global institutions to uphold human rights.

Abandoned Children Growing Problem in Northern Syria

Wael Al-Hassan was returning from work in the Syrian city of Harim when he heard the sound of a baby crying. He was returning from work on December 10, 2023. He stopped momentarily, turned on his mobile phone flashlight to investigate, and spotted a baby girl, around one month old, wrapped in a white blanket, lying by the roadside.

IMF Urges Non-alignment in Second Cold War

The IMF no. 2 recommends non-alignment as the best option for developing countries in the second Cold War as geopolitics threatens already dismal prospects for the world economy and wellbeing.

Child Malnutrition in Peru Driven Up by Poverty and Food Insecurity

Quechua farmer Felipa Noamesa, who lives in the southern Peruvian department of Cuzco, prepares a cream of fava bean soup for breakfast every morning with bread and vegetable soup with noodles. Her children are grown up, so her priority is that her five-year-old granddaughter does not suffer from anemia or malnutrition, two problems she frequently sees in her community.

Governments Worldwide Prioritize School Feeding for Its Multiple Benefits

Before COVID-19 hit, in January 2020, 388 million children worldwide were being fed every day at school. Soon after lockdowns began, that number plummeted to 18 million, but just two years later, in 2022, it had recovered, and more — school feeding had reached 420 million children.

Parents Harness Pedal and Wind Power To Demand Climate Action

Extreme sports are not just for young people. Climate activism isn’t either. Yamandù Pagliano is proof.

UN Security Council’s Ceasefire Resolution in Gaza Welcomed

After nearly six months of a devastating war in Gaza, the UN Security Council has at last adopted a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The resolution calls for the ceasefire to come into effect for the month of Ramadan, demands the unconditional release of all hostages and ensures humanitarian access.

Will Israel Defy Another Security Council Resolution?

The UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution for a temporary cease-fire in the ongoing conflict in Gaza— adopted by a 14-0 vote with the US abstaining –- marks a significant step forward in momentarily halting the five-month-old fighting which has claimed the lives of over 32,000 Palestinians and 1,200 inside Israel. But a lingering question remains: how will Israel respond? Clearly, Israel has had a longstanding notoriety for flouting UNSC resolutions ---and still never having to pay a price for such violations—primarily because of the unyielding support of the United States.

South Asian Network on Human Rights Calls on Bhutan to Free Political Prisoners

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, has called on the Government of Bhutan to release the political prisoners it has detained for decades.

Building Resilience and Mental Health Capacity of Youth

Sri Lankan lawmaker Hector Appuhamy, in conversation with IPS ahead of a two-day conference aimed at educating  and involving university students in mental health issues, said parliamentarians were concerned about gaps in the programmes and financing for youth mental health. They were looking beyond the country's health budget for support in ensuring that youth were able to access mental health facilities in a supportive environment.

Grassroots Venezuelan Initiative Aims to Combat Electricity Crisis with Solar Energy

Sweating profusely, unable to sleep because of the heat, fed up with years of blackouts several times a day, many residents of Venezuela's torrid northwest want to cover the roofs and balconies of their homes with solar panels, and are asking the government to import them massively and cheaply from China.

Defending Human Rights is Increasingly Dangerous: US Congress & Companies Must Act

Human rights defenders are under fire. At a time when the climate crisis is deepening and threats to democracy are on the rise, activists working to protect people and the environment are facing deadly threats. Front Line Defenders documented more than 400 murders of defenders in 2022—the highest number ever recorded.

World’s Democracies Threatened by Disinformation Generated by Artificial Intelligence

Speaking at the third Summit for Democracy in South Korea last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that a malicious "flood" of disinformation is threatening the world's democracies—triggered in part by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). But AI is also a critical arena in which democracy is being challenged. “So, while we seek to harness the power of AI and other digital technologies for good, some governments are abusing those same technologies to do just the opposite,” he said.

Taliban Rule Exacerbates Malnutrition Crisis: Afghan Women and Children Hardest Hit

Malnutrition in Afghanistan has reached an unprecedented level, according to United Nations humanitarian organizations. It is estimated that half of the country's population grapples with severe hunger year-round, placing Afghanistan among the top ten nations globally with the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality due to malnutrition.

Conservation Efforts by Ethnic Communities in Bangladesh Bolster Water Security

Just a few years ago, Sudarshana Chakma (35), a resident of the remote Digholchari Debarmatha village under Bilaichari upazila in the Rangamati Hill District, had to traverse a long hilly path to fetch water for her household because there were no local water sources. "Unchecked deforestation and degradation of village common forests (VCFs) led to the drying up of all-natural water sources in our village. We struggled to collect drinking and household water," Chakma explained to IPS. 

Fall-out from Ecuador’s Crises Highlights Need to Invest in Grassroots Resilience

Shocking and ongoing levels of violence in Ecuador since the New Year followed by flooding caused by El Niño landed a double blow for those in the country who live day to day and are most vulnerable to instability.

Written in Memory of Alexei Navalny and Osip Mandelstam

The devastation of Ukraine and Gaza might seem to be beyond belief. Let us thus turn to fairy tales to find descriptions of the stony indifference of warlords.

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