Beyond Doha: Better Financing for Development

Construction workers fasten the base of the pre-fabricated Haitian Parliament facility, being built with funds from the U.N. peacekeeping mission. Credit: UN Photo

Haiti’s Reconstruction Still an Uphill Battle

As Haiti struggles to recover from the deadly January 2010 earthquake that killed over 200,000 people and forced nearly 1.5 million into camps, international funding is failing to keep pace with the generous pledges made last year, and in- fighting in Haiti's new government is hindering the disbursement of aid.

Right to Water Still a Political Mirage

When the international community commemorates the first anniversary of a historic General Assembly resolution recognising the right to water and sanitation as a basic human right, there will be no joyous celebrations in the corridors of the United Nations, come Jul. 28.

Mentally Ill Suffer Medieval Treatment Across the Globe

A young girl in Somalia sits chained to a tree. Women in the Ukraine wander aimlessly in the halls of a decrepit psychiatric hospital. Those are the startling images in a recent article by a global panel calling the world's attention to the extent and tragedy of hundreds of millions suffering from mental illnesses and who go untreated in the global south.

U.S.: Republican Lawmakers Tell the World Where to Go

On Wednesday, they voted to cut all U.S. contributions to the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS), a symbol of U.S. hemispheric dominance for more than 60 years.

Sanitation Moves Up Global Development Agenda

With nearly 40 percent of the world's population lacking adequate sanitation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced an initiative Tuesday to invest 42 million dollars in new grants to help "reinvent the toilet".

Maize is the preferred staple food for nearly one billion people. Credit: Vassia Atanassova/GNU License

Research Grant Aims to Meet Critical Maize Shortfalls

As the world's largest international agricultural research coalition celebrated its 40th anniversary here this week, it also announced the launch of a programme to help provide enough maize to meet the annual food demands of over 600 million consumers by 2030.

Civil Society Unifies Position Ahead of Aid Summit

Civil society groups say they want to have a stronger voice in setting the development agenda ahead of a key global summit on aid effectiveness later this year.

The funds raised so far are "hopelessly, pathetically below what's needed and was expected", says long-time advocate Stephen Lewis.  Credit: UN Photo/Ky Chung

U.N. Women’s Agency Being “Strangled at Birth”

When the United Nations inaugurated a landmark special agency for women last January, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon set an initial target of 500 million dollars as the proposed annual budget for the new gender-empowered body.

DEVELOPMENT: Partners, Not Donors Needed For Africa

On an unusually hot Belgian afternoon, Thoko Kaime, leans back in his chair and explains how ‘township’ actually means ‘slum’ in his home country of Malawi.

AFRICA: South-South Cooperation Should Focus on Development

African states should be careful not to lose track of their own development plans when they enter into agreements with states outside the continent, despite apparent positive spin-offs.

Women’s Groups Unite Ahead of Busan Aid Forum

Twenty women from four continents consider the words discussion leader Anne Schoenstein, of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), has written on a flip chart. She strikes out in blue ink a previous sentence. She begins writing a new one - a demand aimed at aid donors - dictated by Nurgul Djanaeva.

Corporate Influence Clouds Vaccine Pledging Conference

Between 2011 and 2012, 6.4 million children could die of preventable diseases, a number greater than the total population of Denmark or Norway.

AIDS Funding Gap Threatens Treatment Targets

A staggering nine million people are still awaiting HIV treatment, yet the 22 billion dollars the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) says is needed to give them access to medicine and care has far from materialised.

Jany Chen, CEO of Shanghai Environmental Group, speaks with IPS. Credit: Sanjay Suri/IPS

DEVELOPMENT: Chinese Step In, Efficiently

For Jany Chen from Shanghai, concern often-raised in Europe and North America about the Chinese invasion of Africa is a lot of wasteful talk that deserves to be flushed down the toilet. Efficiently.

DEVELOPMENT: New Action Programme, and New Name for the Poorest

A new 10-year blueprint for assisting the poorest countries on the planet to join the league of the more fortunate ones was approved Friday at the closing of the Fourth U.N. Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) held May 9- 13 here.

Demba Moussa Dembele, chairperson of LDC Watch, speaks to IPS. Credit: Sanjay Suri/IPS

DEVELOPMENT: South-South Axis Strengthens

The glass isn’t exactly half-full, but it certainly is not entirely empty either. Within the broad failure of the weeklong Fourth U.N. Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) in Istanbul that concluded Friday, many delegates are taking heart in a strengthening South-South front that has emerged.

Turkish section of the private sector bazaar packed with goods targeted at LDC buyers. Credit: Sanjay Suri/IPS

DEVELOPMENT: Market Forces Rise Above Declarations

Upstairs in halls where the conference of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is being held, all the right things were being said about the misery of poverty and the virtue of opportunity and development. Several floors below, what are called ‘market forces’ were at work.

Valentine Rugwabiza, deputy director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) speaks with IPS. Credit: Sanjay Suri/IPS

LDCs Seek Mini Trade Deal

Leaders from the Least Developed Countries are making a strong push in Istanbul for a mini trade deal for their 48 impoverished nations - ahead of any worldwide agreement under the Doha Round.

POPULATION: Promise Rises With a Problem

On the face of it, a rapidly rising population among the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) spells the usual doom about adequate resource distribution. But the least developed are also among the youngest in the world - and well channelled, they can be a valuable asset, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) head Babatunde Osotimehin told IPS.

ECONOMY: Looking for Development Leverage

Given a few incentives, private companies can be attracted to invest in poor countries that before were not on their radar. Donor countries are betting on this new avenue of public-private-partnerships (PPPs) to channel funds, technology and business knowledge to the 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) - the impact can be huge, but many challenges remain.

Drawing water in Zambia - hundreds of millions in LDCs lack access to basic services. Credit:  Kelvin Kachingwe/IPS

DEVELOPMENT: Investment, Not Charity for LDCs

Least Developed Countries do not need charity; they want more and smarter investments. This is the point of departure for the Fourth U.N. Conference for the world’s poor countries (LDC-IV) begins in Istanbul, Turkey.

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