Beyond Doha: Better Financing for Development

Panel at the civil society forum. Credit:  Claire Ngozo/IPS

DEVELOPMENT: Time For New Approaches says Civil Society

The dominant approaches to development have failed the world’s poorest citizens and now the paradigm must change. This is the strong message coming from over 2,000 non-governmental organisations gathered at the civil society forum for the Fourth U.N. Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) in Istanbul, Turkey.

UNCTAD's James Zhan: Emergent powers such as China and Brazil provide LDCs with more opportunities to attract investment. Credit: Isolda Agazzi/IPS

AFRICA: Investment Growth Benefiting Only Some Poor States

While foreign direct investment in least developed countries (LDCs) in Africa has risen sharply over the past decade, most of it went to resource-rich economies and had little impact on employment creation.

Ambassador Josephine Ojiambo of Kenya, President of the U.N. General Assembly High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation. Credit: Courtesy of GSSD Expo

Q&A: Translating Southern Successes Into LDC Solutions

"In South-South cooperation we are all partners," Josephine Ojiambo, ambassador of Kenya to the U.N. and president of the U.N. General Assembly High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation, told IPS. "SSC specifically shies away from the donor-client relationship."

Financiers Lock Horns over Macro Policies While Millions Go Hungry

As weeks of what the International Monetary Fund's managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn called "painful" negotiations over a host of macroeconomic policies drew to a close here Saturday, confusion over coherent strategies for sustainable economic recovery hangs thick in the air.

WORLD: Finding Funding for LDCs Amidst Global Financial Crisis

Representatives of the world’s poorest nations are preparing to assemble a new "programme of action" to reduce grinding poverty. Among proposals that could emerge from the U.N. Least Developed Countries Conference in Istanbul next month is a global tax on financial transactions that would generate billions of dollars a year for development assistance.

About 35 percent of the world

A Table for Nine Billion

As the World Bank and International Monetary Fund convene for their annual Spring Meetings here, soaring food prices are high on the agenda, prompting some analysts to fast-forward to 2050 and the question of how to nourish the mid-century's estimated world population of 8.9 billion people – the majority of whom will live in developing countries.

DEVELOPMENT: IBSA’s South-South Funding With No Strings Attached

Development donors typically impose strict conditions on recipient countries. Now a different South-South approach to funding is taking shape through the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Fund for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation.

U.N. Decries Stagnant Funding For Population Goals

As the international community readies to cope with a rising world population of some seven billion people by the middle of this year, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns that financial assistance for population-related activities has made no visible gains since 2008.

New World Development Report Repackages Old Ideas

With over 1.5 billion people living in countries blighted by incessant or recurring violence, the World Bank's annual World Development Report (WDR), with this year's focus on how conflict derails development, was anxiously received Monday by scores of development agencies, governments and NGOs all over the world.

Vendors in Luanda: rhetoric about need for human development has not changed reality for the poor. Credit:  Louise Redvers/IPS

Least Developed Countries Stagnate Under Ailing Strategies

A report released Tuesday by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the Fourth Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) slated to take place in Istanbul, Turkey in early May expressed a strong critique of the snail's pace of development, but stopped just short of calling for radical new policies to be implemented.

Mavic Cabrera-Balleza Credit: Courtesy of GNWP

Q&A: “Women Must Be Part of the Peace Equation”

Eleven years ago, 192 countries – all the United Nations member states – agreed to step up the integration of women in international peacebuilding and security processes, a promise that has remained largely unmet.

Agricultural Policy Is Gender Policy

Eva, a Ghanian woman, was given five pigs and some training on how best to care for them. Eventually, her farm grew to 400 pigs and she was able to buy more land and a motorbike which she not only used for transporting her goods to market but for helping neighbours get to town and to hospital quicker.

Bill Would Aid Afghan Women Caught in U.S.-led War

As conflict continues to rage in Afghanistan, the U.S. Congress is gearing up to debate a bill that could support the country's long-oppressed women in their struggle to achieve gender equality, even in the years after the U.S. military occupation ends.

U.S. House Pushes Through Deep Aid Cuts

With a 2015 deadline fast approaching to meet a collective global promise to tackle poverty and improve education, health and environmental sustainability around the world, development and humanitarian advocates are up in arms over conservative lawmakers' proposals to slash and burn entire chunks of the United States' foreign aid budget.

Bruno Gurtner, chair of Tax Justice Network's board, holding the report, next to Dereje Alemayehu, chair of the network's African steering committee. Credit: Tax Justice Network

AFRICA: Billions Lost to State Coffers Due to Tax Leniency

Bad governance and the persistence of the tax avoidance industry allow billions of dollars of profit to be siphoned out of Africa, untaxed, every year.

Axe Descends on U.S. Overseas Aid

With U.S. President Barack Obama's release of his Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 foreign affairs budget Monday and a proposal currently in the U.S. House of Representatives for massive cuts in FY 2011 international spending, the fight to sustain U.S. aid abroad is intensifying.

U.S.: Military Intervention Trumping Humanitarian Aid

In the midst of a belt-tightening political climate in which pledges by prominent lawmakers to slash the United States' foreign affairs budget will likely soon be realised, some rights groups and experts are concerned about the increasingly blurry distinction between security and development in the face of shrinking resources.

Workers during a recent protest in Mbabane about the Swaziland government's financial crisis. Credit: Mantoe Phakathi/IPS

AFRICA: Swaziland in Crisis as Customs Union Revenue Is Slashed

Apart from the looming job losses in Swaziland’s public sector, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have also warned of retrenchments following the government’s decision to suspend procurement from small businesses.

Arjun Karki Credit: Courtesy of Arjun Karki

Q&A: Looking to a World Without LDCs

Maximising time, energy and resources toward improving living conditions for millions of people in the poorest countries of the world - the so-called Least Developed Countries (LDCs) - means that the "business-as-usual" approach must yield to a holistic strategy, says Arjun Karki, a longtime expert on grassroots, democratic peace-building and development.

Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women, holds a press conference on her organisation

UN Women Head Unveils Empowerment Agenda

Despite birthing 100 percent of the world's children, growing 70 percent of the world's food and performing 60 percent of the world's labour, women only receive a fraction - a mere 10 percent - of the world's income.

Jens Martens Credit: Courtesy of Global Policy Forum

Q&A: In Search of Buen Vivir

The clock is ticking to live up to the promises governments made a decade ago to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people. But are those promises themselves inherently flawed?

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