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‘Water Is Peace, Life, Dignity’: Why The UN Deputy Chief Has A Thirst for Saving Lives

‘Water Is Peace, Life, Dignity’: Why The UN Deputy Chief Has A Thirst for Saving Lives

He is the UN deputy secretary general and was the Swedish foreign minister. He has brokered any number of deals between warring parties and negotiated the world’s development targets. But whatever he does, diplomat Jan Eliasson is happiest to be known as the “water man” – the individual who, for nearly 25 years, has ceaselessly […]

Zimbabwe Urged To Put Compassion Before Politics In Distribution Of Food Aid

Zimbabwe Urged To Put Compassion Before Politics In Distribution Of Food Aid

Aid agencies have called on President Robert Mugabe’s government to look beyond political differences and prioritise humanitarian principles after the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission accused the ruling Zanu-PF party of partisan food aid distribution. The commission’s chairman, Elasto Mugwadi, revealed this week that an official investigation into alleged discrimination in the distribution of food had […]

Global Food Crisis Triggered Cultural Shift Towards Junk Food, Say Researchers

Global Food Crisis Triggered Cultural Shift Towards Junk Food, Say Researchers

Millions of people who struggled to pay for traditional staple foods like maize, rice and wheat when global food prices dramatically rose between 2007-2011 have switched to western-style processed “junk-food” alternatives that are high in sugars, fats and salt, a four-year study across 10 countries has found. The sudden rise and volatility in the price […]

2016 Global Education Monitoring Report: Education Is Essential To All SDGs

2016 Global Education Monitoring Report: Education Is Essential To All SDGs

In May 2015, the World Education Forum  in Incheon mandated UNESCO to retool its annual Global Monitoring Report to document education progress against the goals and objectives of the new Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on education. The newly named Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report brilliantly and comprehensively provides this stocktaking, and it evaluates with empirical […]

Aid Groups Suspend Cooperation With UN In Syria Because Of Assad ‘Influence’

Aid Groups Suspend Cooperation With UN In Syria Because Of Assad ‘Influence’

  More than 70 aid groups have suspended cooperation with the UN in Syria and have demanded an immediate and transparent investigation into its operations in the country because of concerns the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has gained “significant and substantial” influence over the relief effort. The coalition, which includes some of Syria’s most widely […]

War Disproportionately Affects Women, So Why So Few Female Peacekeepers?

War Disproportionately Affects Women, So Why So Few Female Peacekeepers?

As atrocities mount in South Sudan, with reports of government and non-government soldiers killing and raping, the UK is preparing to send peacekeeping troops there. How will the UN peacekeeping summit, hosted this week in London, make maintaining peace and security more effective, in particular the protection of women and girls? Globally, there are 16 […]

Check Your Privilege: Self-Interest, Celebrity And Saving The World

Check Your Privilege: Self-Interest, Celebrity And Saving The World

What is it that stops us from thinking that a fairer world is possible? The American writer and intellectual Susan Sontag once wrote of the need to recognise how “our privileges fall on the same map as their suffering”. Yet the map of the world does not gather itself up as straightforwardly as Sontag suggests. […]

Nearly Half Of All Refugees Are Children, Says Unicef

Nearly Half Of All Refugees Are Children, Says Unicef

Children now make up more than half of the world’s refugees, according to a Unicef report, despite the fact they account for less than a third of the global population. Just two countries – Syria and Afghanistan – comprise half of all child refugees under protection by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), […]

A Breakthrough In Africa’s Rice Production

A Breakthrough In Africa’s Rice Production

The first hybrid rice varieties developed in sub-Saharan Africa are yielding up to four times more than other improved varieties, say scientists, who are using web-based tools to identify the right climate conditions to maximise harvests. The 15 hybrids, bred in Kenya and Tanzania, are also resistant to diseases and the high temperatures found in […]

‘Prisoners of Europe’: The Everyday Humiliation Of Refugees Stuck In Greece

‘Prisoners of Europe’: The Everyday Humiliation Of Refugees Stuck In Greece

At the Softex refugee camp in northern Greece, it is lighter by night than it is by day. Inside this windowless former warehouse, the lamps only work in the evenings. That is partly because the place was not designed to house people. It is part of what was a toilet paper factory. “It’s insulting,” says […]