Global development Headlines

  • Tobacco farm in Malawi: the families toiling in the fields

    Life as tenant farmers in Kasungu, northern Malawi, can be a struggle for families trapped in poverty, who feel forced to rely on their children’s help, impacting schooling. Photographyby David Levene Continue reading...

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  • 'This scheme is a lifesaver': India's drive to provide cheap drugs

    A project that makes affordable medicine available to India’s poor is helping them avoid bills that might otherwise push them into destitution A taciturn, heavy-set man, Khawar Khan is not given to smiling. Only when he recalls the relief flooding the faces of customers after he has sold medicines at a twentieth of the cost in other chemists does he smile broadly. “An autorickshaw wallah broke down here. Medicines for his wife used to cost him a catastrophic 10,000 (£111) rupees a month, his...

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  • Firefighting in Manila's tinderbox slums – a picture essay

    There have been more than 2,200 fires in the Philippines capital so far this year, mostly in slum areas Continue reading...

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  • Toronto pay-what-you-can store aims to tackle landfills and hunger

    Initiative aims to reduce dumping of ‘waste’ and sell it at prices set by buyers In a bright, airy Toronto market, the shelves are laden with everything from organic produce to pre-made meals and pet food. What shoppers won’t find, however, is price tags. In what is believed to be a North American first, everything in this grocery store is pay-what-you-can. The new store aims to tackle food insecurity and wastage by pitting the two issues against each other, said Jagger Gordon, the Toronto chef...

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  • Born out of brutality, South Sudan, the world’s youngest state, drowns in murder, rape and arson

    As thousands flee the vicious civil war, families seeking safety in the swamp town of Nyal tell of villagers murdered and their homes burnt to the ground by government forces. The canoe is barely visible at first, a dark shape moving among the lily pads and grasses in the vast expanse of South Sudan’s Sudd marshes. The little craft is laden with five villagers – faces anxious and tired – and the few possessions they were able to rescue as they fled fighting around the counties of Leer and...

    the Guardian
  • My ex told me years ago she’d been abused. Is it too late to help?

    Mariella Frostrup identifies with a man who grew up amid the sectarian violence of Northern Ireland and says his failure to act when he was a teenager would be a common scenario The dilemma I was born in Belfast in 1965. I fell in love with a girl in 1983 and at the time she fell in love with me. To cut to the chase, she told me that her brother had sexually abused her and her two sisters. However, the abuser was heavily involved in a terrorist organisation. You can have no idea what it was like...

    the Guardian
  • Africa is finally uniting: now we need good politics

    With a free trade agreement signed, a new era of prosperity beckons for the African continent In Africa, our biggest threats are also opportunities. By 2035, 450 million Africans will have joined the working age population, more than the rest of the world combined in that time. They will power our economies forward, as long as there are jobs they have the knowledge to perform. But our schools and universities have not kept pace with technology. Over half of all jobseekers have few or no skills,...

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  • Support proves key for teachers and children alike in Kenya’s largest slum

    Efforts to improve the training and resources available to childminders in Nairobi’s Kibera settlement are bearing fruit – to the benefit of all concerned Three-year-old Joy and her sister Lavine, four, are surrounded by kitchen pots, soft toys and an old wellington boot. It’s mid-morning at Kidogo’s nursery and preschool, and the sisters are playing in the dramatic centre, a place set aside for children to invent their own games. Each corner of the room is dedicated to a different activity:...

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  • 'Conscientious objection': when doctors' beliefs are a barrier to abortion

    As a report highlights the ruinous impact of denying abortion, two medics offer opposing views on the role of personal belief A rise in the number of healthcare providers who refuse to provide abortion services based on their personal beliefs is having a devastating impact on women and girls around the world, a new study has claimed. Over the past two decades, at least 30 countries – including, most recently, Ireland, Chile and Argentina – have taken steps to improve access to abortion through...

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  • Médecins Sans Frontières staff working in Africa accused of using sex workers

    Whistleblowers claim sex workers were routinely employed by aid agency employees, one of whom suggested it was possible to swap drugs for sex The charity Médecins Sans Frontières has been hit by allegations that aid workers for the organisation used local prostitutes while working in Africa. Whistleblowers told the Victoria Derbyshire programme the alleged behaviour was “blatant” and “widespread” among logistical staff. Continue reading...

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  • Quitting UN human rights council puts US 'on wrong side of history' – activists

    Loss of moral leadership lamented as Trump administration is accused of wilfully undermining global justice The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the UN human rights council puts the US on the wrong side of history and should be urgently reversed, activists have said. The council needed reform, said campaigners, but remained a vital force for accountability and justice in a “post-rights world”. Continue reading...

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  • Ethnic tensions rise in Uganda as World Cup row leaves four refugees dead

    Deadly dispute between South Sudanese refugees during Brazil v Switzerland game inflames ethnic tensions Ugandan officials have begun segregating refugees after a rise in ethnic tensions led to the deaths of four South Sudanese, including a teenager. Security agencies have been heavily deployed in northern Uganda’s refugee settlements, home to more than 1 million people, in response to unrest between the warring ethnic groups that have fled conflict in South Sudan. Continue reading...

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  • Philippines 'sitting on a timebomb' as inquiry urged into political killings

    Exiled land rights defender calls for international help to investigate rights abuses under President Rodrigo Duterte A human rights activist branded a terrorist by the Philippine government has urged the international community to support an independent investigation into political killings in the country. Amid growing unrest in the Philippines, Joan Carling said President Rodrigo Duterte has shown a complete disregard for the rule of law that, coupled with plans to plunder the land and...

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  • These Guatemalan women save mothers and babies. Why are they treated so badly?

    Comadronas fulfil a role similar to a doula for many pregnant indigenous women. But discrimination is hampering their work Juana Cac Perpuac sits on the grass outside the health centre in her town with a look of desperation and disbelief in her eyes. She whispers: “I’m attending to one woman who is eight months pregnant and very thin. I told her to come here to get help, but the staff wouldn’t see her. She’s due soon and I think she’s going to have problems.” Cac Perpuac adds that doctors and...

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  • Battling tokenism: Zimbabwe's female politicians pin hopes on polls

    In July’s crucial election – the first since the fall of Mugabe – women hope to deliver a decisive blow against sexism Women in Zimbabwe are hoping for a political breakthrough in the forthcoming elections, despite a “hostile atmosphere” and “resistance” from male politicians. The election next month will be the first since the fall of Robert Mugabe, the 94-year-old who ruled for almost four decades, and is one of the most important in the country’s turbulent history. Continue reading...

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  • UK Foreign Office ranks among world's worst on revealing how aid is spent

    Annual index on transparency of major international donors rates Whitehall department as ‘poor’, though DfID scores highly The British Foreign Office has been ranked one of the world’s worst major aid donors on transparency, according to a new study. The Whitehall department was described as “poor” and “well below average” on transparency of aid spend, ranking 40th among 45 major donors by the Aid Transparency Index, launched by the global campaign Publish What You Fund. Continue reading...

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  • The doctor from Myanmar faced with 1 million patients and a plague of rats – podcast

    When disaster struck his community in remote Chin state, Dr SaSa rushed to help – and found himself trying to treat 400 people a day Growing up in an isolated village in western Myanmar was tough, with no running water or electricity, and little access to healthcare. The nearest hospital was several days’ walk away. SaSa was determined to become a doctor, but just as he reached the end of his training, the bamboo on which his community survived was wiped out, triggering a huge increase in rats,...

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  • Image of sobbing toddler at US border: ‘It was hard for me to photograph’

    The photographer behind the viral image that exposed the anguish of Trump’s controversial border policy speaks out Photographer John Moore, whose viral image of a weeping two-year-old girl at the US border has become the potent symbol of the outrage over Donald Trump’s controversial “zero tolerance” policy, including family separations, knew what he had captured was “important”. What he could not guess, however, was how great an impact his picture would have on the debate as it was published...

    the Guardian
  • Record 68.5 million people fleeing war or persecution worldwide

    As data shows one in every 110 people is displaced, UN special envoy Angelina Jolie warns of ‘terrible human consequences’ of Syria’s aid shortfall The number of people forced to flee their homes rose to a record high in 2017, with 16.2 million people newly displaced around the world. The figure includes people who have been displaced for the first time, and those who have been forced from their homes multiple times. The figure of 68.5 million displaced people – 3 million higher than the total...

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  • Civilians own 85% of world's 1bn firearms, survey reveals

    Nearly 40% of all guns are in hands of US citizens, according to report that says rich countries hold more weapons than poorer nations Latest statistics show the proliferation of privately owned guns is on the rise, with wealthy countries outstripping developing and war-torn countries. In a detailed report, weapons watchdog the Small Arms Survey has researched the numbers of guns across 230 countries. Continue reading...

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  • Poor countries subsidise the NHS by training doctors – compensate them

    The UK is home to over 4,700 doctors who trained in Nigeria, providing a substantial subsidy from the African country to the UK, says this multi-signatory letter from experts, and Parry Mitchell suggests ways to tempt back medics who have moved abroad The scrapping of the immigration cap is a rare victory for freedom of movement (Immigration cap on doctors to be lifted, 15 June), but the global health inequalities underlying the issue need to be part of the debate. The shortage of health workers...

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  • Thousands of children are imprisoned across Africa. They need justice

    Young people are all but invisible in the justice system, facing ill treatment at the hands of those who should be protecting them The legendary editor of the Guardian newspaper CP Scott famously declared in 1921 that “Comment is free, but facts are sacred”. Unfortunately, when it comes to hard evidence on how many children are locked up in prisons, detention centres, migrant and refugee camps, rehabilitation units or other institutions across the world, the facts are more scarce than...

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  • Scientists scramble to stop bananas being killed off

    British firm races to produce bananas resistant to fungus sweeping global plantations A British company has joined the race to develop a banana variety resistant to diseases and climatic changes that threaten to disrupt the availability of the country’s favourite fruit – or even kill it off altogether. The UK alone consumes more than 5bn bananas a year, while the fruit is a staple food in many poor countries and accounts for an export industry worth $13bn (£9.8bn) a year. Continue reading...

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  • Timeline: Oxfam sexual exploitation scandal in Haiti

    Key events in aftermath of news that Oxfam covered up inquiry into staff paying for sex A leaked document shows Oxfam must make £16m worth of cuts to jobs and relief programmes as it tries to recover from the fallout over a sexual exploitation scandal involving staff in Haiti. This is how the scandal unfolded. Continue reading...

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