Global development Headlines

  • Convicted trafficker leaves Bulgaria's Celebrity Big Brother after protests

    Rapper Ivan Glavchev departs show for ‘personal reasons’, amid complaints over his jail term for coercing women and a child into prostitution A Bulgarian rapper who was convicted of trafficking multiple women and a child into prostitution has announced his sudden departure from Bulgaria’s Celebrity Big Brother following protests from women’s rights campaigners. The sight of a convicted human trafficker on one of Bulgaria’s biggest reality TV shows has generated little media attention. Yet in...

    the Guardian
  • 'We see mothers die and children die': Uganda's teen pregnancy crisis

    In a country where one in four women have a child by 19, and health workers offering birth control have been met by men with machetes, confronting myths about contraception is vital A woman lies on her back, a one-year-old straddling her. One hand is over her eyes, the other held out. A nurse gently inserts a small white strip of contraceptive implant into her upper arm while her baby plays on her. They beckon me in. Privacy hardly seems to be an issue here. I am in a tent in Rwibale, in the...

    the Guardian
  • Campaigners fear creeping privatisation of El Salvador's water

    Activists say despite politicians’ denials, recent proposals would put supplies in hands of private sector, intensifying country’s profound water crisis When a local government ruling in the Salvadoran town of Nejapa stopped Coca-Cola from drilling wells in the community, residents thought their campaign against the drinks giant had ensured their continued access to clean water. But that 2015 success now seems under threat after the Salvadoran national assembly recently took steps activists...

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  • Calls for UK to overturn aid freeze to Zambia despite corruption claims

    Leading charity appeals to donor countries to reconsider action over allegations of fraudulent activity, with country on brink of financial crisis A leading charity has called for Zambia to be given the benefit of the doubt as allegations of corruption and uncontrolled spending threaten to plunge the country into crisis. Fraud allegations that led to the suspension of the UK’s aid funding to Zambia and the sacking of a key minister could deepen Zambia’s precarious financial position as further...

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  • Deadly Yemen famine could strike at any time, warns UN boss

    Humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock fears a ‘huge loss of life’ as fighting continues A famine inflicting “huge loss of life” could strike at any time in Yemen, as food prices soar and the battle rages over the country’s main port, the UN humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, has warned. Lowcock said that by the time an imminent famine is confirmed, it would be too late to stop it. Accelerating economic collapse has caused prices of staples to increase by 30% at a time many millions of Yemenis were...

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  • 'Our time is now': world youth poll reveals unexpected optimism

    Survey across 15 countries finds 90% of teenagers in Kenya, Mexico, China and Nigeria hopeful for the future – in stark contrast with those in developed nations Continue reading...

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  • Our tomorrows: teenagers around the world share their fears and dreams – video

    Young people talk about how it feels to grow up in 2018, from dealing with racism in New York and fighting for LGBT rights in Jakarta to facing exam pressures in the Kenyan Rift Valley and the importance of giving back to society in Delhi Continue reading...

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  • Why do women still die giving birth?

    Every other minute, a woman or girl dies as a result of pregnancy complications or childbirth. Why has the global decline in maternal mortality stalled? According to the latest UN global estimates, 303,000 women a year die in childbirth, or as a result of complications arising from pregnancy. This equates to about 830 women dying each day – roughly one every two minutes. Continue reading...

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  • Boko Haram landmines in Nigeria killed at least 162 in two years – study

    Charity warns of a new landmine crisis in north-east Nigeria as casualty rate rises Hundreds of people have been killed or maimed by landmines in north-east Nigeria, research shows. Mines laid by Boko Haram, the extremist group that has waged a deadly insurgency in the Lake Chad region, killed 162 people in two years and wounded 277 more, according to the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a landmine clearance charity. Continue reading...

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  • ‘Without drug traffickers, we’d have peace’: Colombian villagers flee new killings

    Two years after the end of the guerrilla war that killed 220,000, other players have moved in on the drugs trade, with poor local children now being bribed to take up arms In a schoolhouse in Cabeceras in Colombia on the banks of the San Juan river, village leaders, teachers and others gather for a ceremony to mark what they hope will be a turning point in their lives. A large peace banner is unfurled and raised to waist height. Each person touches it, as if the sign, to establish their...

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  • Kenya briefly lifts ban on gay film to allow for Oscar submission

    Decision allows for Oscars entry but is decried as ‘a great insult’ by Kenyan film board Kenyan cinemagoers will be able to see a critically acclaimed film banned in the country for promoting lesbianism, but only for seven days a judge has ruled. The decision makes Rafiki, meaning “friend” in Swahili, eligible to be entered for a foreign language Oscar, delighting the filmmakers but angering Kenya’s censor. Continue reading...

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  • Global push to cut deaths from cancer and heart disease wildly off course

    Lack of progress in reducing early deaths from chronic diseases could cause majority of UN member states to miss 2030 deadline More than half of all countries will not meet global targets to cut deaths from cancer, heart disease and other chronic conditions, according to a report in the Lancet. In 2015, world leaders pledged to cut deaths from chronic disease among 30- to 70-year-olds by a third as part of the sustainable development goals. However, the latest figures show that progress on...

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  • 'Imagine in five years': how education became a casualty of Cameroon's war

    As schools close their doors amid the ongoing anglophone crisis, families in Cameroon are growing ever more anxious about what the future holds for their children If Simon had the chance to tell his class about his summer holidays, the seven-year-old Simon would no doubt mention the large tarpaulin sack that for almost four months served as his sleeping bag and his magic carpet. When the family fled their home in the town of Batibo, in Cameroon’s north west, his mother used grain bags to carry...

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  • UK pledges £2.1m to save Asian tigers and African chimpanzees

    DfID says scheme to protect species in Indonesia and Liberia will create 16,000 jobs The UK’s international development secretary has announced funding to help protect Sumatran tigers and west African chimpanzees. Only about 30 tigers are left in Indonesia as their forest habitats disappear, while in Liberia the illegal wildlife trade and loss of habitat threatens the survival of the chimpanzee. Continue reading...

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  • ‘Medieval’ cholera outbreak exposes Zimbabwe's problems

    Emergency in which 30 people have died shows up appalling infrastructure of Mugabe era Authorities in Zimbabwe are struggling to control a deadly cholera outbreak, underlining the enormous challenges that face the country’s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa. More than 5,000 people have been infected and 30 killed in the outbreak. A state of emergency has been declared and all public events cancelled, but the disease has nevertheless spread to five of the country’s 10 provinces. Continue...

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  • 'A free army': how human traffickers are making scapegoats of migrants

    After saving saved a boatload of migrants in the Mediterranean, Mouhamed should have been hailed a hero. Instead, he was arrested for aiding illegal immigration – another victim of smugglers who make migrants take blame for their crimes The man driving 129 migrants into the sea had no idea how to sail a boat. The traffickers in Libya had given him a compass and, with a gun pointed at his temple, told him to go north. The Mediterranean was rough: two-metre high waves threatened to overturn the...

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  • Global faith leaders urge action over 'ignored millions' displaced by conflict

    Open letter from 56 religious leaders calls on states at UN general assembly to support protection plan for people forced from home More than 50 faith leaders around the world are calling on the international community to step up protection for people displaced from their homes by violence, conflict and disasters. In an open letter, Christian, Islamic and Jewish leaders have urged governments attending the UN general assembly in New York next week to support a plan of action to prevent the...

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  • 'I'm a living manifestation of possibility': South Africa's emissary on disability

    Eddie Ndopu defied expectations as the first African with a disability to graduate from Oxford. Now he wants to be the first wheelchair user in space Eddie Ndopu was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy when he was two. His mother was told he wouldn’t live past five. But he defied the doctors and now aged 27 insists no child with a disability should be left behind. He became the first African with a disability to graduate from Oxford University. He describes himself as young, black, disabled...

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  • Zambia aid payments suspended over corruption allegations

    UK joins Sweden and Ireland in taking action after accusations that £3.5m may have been embezzled in a long-running fraud The British government has suspended aid payments to Zambia amid allegations of corruption and fraud. The UK is among several nations and the UN children’s charity, Unicef, to halt funds to the country. A report this week by Africa Confidential alleges that $4.7m (£3.5m) in aid payments may have been embezzled, in a fraud that began in 2012. Other countries including Finland,...

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  • Rooftop farming: why vertical gardening is blooming in Kampala

    Ugandans are finding creative solutions to the growing challenges of urbanisation When Martin Agaba realised his urban farm had run out of space, he decided the solution was not to expand outwards but upwards. “We realised we had to use the roof,” he says. Of all the innovations that have galvanised people in his district in the Ugandan capital Kampala to grow their own food, these vertical box plantations remain his favourite. Continue reading...

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  • Senior UN gender and youth official sacked over sexual misconduct

    Ravi Karkara dismissed after investigation upholds men’s complaints that they were harassed by UN Women adviser A senior UN official tasked with promoting gender equality and youth partnerships has been sacked for sexual misconduct following claims made against him by younger male colleagues. Ravi Karkara, an Indian national based in New York, was dismissed from his post at UN Women on Friday following an investigation lasting nearly 15 months. Continue reading...

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  • Burkina Faso mass botched FGM leaves 50 girls in hospital

    Girls as young as four taken to hospital amid fears that cutters are targeting younger girls and crossing borders to avoid detection Around 50 girls, including some as young as four, are being treated in hospital in Burkina Faso after they underwent female genital mutilation (FGM). Two women, along with some of the girls’ relatives, have been arrested. Not all the girls who underwent the circumcision have been traced, the minister of women’s affairs, Laurence Marshall Ilboudo, told the BBC....

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  • Rihanna: Growing up in Barbados, school was a grind. But I was lucky

    We must fight for the quarter of a billion young people still denied an education by conflict, poverty, sexism and bad policy Education is a lifelong journey. We never know everything, but we constantly evolve as we learn more about our communities, this ever-changing world and ourselves. I’m not ashamed to say I’m still learning. I’ve grown tremendously as an individual through my formal education as well as the global education I have received by travelling the world through music. Continue...

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  • The African youth boom: what's worrying Bill Gates

    The philanthropist warns that stability in Africa makes a huge difference to the world, and that investing in the health and education of its young people is vital What worries Bill Gates most? The booming population of Africa looms over his foundation’s latest global survey. By the end of this century there will be 4 billion more people on Earth – and 3 billion of these extra souls will be born in Africa. The challenge, he says, is that “Africa must almost quadruple its agricultural...

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