Residents of Clara Town, a low-income neighbourhood of Monrovia, Liberia, face sanitation challenges with the onset of the rainy season. Photo: Travis Lupick/IPS

UN focuses on faltering goals: water, sanitation, energy

by Thalif Deen Inter Press Service February 19, 2014

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 19 2014 (IPS) - When the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) reach their deadline in 2015, there will still be a critical setback: millions of people in the developing world without full access to safe drinking water, proper sanitation and electricity in their homes. Con...

How much aid is required to end extreme poverty?

by John McArthur February 18, 2014

You may be looking for a page on the new site of the Canadian International Council (soon to be found at, or an archived article that no longer exists....

Conservationists visit an area in Copén, Honduras, that was deforested by intruders. Drug trafficking has contributed to threats to the forest.  Photo: Rodrigo Cruz/New York Times

Lawlessness is undoing effort to save Honduran forests

by Elizabeth Malkin New York Times February 12, 2014

COPÉN, Honduras — Nine men were harvesting mahogany deep in the woods here when Alonso Pineda and his son appeared, carrying shotguns. An arrest warrant hangs over the two for clearing the forest illegally, but on that day they posed as its protectors....

Cuba’s reward for the dutiful: Gated housing

by Damien Cave New York Times February 11, 2014

HAVANA — In the splendid neighborhoods of this dilapidated city, old mansions are being upgraded with imported tile. Businessmen go out for sushi and drive home in plush Audis. Now, hoping to keep up, the government is erecting something special for its own: a housing development called Project Gr...

Young unemployed men play cards in a warehouse in Guinean capital Conakry. Photo: Tommy Trenchard/IRIN

Breaking the cycle of youth unemployment and poverty

by IRIN News February 10, 2014

Youth unemployment and underemployment are among the main barriers to development in West Africa, say experts. Not only does the exclusion of young people from the labour force perpetuate generational cycles of poverty, it also breaks down social cohesion and can be associated with higher levels of ...

Picking up the pieces, post-Typhoon Haiyan Photo: David Swanson/IRIN

Climate-induced migration creates perils, possibilities

by IRIN News January 20, 2014

For Pacific islands like Palau, Tuvalu and Kiribati, the implications of climate change are clear - and devastating. Already, these governments have begun to plan for a future in which entire populations have to relocate as their islands vanish under the rising sea. But climate change also threatens...

Mexicali has become Mexico’s city of the deported as US dumps more people there

by Nick Miroff Washington Post January 16, 2014

MEXICALI, Mexico — In this fertilizer-scented city opposite the alfalfa fields of California’s Imperial Valley, the deported sleep in parks, abandoned buildings and along the train tracks that run through town....

UN says lag in confronting climate woes will be costly

by Justin Gillis New York Times January 16, 2014

Nations have so dragged their feet in battling climate change that the situation has grown critical and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising, according to a draft United Nations report. Another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to s...

World Bank is criticized for Honduran loan to a Honduran palm-oil company engaged in a violent conflict with farm workers over land tenure

by Elisabeth Malkin New York Times January 10, 2014

MEXICO CITY — The World Bank ombudsman issued a stinging critique Friday of the bank’s private-sector arm over a loan to a Honduran palm-oil company engaged in a violent conflict with farm workers over land tenure....

The Malian Red Cross distributes food to people in Gao in northern Mali. Photo: Katarina Hoije/IRIN

Food and the city

by IRIN News December 18, 2013

With the vast majority of population growth taking place in towns and cities, according to the UN, aid agencies are adapting their food security responses to better fit into urban contexts. An increasing number of tools and innovations are becoming available to help with this effort, but humanitaria...