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News articles on poverty
Mongabay.com news articles on poverty in blog format. Updated regularly.
(02/08/2006) Giving poor forest-dwellers access to basic financial services is a key element in helping them improve their living standards, according to a new FAO publication.
Number of hungry Africans doubles in a decade
(01/24/2006) number of Africans requiring food assistance has doubled in the past decade due to crop failures, drought, failing governments, civil strife, and the impact of AIDS, said the United Nations World Food Programme. The World Food Programme says it will to provide food assistance this year to some 43 million people across Africa, including some 35 million in need of emergency food aid, for a total of over $1.8 billion.
Goodbye to West Africa's Rainforests
(01/22/2006) West Africa's once verdant and extensive rainforests are now a historical footnote. Gone to build ships and furniture, feed hungry mouths, and supply minerals and gems to the West, the band of tropical forests that once extended from Guinea to Cameroon are virtually gone. The loss of West Africa's rainforests have triggered a number of environmental problems that have contributed to social unrest and exacerbated poverty across the region.
203 million people malnourished in sub-Saharan Africa
(11/21/2005) Hunger and malnutrition kill nearly 6 million children a year, and more people are malnourished in sub-Saharan Africa this decade than in the 1990s, according to a report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization Tuesday. In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of malnourished people grew to 203.5 million people in 2000-02 from 170.4 million 10 years earlier says "The State of Food Insecurity in the World" report.
Illegal timber from Honduras reaching the United States
(11/04/2005) U.S. companies are unknowingly importing illegal Honduran wood, contributing to deforestation, corruption and poverty in the Latin American country, according to a yearlong undercover investigation by the Center for International Policy and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).
eBay founder gives $100 million for microfinance to help world's poorest people
(11/04/2005) Ebay Inc. founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pamela, have given $100 million in eBay stock to Tufts University to create a fund that will invest in microfinance.
Medicinal Plants could help poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa -- World Bank report
(11/03/2005) Dryland areas in Sub-Saharan Africa have a niche opportunity to use selected multipurpose medicinal plants to halt land degradation, and at the same time provide culturally acceptable healthcare, food, and a sustainable source of income by developing niche markets, according to the new World Bank report Capitalizing on the Bio-Economic Value of Multi-Purpose Medicinal Plants for the Rehabilitation of Drylands in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Africa Heats Up -- climate change threatens future of the continent
(10/11/2005) A series of recent studies have revealed a sobering future for the majority of Africa, a future predicated by undeniable and significant climate change. The threat traverses all levels of the environmental, social, political and economic spheres, from heightened socio-economic disparity to dwindling fish populations, from civil strife to desperate hunger. The greatest and saddest irony of this dark fate projected for the continent is that while Africa has the world's lowest levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, contributing the least to global climate change, it has been forced to bear the brunt of the phenomenon.
Google, MIT support $100 laptop for the world's poorest children
(10/06/2005) Google, AMD, Brightstar, News Corporation, and Red Hat have signed on to MIT's low-cost laptop initiative which aims to deliver a fully functional $100 machine to the developing world.
Cocoa innovations could help West Africa escape poverty
(09/21/2005) Ghana is leading efforts to use waste from cocoa farming to produce household products and drinks -- from fertilizer and soap to wine and brandy -- that will boost income for poor farmers.
Poverty worsens hurricane impact -- AP analysis
(09/05/2005) An Associated Press analysis of Census data shows that the residents in the three dozen hardest-hit neighborhoods in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama also were disproportionately minority and had incomes $10,000 below the national average.
Poverty decimates great apes
(09/05/2005) Fewer than 250 wild Sumatran orangutans may exist in fifty years, their habitat is disappearing and the devastation of the Asian tsunami has accelerated the rate of destruction. This is among the findings being announced at the launch of the first World Atlas of Great Apes and their conservation by the UNEP World conservation Monitoring Centre, which reveals that it is not just humans that will benefit from a campaign to 'make poverty history'. For the other 6 species of great ape -- the eastern and western gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo, Sumatran and Bornean orangutan -- it could literally save them from the cooking pot.
Safeguarding biodiversity key to human health, poverty alleviation says Annan
(08/24/2005) Failure to conserve and use biological diversity in a sustainable manner would result in degrading environments, new and more rampant illnesses, deepening poverty and a continued pattern of inequitable and untenable growth warned United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a statement before the First International Conference on the Importance of Biodiversity to Human Health in Galway, Ireland.
Poor need renewable energy sources says Annan
(08/23/2005) In a new report, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says energy poverty is seriously impeding socio-economic development in the world's poorest countries. Noting that in the developing countries some 1.6 billion people still lack access to electricity and about 2.4 billion continue to rely on traditional biomass like fuelwood for cooking and heating, Annan calls for intensified efforts to promote renewable energy sources for the poor.
42 million children may be hungry in Africa by 2025 -- report
(08/15/2005) The number of hungry children in Africa will increase by 3.3 million by 2025 if current policy and investment trends continue, according to a new report from the International Food Policy Research Institute .
Cell phones may help "save" Africa
(07/11/2005) For all the talk about "making poverty history" through aid and debt relief at the G8 meeting in Scotland and among aging rock stars at Live8 concerts, perhaps the best tool for poverty alleviation on the continent is the mobile phone. Yes, that ubiquitous handheld device has done wonders for the poor around the world.
A long-term approach to helping the poor in Africa through private enterprise
(07/05/2005) This past Saturday millions of people watched the anti-poverty "Live 8" concerts held in London, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Moscow, Philadelphia and Barrie, Canada. Live 8 coincides with tomorrow's G8 summit of world leaders and aims to raise awareness of the need for aid, debt relief and fairer trade for Africa. While the cancellation of debt and delivery of aid to Africa is a noble and needed cause for a desparately poor continent, policy makers will need to ensure that funds are spent wisely to maximize the benefits for the largest number of Africans.
Mobilizing seniors to fight poverty in Africa
(07/04/2005) One program that could have potential for real poverty alleviation in Africa is a "Gray Corps" concept which would take advantage of the experience and expertise of aging Americans (aged 65 and older), a segment of the population that is expected to grow from approximately 35 million in 2000 to an estimated 71 million in 2030. This group could be key to addressing a number of looming social issues both here in the United States and abroad.
Gray Corps of senior citizens could help fight poverty, health problems in developing world
(05/30/2005) According to recent data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, the proportion of the population aged 65 years and over is projected to increase from 12.4% in 2000 to 19.6% in 2030. It is this growing segment of the population that could be key to addressing a number of looming social issues both here in the United States and abroad.
Developing sustainable business models that address the needs of the world's poor
(05/25/2005) People involved with international development and poverty alleviation programs are increasingly looking toward the private sector for inspiration and assistance. Many believe that involving business in such efforts will not only bring wealth, respect, dignity, and improved education and health to the world's poor but also prove to be a profitable business strategy.
Helping the poor by selling them stuff
(05/24/2005) Helping the poor by selling them stuff; poverty alleviation through private enterprise. In his book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits, Prahalad argues that by regarding the world's masses, who he terms "the bottom of the pyramid," as potential customers, businesses and the poor will be better off. Prahalad suggests that the private sector may do a better job eradicating poverty, building dignity and respect, encouraging entrepreneurship, and reducing dependency than handouts under traditional aid programs
Farming the world's largest fish - an alternative to deforestation
(05/19/2005) Integrated aquaculture offers great potential for sustainable poverty allievation in the Amazon region. It reduces the need to clear land for subsistence agriculture while generating significant economic and nutritional benefits for poor Amazonian colonists.
Cultivated forests play important economic and ecological role in Indonesia
(05/17/2005) Old growth tropical forests are valuable and irreplaceable ecosystems that house the majority of Earth's known terrestrial biological diversity. While these forests are rapidly disappearing, they are not necessarily being completely cleared without replacement. In some regions, primary forests are being replaced with "cultivated forests" or "forest gardens," where useful trees are planted on farmlands after the removal of pre-existing natural forests. A new report Domesticating forests: How farmers manage forest resources by Genevieve Michon explores the characteristics and implications of these forests in Indonesia.
In Madagascar, Woodworking Zafimaniry remember lost forests
(05/12/2005) In the rolling hills of the southeastern highlands of Madagascar there lives a group of people known as the Zafimaniry, or the "the people of the forest." The Zafimaniry are renowned sculptors of wood and traditionally, virtually every member of the community was involved in some aspect of woodworking and cabinetmaking. However, these are not good times for many Zafimaniry. Severe deforestation for slash-and-burn cultivation ("tavy") has left their surroundings nearly completely devoid of trees. Once encircled by vigorous forests, some Zafimaniry villages are more than a day's trek from the nearest natural wood source. As a result, over the past decade, the Zafimaniry have increasingly looked toward tourism as an answer to their the economic plight. The unmoderated flow of tourists into these remote and delicate communities has denigrated their culture and left some Zafimaniry further entrenched in poverty.
The Next Costa Rica? Environmental activism takes root in Honduras
(04/18/2005) With its biodiversity, rich history, beautiful beaches, and stunning reefs, some believe Honduras could be the ecotourism hotspot in Central America. However, between growing gang violence linked to the drug trade in the United States and conflicts between developers and local communities, the country still faces many challenges in becoming the next Costa Rica. Special correspondent Tina Butler takes a look at changing attitudes about the environment in one of Central America's poorest countries.
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