3 things you may not know about famine — and how to prevent it

Poverty, Threats

3 things you may not know about famine — and how to prevent it

Dispelling myths around the starvation and disease that could kill 34 million people

A staggering 34 million people in 20 countries are teetering on the brink of famine, with immediate action needed to avert huge loss of life. In Yemen, South Sudan, Burkina Faso and northeast Nigeria, 155,000 people are already suffering famine or famine-like conditions, with conflict, insecurity and resulting displacement putting people at imminent risk of starvation.

Tragically, lack of resources means the World Food Programme (WFP) has to reallocate food according to need, as was the case in South Sudan over the past week. “It is a very painful decision to take from the hungry to give to the starving, but this is the reality,” says Country Director Matthew Hollingworth.

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The global economy’s uneven recovery

Economy, Policies

The global economy’s uneven recovery

The chances for a swift, uniform rebound from the COVID-19 crisis have dimmed, and the world economy now faces sharply divergent growth prospects. Although the latest update of the Brookings-Financial Times Tracking Indexes for the Global Economic Recovery (TIGER) offers some grounds for optimism, it also raises renewed concerns.

Vaccination euphoria has been tempered by slow vaccine rollouts in most countries, while fresh waves of COVID-19 infections are threatening many economies’ growth trajectories.

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The Global Economy’s Uneven Recovery

Economy, Policies

The Global Economy’s Uneven Recovery

While the US, China, and other leading economies are on their way to a robust recovery, many others are struggling to return to pre-pandemic GDP levels. In most regions, including Europe and Latin America, the 2020 recession will most likely leave long-lasting scars on both GDP and employment.

The chances for a swift, uniform rebound from the COVID-19 crisis have dimmed, and the world economy now faces sharply divergent growth prospects. Although the latest update of the Brookings-Financial Times Tracking Indexes for the Global Economic Recovery (TIGER) offers some grounds for optimism, it also raises renewed concerns.

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Myanmar’s Bloodshed Reveals a World That Has Changed, and Hasn’t

State War, Threats

Myanmar’s Bloodshed Reveals a World That Has Changed, and Hasn’t

Myanmar’s rulers this week crossed a threshold few governments breach anymore: They have killed, by most estimates, more than 500 unarmed citizens of their own country.

Such massacres by government forces have, even in a time of rising nationalism and authoritarianism, been declining worldwide. This is the seventh in the past decade, compared with 23 in the 1990s, according to data from Uppsala University in Sweden.

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The Politics of Stopping Pandemics

Disease, Threats

The Politics of Stopping Pandemics

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, global instability had caused a worrying rise in epidemics. Medical science alone won’t be able to turn the tide.

“Just a few years ago, many of us in the global health policy community were thrilled at the prospect of eliminating catastrophic infectious and tropical diseases,” Peter Hotez writes in his new book, “Preventing the Next Pandemic” (Johns Hopkins). He dates this high point of optimism to the start of 2015, when the success of vaccination campaigns had become dramatically evident. Polio, once endemic in more than a hundred countries, had been limited to three—Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Measles deaths were down by eighty per cent, from half a million children worldwide in 2000 to a fifth of that number.

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The Paradox of Plenty: Oil Booms and Petro-States (Studies in International Political Economy)

Demographic, Venezuela

The Paradox of Plenty: Oil Booms and Petro-States (Studies in International Political Economy)

The Paradox of Plenty explains why, in the midst of two massive oil booms in the 1970s, oil-exporting governments as different as Venezuela, Iran, Nigeria, Algeria, and Indonesia chose common development paths and suffered similarly disappointing outcomes. Meticulously documented and theoretically innovative, this book illuminates the manifold factors—economic, political, and social—that determine the nature of the oil state, from the coherence of public bureaucracies, to the degree of centralization, to patterns of policy-making.

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