North Africa and the Middle-East: A new wave of debt.
In the first three parts we have observed the evolution of the DCs’ external debt over the last twenty years. The first part shows a dramatic increase of indebtedness, which multiplied by 2.5 with a steep acceleration from 2008 onward. The second part highlights the main threats on the DCs’ external debt, among which the growing significance of bonds, the evolution of interest rates and the depreciation of their currencies against the U.S. dollar. The third part examines the various factors that lure DCs into the debt trap: dependence on commodities, drop in foreign exchange reserves, inflating repayments, conjuncture of a multi-dimensional crisis aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, etc.
We deepen our analysis by focusing on various regions. After Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa, we continue with the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA).
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.
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.
Stopping the Killing: How Civil Wars End
Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Liberia, Somalia, Azerbaijan, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Cambodia — all provide bloody evidence that civil wars continue to have a powerful impact on the international scene. Because they tear at the very fabric of a society and pit countryman against countryman, civil wars are often the most brutal and difficult to extinguish — witness the American Revolution.