UN urges investment in clean, sustainable tourism, as numbers bounce back

International tourism is showing strong signs of recovery, with tourist numbers rising to 57 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. On World Tourism Day, marked on Tuesday, the UN is calling for a major global rethink of the sector, to ensure that tourism is sustainable, and benefits local communities. The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) released… Continue reading UN urges investment in clean, sustainable tourism, as numbers bounce back

400 million new green and digital sector jobs, will pave way to ‘rebalance societies’

According to António Guterres, the Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions aims to rebalance societies by putting decent jobs and social protection at the centre of sustainable development. “The path of inaction leads to economic collapse and climate catastrophe, widening inequalities and escalating social unrest”, which could leave “billions trapped in… Continue reading 400 million new green and digital sector jobs, will pave way to ‘rebalance societies’

Barbados Prime Minister Motley calls for overhaul of unfair, outdated global finance system

During her speech, Ms. Mottley spoke extensively about the need to reform the ageing global financial architecture to better reflect today’s realities, for instance making it easier for climate-stricken countries to access capital. Indeed, the Bretton Woods Agreement that gave rise to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) “no longer serve the… Continue reading Barbados Prime Minister Motley calls for overhaul of unfair, outdated global finance system

UN spotlights transformational potential of family farming for world food supply

A Global Forum highlighting the UN’s Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF) got underway on Monday, aimed at identifying priority policies to boost support for family farmers and agricultural development worldwide. The UNDFF runs through the end of 2028, and the Forum is being convened by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International… Continue reading UN spotlights transformational potential of family farming for world food supply

Closing gender pay gaps is more important than ever 

On average, women globally are paid about 20 per cent less than men, the International Labour (ILO) Organization said on Saturday, International Equal Pay Day. While individual characteristics such as education, working time, occupational segregation, skills, or experience explain part of the gender pay gap, ILO says that a large part is due to discrimination… Continue reading Closing gender pay gaps is more important than ever 

Human rights: Inflation threatens everyone’s right to development

Rising global inflation is expected to hit emerging and developing economies particularly hard this year, adding to a “confluence of crises” that threatens us all, the UN’s acting human rights chief has warned. Addressing the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday, Nada Al- Nashif cited International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that advanced economies should brace themselves… Continue reading Human rights: Inflation threatens everyone’s right to development

Human development falling behind in ninety per cent of countries: UN report

The 2021/22 Human Development Report (HDR) – which is entitled “Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a Transforming World” – paints a picture of a global society lurching from crisis to crisis, and which risks heading towards increasing deprivation and injustice. Heading the list of events causing major global disruption are the COVID-19… Continue reading Human development falling behind in ninety per cent of countries: UN report

UN trade body calls for halting cryptocurrency rise in developing countries

Although private digital currencies have rewarded some individuals and institutions, they are an unstable financial asset that can bring social risks and costs, the agency warned.  UNCTAD said their benefits to some are overshadowed by the threats they pose to financial stability, domestic resource mobilization, and the security of monetary systems.  Rise of crypto  Cryptocurrencies… Continue reading UN trade body calls for halting cryptocurrency rise in developing countries

First Person: The honey business owner creating a buzz in northern Uganda

Sam Aderubo started his company, Honey Pride, in Arua, northern Uganda, in order to make a positive impact on his community. With support from the UN, the business is taking off, providing work for hundreds of local beekeepers, many of whom are marginalized women and youth. “I used to work in an office, and people… Continue reading First Person: The honey business owner creating a buzz in northern Uganda

UNFPA global innovation awards: 10 projects that will change lives of women and girls

The challenge was financed by UNFPA’s Equalizer Accelerator Fund, and implemented in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the International Trade Centre. Entrants were given the incentive of a cash prize which would allow them to expand their ideas from the test stage, to full production, for the potential… Continue reading UNFPA global innovation awards: 10 projects that will change lives of women and girls

Unprecedented global challenges are ‘not insurmountable’ – UN chief

Nearly a year ago, the UN chief released his report, Our Common Agenda (OCA), a blueprint for global cooperation moving forward, and reinvigorated multilateralism. On Thursday, he updated the General Assembly on progress made so far, saying the need for the report’s proposals “has only increased.” “In addition to the triple planetary crisis of climate… Continue reading Unprecedented global challenges are ‘not insurmountable’ – UN chief

INTERVIEW: Accessible finance is key to realizing Uganda’s potential

Northern Uganda suffers from a development gap with the rest of the country, with high rates of poverty and unemployment. UN News spoke to Dmitry Pozhidaev, head of the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) office in Uganda, to find out what the agency is doing to improve funding access to individuals and businesses, and put… Continue reading INTERVIEW: Accessible finance is key to realizing Uganda’s potential

First Person: Surviving Bali’s COVID tourism crash

Dekha Dewandana ran a thriving ‘homestay’ tourism property in Bali, and received UN-supported training which has helped him to maintain a high standard of hospitality. When COVID-19 hit Indonesia, his business was pushed to the verge of collapse and, after a bruising two-year period, it’s now slowly recovering. “When my parents passed away, I followed… Continue reading First Person: Surviving Bali’s COVID tourism crash

Global economy: Outlook worsens as global recession looms – IMF

Still reeling from the COVID pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the global economy is facing an increasingly murky and uncertain outlook, according to the latest report released on Tuesday by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The World Economic Outlook Update July 2022: Gloomy and More Uncertain, highlights the significant consequences of the stalling of… Continue reading Global economy: Outlook worsens as global recession looms – IMF

UN summit galvanizes action for development agendas in Africa

Despite being “rich with human and natural resources and enormous untapped economic and social potential,” General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid told the high-level The Africa We Want dialogue that the continent “still faces challenges” in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Hard-won struggles Africa has undergone a dramatic transformation since the end of the colonial… Continue reading UN summit galvanizes action for development agendas in Africa

Cost of living crisis hits poorest the hardest, warns UNCTAD

Billions of people are facing the greatest cost of living crisis in a generation due to rising food and energy prices amid rapid inflation and increasing debt, leaving the most vulnerable consumers in a dire situation, said the UN trade and development body, UNCTAD on Tuesday. UNCTAD’s analysis shows that a 10 per cent increase in… Continue reading Cost of living crisis hits poorest the hardest, warns UNCTAD

A safe space for Venezuela’s indigenous women

Venezuela’s rural, remote, indigenous communities have been particularly affected by COVID-19 and the country’s socio-economic crisis; community gardens help Wayúu women from Rio Negro to make ends meet, and provide a haven from violence. Venezuela has suffered a widespread decline in public services, such as electricity, domestic gas supplies, and public transportation in recent years.… Continue reading A safe space for Venezuela’s indigenous women

World population to reach 8 billion this year, as growth rate slows

The latest UN projections suggest that the world’s population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050, before reaching a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s. The population is expected to remain at that level until 2100.  Slowest growth rate since 1950s However, the annual World Population… Continue reading World population to reach 8 billion this year, as growth rate slows

All rural workers deserve social protection coverage: New ILO report

Social protection for rural workers “remains a dream”, according to a report launched in Geneva on Thursday by the Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV), part of the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO). This is of particular concern for those in precarious work conditions, including informal, casual, temporary and subcontracted workers and day labourers who form… Continue reading All rural workers deserve social protection coverage: New ILO report

Sri Lanka’s misery should be warning to us all on global food, fuel and finance crisis: UNDP

“We’re witnessing a tragic series of events that are unfolding in Sri Lanka right now that should be a warning to anyone who thinks that, you know, it is up to countries themselves to figure out how to deal with this crisis,” said Achim Steiner, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), in reference to… Continue reading Sri Lanka’s misery should be warning to us all on global food, fuel and finance crisis: UNDP

What COVID-19 taught us about risk in a complex, inter-connected world

From the mangroves of West Bengal to the vast archipelago that makes up Indonesia, and from the bustling port city of Guayaquil, Ecuador, to the tropical shores of southern Togo, systemic risks from the COVID-19 pandemic have been exposed in stark human terms. Millions of people who were already struggling to make ends meet, often… Continue reading What COVID-19 taught us about risk in a complex, inter-connected world

Flight from cities due to COVID-19 short-lived, says flagship UN-Habitat report

The large-scale flight from major cities in the early stages of the pandemic to the perceived safety of the countryside, or smaller towns, was a short-term response that will not alter the course of global urbanization, according to the UN-Habitat’s flagship World Cities Report 2022 – Envisaging the Future of Cities. The biannual report was… Continue reading Flight from cities due to COVID-19 short-lived, says flagship UN-Habitat report

Sanctions on Russia already hitting remittance-dependent countries in Central Asia: IOM

The countries of Central Asia retain their Soviet-era socio-economic and political ties with the Russian Federation.  Migration, and in particular remittances, is at the center of this intricate, historical relationship, say Hyo Jeong Jung, IOM Labour Migration Specialist based in Kyrgyzstan, and Michael Newson, Senior Regional Labour Mobility and Social Inclusion Specialist, based at IOM in… Continue reading Sanctions on Russia already hitting remittance-dependent countries in Central Asia: IOM

World’s most vulnerable now paying even more, for less food: FAO

Countries are expected to spend a staggering $1.8 trillion importing food they need this year; this would be a new world record but worryingly, it’s going to buy them less food, not more. That’s according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which on Thursday suggested that for some countries, the situation potentially heralded “an end… Continue reading World’s most vulnerable now paying even more, for less food: FAO

Bangladesh: ILO calls for workplace safety review following deadly fire

A fire and explosion in southeastern Bangladesh over the weekend which left more than 40 dead, has prompted the UN’s labour agency, ILO, to urge workplaces throughout the country to address safety shortcomings. ILO expressed its deep sadness over the loss of life, which included nine fire fighters, after chemical-filled containers combusted, one after another,… Continue reading Bangladesh: ILO calls for workplace safety review following deadly fire

A catering programme with baked-in prospects for vulnerable Liberian girls

Agnes-Josephine Kenderman, a Liberian teenage mother, is benefiting from a UN-backed initiative to empower young vulnerable girls, which includes training to help her make and sell pastries and other products. “My name is Agnes Kenderman. I am 19 years old and I live in New Kru Town, Monteserrado County, with my mother and my son.… Continue reading A catering programme with baked-in prospects for vulnerable Liberian girls

African nations leading the way on ‘food systems transformation’: Guterres 

African countries are at the vanguard of a vital transformation of food systems to simultaneously address food security, nutrition, social and environmental protection – all while boosting resilience – said the UN chief on Thursday.  António Guterres was addressing the start of a high-level policy dialogue at UN Headquarters in New York, part of the Africa Dialogue… Continue reading African nations leading the way on ‘food systems transformation’: Guterres 

Africa provides a ‘home for hope’, despite new challenges: Guterres

On Africa Day, the world celebrates the diverse and dynamic continent’s “enormous promise and potential”, the UN chief said in an upbeat message to mark the day on Wednesday. “Africa is a home for hope,” said Secretary-General António Guterres, citing the continent’s “growing and vibrant youth population”. And with initiatives such as the African Continental… Continue reading Africa provides a ‘home for hope’, despite new challenges: Guterres

Global jobs market recovery ‘has gone into reverse’, warns UN labour agency

The recovery of the global jobs market is going into reverse, the UN labour agency, ILO, said on Monday, blaming COVID-19 and “other multiple crises” that have increased inequalities within and between countries.  In its latest update on the world of work, International Labour Organization Director-General Guy Ryder said that although there had been “tentative… Continue reading Global jobs market recovery ‘has gone into reverse’, warns UN labour agency

Nations must ‘act together, urgently and with solidarity’ to end crisis of food insecurity

During a ministerial meeting on global hunger taking pace at UN Headquarters in New York, Secretary-General António Guterres said the number of severely food insecure people had doubled in just two years – from 135 million pre-pandemic to 276 million today, with more than half a million experiencing famine conditions – an increase of more… Continue reading Nations must ‘act together, urgently and with solidarity’ to end crisis of food insecurity

Global economic growth downgraded due to spillover from Ukraine war

The mid-year forecast reveals how the conflict has upended the fragile economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, sparking a humanitarian crisis in Europe, surging food and commodity prices, and exacerbating inflationary pressures.  Global inflation is also set to reach 6.7 per cent this year, or twice the average of 2.9 per cent during the period… Continue reading Global economic growth downgraded due to spillover from Ukraine war

UN marks first ever international day spotlighting women working in the maritime industry

“Women account for just 20 per cent of the workforce in the maritime authorities of Member States and 29 percent…across subsectors in the maritime industry,” International Maritime Organization (IMO) chief Kitack Lim told the virtual Symposium on Training-Visibility-Recognition: Supporting a barrier-free working environment for Women in Maritime. Noting that these numbers are “significantly higher than those… Continue reading UN marks first ever international day spotlighting women working in the maritime industry

Human rights must be at heart of solution to Sri Lanka crisis : A UN Resident Coordinator blog

The severe economic crisis in Sri Lanka shows no signs of ending any time soon, with the country’s newly installed Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, warning of more difficult days ahead. Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, the most senior UN official in Sri Lanka, told UN News that, amid violent protests and the imposition of a state of emergency,… Continue reading Human rights must be at heart of solution to Sri Lanka crisis : A UN Resident Coordinator blog

Ukraine war squeezes food supplies, drives up prices, threatens vulnerable nations

Under the theme Securing Global Food Security in Times of Crisis, QU Dongyu, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General, told agriculture ministers from G7 wealthy nations gathered in Stuttgart, Germany, that the most significant threats stem from conflict, and the associated humanitarian impact, together with multiple overlapping crises. In my address to #G7 agriculture ministers… Continue reading Ukraine war squeezes food supplies, drives up prices, threatens vulnerable nations

Small decrease in food prices in April ‘a welcome relief’

After reaching an all-time high in March amid repercussions from the war in Ukraine, world food prices decreased last month, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Friday.  The FAO Food Price Index averaged 158.2 points in April, down 0.8 per cent from the surge in March, but remained nearly 30 per cent… Continue reading Small decrease in food prices in April ‘a welcome relief’

UN meets to help reverse ‘precipitous drop’ in tourism

As part of the “long journey” to recover from the ravages of COVID-19, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid highlighted on Wednesday the need to build a more sustainable, resilient, and responsible global tourism sector. The COVID-19 pandemic ground the entire tourism sector to a halt, dealing a “devastating blow to the global economy,” he… Continue reading UN meets to help reverse ‘precipitous drop’ in tourism

Digital tech investment, critical to workforce in least-developed nations

Structural weaknesses in the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have made them more vulnerable to shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the current food and energy crises, and the situation could worsen if they do not fully participate in global recovery efforts.  That’s according to the report Present and future of work… Continue reading Digital tech investment, critical to workforce in least-developed nations

Population and Development Commission: ‘Perfect Storm’ of crises take shape

Against the backdrop of shifting population demographics, conflicts, post-pandemic shocks and climate change, the developing world is on the brink of a “perfect storm” of debt, food and energy crises, experts warned the Commission on Population and Development on Monday. While sounding the alarm over the planet’s unequal COVID-19 recovery and notable reductions in public… Continue reading Population and Development Commission: ‘Perfect Storm’ of crises take shape

Development financing crucial to get global economy back on track

The global economy is under severe stress and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are in “need of urgent rescue”, the deputy UN chief told the Financing for Development Forum on Monday. “Financing for developing is an essential part of the solution,” Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said on behalf of the UN chief, adding that so far,… Continue reading Development financing crucial to get global economy back on track

Millet seeds, a powerful weapon against hunger

A World Food Program-backed initiative to deliver millet seeds to vulnerable people is taking root in Odisha, India, where it is helping to ward off hunger and improve livelihoods. Subasa Mohanta is no stranger to hunger. It has been a constant in the lives of this 50-year-old farmer, her husband, and two children. Despite 16-hour… Continue reading Millet seeds, a powerful weapon against hunger

Ukraine war drives international food prices to ‘new all-time high’

Global food prices have reached “a new all-time high,” the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said on Friday, “hitting the poorest the hardest.” “It is now more than two years that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact our lives, our health and our economies,” said FAO chief QU Dongyu. [email protected] Vegetable… Continue reading Ukraine war drives international food prices to ‘new all-time high’

Ukraine war linked to ‘massive malnutrition crisis’ affecting millions in other emergencies

The war in Ukraine has increased the risk of a “massive malnutrition crisis” for millions of children in other emergencies because of its already huge impact on global food prices, the UN said on Thursday. Six weeks since Russia invaded its neighbour, the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, said that imports have been disrupted to the… Continue reading Ukraine war linked to ‘massive malnutrition crisis’ affecting millions in other emergencies

Diverse, inclusive workplace: ‘Key driver of resilience and recovery’

One-in-four people do not feel valued at work, and those who do are mostly in senior positions, according to a new report launched on Wednesday by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Although diverse and inclusive workplaces generate greater productivity, innovation and well-being, ILO’s Transforming Enterprises through Diversity and Inclusion, finds that too little is being… Continue reading Diverse, inclusive workplace: ‘Key driver of resilience and recovery’

Guterres unveils first recommendations of UN crisis group, set up in wake of Ukraine invasion

António Guterres released the initial recommendations of his Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance (GCRG) on Tuesday, set up in response to the hunger crisis provoked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine represent more than half of the world’s supply of sunflower oil and about 30 percent of the world’s… Continue reading Guterres unveils first recommendations of UN crisis group, set up in wake of Ukraine invasion

UN Dubai Forum closes with calls for focus on women entrepreneurs, innovation and sustainable development for all

Youth and innovation were the highlight of the Forum’s closing ceremony, as the three top winners of the ‘Arab Rally’ for Entrepreneurship and Innovation were announced.The entrepreneurship competition for university students from the Arab Region was taking place on the sidelines of WEIF 2022. Sustainable development through entrepreneurship The closing day of the WEIF 2022… Continue reading UN Dubai Forum closes with calls for focus on women entrepreneurs, innovation and sustainable development for all

UN Dubai Forum: Women entrepreneurs call for greater access to financing

Along with this headline event focused on women, the Forum, taking place in Dubai, also held a ministerial panel on the importance of Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, known as MSMEs, for post-COVID recovery. Discussion also highlighted the power of Africa’s young generation as crucial to attract future foreign investment in the continent’s development. ITPO-UNIDO… Continue reading UN Dubai Forum: Women entrepreneurs call for greater access to financing

Entrepreneurship, investment key to achieving SDGs and resilient post-pandemic recovery

A United Nations forum opened in Dubai today, spotlighting entrepreneurship, innovation, and investment in a post-pandemic recovery as vehicles to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Held under the aegis of Dubai Exhibition Centre at Dubai Expo 2020, it is the 4th edition of the bi-annual World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum (WEIF 2022), which is co-sponsored by… Continue reading Entrepreneurship, investment key to achieving SDGs and resilient post-pandemic recovery

First Person: I know what it’s like to go hungry as a child

An agronomist working for the World Food Programme (WFP) in Haiti tells UN News that, like the people she helps today, she remembers what it’s like to go hungry as a child. As a child, Rose Senoviala Desir lived in the northern Haitian city of Cap Haitien and received hot meals as part of the… Continue reading First Person: I know what it’s like to go hungry as a child

Seeds of change in Kenya as farmers lead way on tobacco-free farms

In Kenya, a trailblazing sustainable agriculture project has helped hundreds of farmers move away from the harmful practice of growing tobacco, in favour of a healthier alternative, the UN said on Wednesday. The initiative, supported by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), in cooperation with the Kenyan authorities, is helping… Continue reading Seeds of change in Kenya as farmers lead way on tobacco-free farms

UN prioritizes least developed countries in ‘plans…investments and…actions’ – Guterres

“Inequality. Hunger. Poverty. Weak infrastructure. Competition for dwindling resources. Insecurity and conflict,” Secretary-General António Guterres elaborated in his statement to the Fifth LDC (LDC5) Conference in the General Assembly Hall. “The hopes, dreams, lives and livelihoods of one-eighth of humanity rest between the pages of the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA),” he added, zeroing-in on the “lifelines” it provides… Continue reading UN prioritizes least developed countries in ‘plans…investments and…actions’ – Guterres

Rising incomes more harmful to environment than population growth

Higher incomes contribute more to environmental degradation than population growth, a report by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has revealed.  The Global Population Growth and Sustainable Development report, launched on Wednesday, is the latest in a series on major demographic trends.  The number of people on the planet more than tripled… Continue reading Rising incomes more harmful to environment than population growth

Development finance institutions must include in investments, ‘right to remedy’

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights launched on Wednesday a ground-breaking new report for development finance institutions to ensure that the projects they support do not harm people, and make effective remedy is readily available. The Remedy in Development Finance report gives guidance to development finance institutions to ensure that the projects they finance… Continue reading Development finance institutions must include in investments, ‘right to remedy’

Women building a sustainable future: fighting back the desert, amid Niger’s refugee and climate crises

Internal displacement, regional instability, and climate change have created a refugee crisis in Niger, but an initiative in the town of Ouallam is showing how different communities can work together to survive, and improve the local environment. In the dusty plains outside Ouallam, a town some 100 kilometres north of Niger’s capital Niamey, verdant rows… Continue reading Women building a sustainable future: fighting back the desert, amid Niger’s refugee and climate crises

Global trade expected to slow, after record high of $28.5 trillion in 2021

Global trade reached a record high in 2021, but it is expected to slow this year for many reasons including continuing delays in global supply chains, UN economists said on Thursday. Announcing that worldwide commerce amounted to around $28.5 trillion last year, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) explained that this represented an increase of… Continue reading Global trade expected to slow, after record high of $28.5 trillion in 2021

Haiti at ‘crossroads’ entering post-earthquake reconstruction

Haiti is once more at a ‘crossroads’, six months after a devastating earthquake hit the south-west of the country, according to the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed. The Deputy Secretary-General was speaking at an international event hosted by the Haitian Government in the country’s capital Port-au-Prince, aimed at supporting the reconstruction and recovery efforts following… Continue reading Haiti at ‘crossroads’ entering post-earthquake reconstruction

LIVE: Pledging conference for Haiti reconstruction

The government of Haiti has organized a pledging conference, in the hope of raising some $2 billion to help with reconstruction, six months after the earthquake that devastation the country. 1100 It’s been a very tough 12 months for Haiti; an economic crisis, the assassination of the head of state, rising insecurity and the increased… Continue reading LIVE: Pledging conference for Haiti reconstruction

Rebuilding Haiti: The post-earthquake path to recovery

Six months after a devastating earthquake in south-west Haiti which caused the deaths of 2,200 people and injured 12,700 more, the international community is coming together with the Government of Haiti to raise up to $2 billion for the long-term recovery and reconstruction of the country. UN News explains why support is needed WFP/Alexis Masciarelli… Continue reading Rebuilding Haiti: The post-earthquake path to recovery

Spending on social protection rose nearly 270% with pandemic

Opening the session, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Liu Zhenmin, argued that the pandemic had highlighted the critical role of social policies.  “The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated inequalities, and multiple forms of deprivation”, Mr. Zhenmin said, remembering that many countries reacted by instituting emergency measures.  “One key lesson is the importance of universal access to social protection,… Continue reading Spending on social protection rose nearly 270% with pandemic

COVID’s pushed us ‘further off course’ from Global Goals: Mohammed

“We are far from where we should be – and the pandemic has pushed us even further off course”, said Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, noting that “indicators on poverty, hunger, education and jobs are all moving in the wrong direction”. Charting a forward path Although it has taken a great toll on people across the… Continue reading COVID’s pushed us ‘further off course’ from Global Goals: Mohammed

Teleworking during COVID: Risks, benefits and steps to a ‘new normal’

More than two years since COVID-19 began disrupting office life around the world, crucial changes are needed to safeguard health while teleworking, two UN agencies said on Wednesday. In a new technical brief on healthy and safe teleworking launched on Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) outline the health benefits… Continue reading Teleworking during COVID: Risks, benefits and steps to a ‘new normal’

Improve resistance to neglected tropical diseases, WHO urges

To mark World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday called for an international push to confront the inequalities that characterize NTDs, and ensure the poorest and most marginalized communities who are the most impacted, receive the health services they need. In his message for the day, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,… Continue reading Improve resistance to neglected tropical diseases, WHO urges

Rising caseloads, disrupted recovery, higher inflation: New IMF forecast

The institution now expects the global economy to expand from a 5.9 per cent increase in 2021 to 4.4 per cent this year. The number is half a percentage point lower than predicted in October, reflecting several changes.  As the new Omicron COVID-19 variant spreads, many countries have reimposed restrictions on movement, slowing the economic rebound. Rising energy… Continue reading Rising caseloads, disrupted recovery, higher inflation: New IMF forecast

Afghanistan: 500,000 jobs lost since Taliban takeover

More than half a million people have lost or been pushed out of their jobs in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover, the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday. In a warning that the economy has been “paralyzed” since the de facto authorities took control last August, ILO said that there have been huge losses in… Continue reading Afghanistan: 500,000 jobs lost since Taliban takeover

UN chief: ‘Global solidarity is missing in action’

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, for the second year in a row, the Forum scrapped its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, for a series of online plenaries and discussions over the year ahead, under the banner of The Davos Agenda.  Speaking from New York, Mr. Guterres said that thisyear’s event takes place “in the shadow of an enormously difficult period for economies, people… Continue reading UN chief: ‘Global solidarity is missing in action’

COVID means labour market recovery still ‘slow and uncertain’

In its flagship World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2022 (WESO Trends), ILO has downgraded its 2022 labour market recovery forecast, projecting a continuing major deficit in the number of working hours compared to the pre-pandemic era. “Two years into this crisis, the outlook remains fragile and the path to recovery is slow and uncertain”, said… Continue reading COVID means labour market recovery still ‘slow and uncertain’

COVID-19 pandemic stalls global economic recovery: UN report

The UN’s key report on the global economy, released on Thursday, shows that the rapid spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant has put the brakes on a rapid recovery, counteracting signs of solid growth at the end of last year.  The 2022 World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report, produced by the UN Department of… Continue reading COVID-19 pandemic stalls global economic recovery: UN report

COVID-19 variants, rising debt, threaten global economic growth: World Bank

Global growth will slow down over the next two years in the face of “fresh threats” from COVID-19 variants and rising inflation, debt and income inequality, the World Bank said on Tuesday in its latest report. While economic growth experienced a strong rebound in 2021, it is expected to decline markedly from 5.5 per cent… Continue reading COVID-19 variants, rising debt, threaten global economic growth: World Bank

Global food prices rose ‘sharply’ during 2021 

The UN’s benchmark food and commodity prices index rose sharply on average through 2021, compared with the previous year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) informed on Thursday.  The agency’s Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in international prices, averaged 125.7 points – a 28.1 per cent increase over 2020.  FAO Senior Economist Abdolreza Abbassian explained that,… Continue reading Global food prices rose ‘sharply’ during 2021 

First Person: The entrepreneur helping Middle Eastern women enter the digital economy

Mona Ataya, a Palestinian-Lebanese entrepreneur based in the United Arab Emirates, runs the largest online marketplace for mothers in the Middle East. In recognition of her achievements, she has been chosen as one of the six eTrade for Women Advocates for 2021-2022, by the UN trade agency, UNCTAD.  Ms. Ataya is the founding partner and… Continue reading First Person: The entrepreneur helping Middle Eastern women enter the digital economy

Guterres in Lebanon: Fair elections in 2022, an ‘essential opportunity’ for voices to be heard

Having heard and seen for himself the suffering of Lebanon’s people, the UN chief told political leaders there on Tuesday that they “do not have the right to be divided”, leaving the nation paralysed, amidst multiple crises. “All government institutions are measured on results: social protection, access to electricity and water, education and basic healthcare,… Continue reading Guterres in Lebanon: Fair elections in 2022, an ‘essential opportunity’ for voices to be heard

Lebanese ‘deserve the truth’ over deadly port blast: Guterres

The extent of the devastation has drawn comparisons within Lebanon, to the horrors endured by the residents of Hiroshima in 1945, after one of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War Two, raised the Japanese city to the ground, killing tens of thousands. Locals refer to the infamous day… Continue reading Lebanese ‘deserve the truth’ over deadly port blast: Guterres

Afghanistan economy in ‘freefall’, threatening to take entire population with it

Speaking virtually to the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad, Pakistan, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths painted a grim picture of 23 million people facing hunger; malnourished children overflowing in health facilities; 70 per cent of teachers working without salaries; and millions of students… Continue reading Afghanistan economy in ‘freefall’, threatening to take entire population with it

First Person: Cultivating Haiti’s future

“The earthquake which struck south-west Haiti in August impacted mostly rural populations, and obviously farmers were affected a lot. Many lost their houses as well as their grain and seed stores which collapsed in the tremor; the land of some farmers was also damaged due to landslides. In some cases, fissures could be seen as… Continue reading First Person: Cultivating Haiti’s future

Promoting sustainability and the UN at Dubai Expo: A UN Resident Coordinator blog

Around two months into a six-month residency at Dubai Expo, the UN Hub has already attracted a large number of visitors, including several delegations from UN Member States. Dena Assaf, the UN Resident Coordinator for the UAE, and Deputy Commissioner-General of the UN at Expo, says that the event is a unique opportunity to highlight… Continue reading Promoting sustainability and the UN at Dubai Expo: A UN Resident Coordinator blog

Africa Free Trade Area, likely spur for growth and development 

With productivity-boosting measures, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement could reduce poverty and inequality while spurring sustainable and inclusive growth, according to a report launched on Wednesday by the UN trade and development body, UNCTAD. The Economic Development in Africa Report 2021, underscores the importance of  infrastructure financing that helps link up urban… Continue reading Africa Free Trade Area, likely spur for growth and development 

Omicron: Don’t panic but prepare for likely spread, says WHO

Heralding South Africa’s and Botswana’s decision to report the appearance of the Omicron coronavirus mutation last month, the UN health agency repeated that it will take another two weeks before more is known about how transmissible and how dangerous it actually is. Speaking in Geneva, WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier stressed that data suggesting that Omicron… Continue reading Omicron: Don’t panic but prepare for likely spread, says WHO

Despite COVID-19 connectivity boost, world’s poorest left far behind  

Some 2.9 billion people still have never used the internet, and 96 per cent live in developing countries, a new UN report has found. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the estimated number of people who have gone online this year actually went up, to 4.9 billion, partially because of a “COVID connectivity boost”.    This is good news for global development, but ITU… Continue reading Despite COVID-19 connectivity boost, world’s poorest left far behind  

World trade reaches all-time high, but 2022 outlook ‘uncertain’: UNCTAD

Global trade is expected to be worth about $28 trillion this year – an increase of 23 per cent compared with 2020 – but the outlook for 2022 remains very uncertain, UN economists said on Tuesday. This strong growth in demand – for goods, as opposed to services – is largely the result of pandemic restrictions easing,… Continue reading World trade reaches all-time high, but 2022 outlook ‘uncertain’: UNCTAD

Financing sustainable development needed more than ever, says UN deputy chief Mohammed 

Securing the funding needed for sustainable development by involving as many actors from different sectors as possible, is more urgent than ever, amid a widening “trust deficit” between the haves and the have-nots, the UN Deputy Secretary-General said on Monday.  Speaking at the Building Bridges Summit for sustainable finance in Geneva, Amina Mohammed urged all those present… Continue reading Financing sustainable development needed more than ever, says UN deputy chief Mohammed 

Coronavirus pandemic could cost global tourism $2 trillion this year

The coronavirus pandemic will likely cost the global tourism sector $2 trillion in lost revenue in 2021, the UN’s tourism body said Monday, calling the sector’s recovery “fragile” and “slow.” According to the latest forecast by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the same amount was lost in 2020, making it one of the sectors hit… Continue reading Coronavirus pandemic could cost global tourism $2 trillion this year

From the Field: Pioneer brings farming jobs to marginalized Bangladesh communities

Farzeen Alam, a Bangladeshi entrepreneur, was laughed off when he approached banks for a loan to start his farming business: today, Oggro Dairy is helping to lower unemployment, particularly amongst marginalized youth. Oggro Dairy is the first social enterprise dedicated to agriculture in Bangladesh. Founded in 2007 by Mr. Alam, the enterprise works with farmers… Continue reading From the Field: Pioneer brings farming jobs to marginalized Bangladesh communities

Arrested development and poverty take a $57 billion economic toll in Palestine

With an economic toll of an estimated at $57.7 billion, the study estimated the cost to be equivalent to three and a half times the 2019 GDP of the occupied Palestinian territory’. Moreover, it indicated that the minimum cost of eliminating poverty in the West Bank had increased six times between 1998 and 2007 – from… Continue reading Arrested development and poverty take a $57 billion economic toll in Palestine

One billion more people could join the ranks of those already unable to afford healthy diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people could join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday.  The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) 2021 State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) report – Making agrifood systems more resilient to shocks and stresses – states that, without proper preparation, unpredictable shocks will continue to undermine… Continue reading One billion more people could join the ranks of those already unable to afford healthy diet

Smart, sustainable maritime transport critical to global recovery: UNCTAD

Maritime trade contracted by 3.8 per cent in 2020, but later rebounded, and is estimated to increase by 4.3 per cent this year, according to the report.  UNCTAD’s Review of Maritime Transport 2021 reveals the outlook for the medium term remains positive but subject to “mounting risks and uncertainties”, such as unprecedented pressures on global… Continue reading Smart, sustainable maritime transport critical to global recovery: UNCTAD

‘Dire’ economic and fiscal situation in Palestine requires integrated response

A piecemeal approach to the current political, economic and security challenges in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) only risks perpetuating a continuing crisis, according to a new UN report published on Thursday. “Short-term fixes, focused on stabilizing and managing recent crises are necessary, but not sufficient”, stated UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace… Continue reading ‘Dire’ economic and fiscal situation in Palestine requires integrated response

World food import bill to reach record high in 2021 

The global food trade should hit an all-time record high in both volume and value terms, according to a new report released on Thursday by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  By the end of 2021, the global food import bill should extend beyond $1.75 trillion, marking a 14 per cent increase from the previous year, and 12 per cent higher than the previous forecast.   According to FAO’s new Food Outlook, trade in foodstuffs has shown “remarkable resilience” to disruptions throughout the pandemic, but rapidly rising… Continue reading World food import bill to reach record high in 2021 

Rebuilding a future for the displaced people of Burkina Faso: a Resident Coordinator Blog

More than a million people in Burkina Faso have been displaced from their homes, victims of ongoing conflict and poverty. Nevertheless, following a recent visit to the central and northern regions of the country, Barbara Manzi, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Burkina Faso, says she met a resilient people keen to find their own solutions,… Continue reading Rebuilding a future for the displaced people of Burkina Faso: a Resident Coordinator Blog

World food prices reach highest level in more than a decade

The UN barometer of world food prices has surged to a new peak, reaching its highest level since July 2011, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced this Thursday.  The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks the international prices of a basket of food commodities, is up 3.9 per cent from September, rising for a third consecutive month.  Cereal prices overall increased by 3.2 per cent, with wheat rising five per cent, due to reduced harvests in major exporting nations, including Canada, Russia and the United States. Prices of all… Continue reading World food prices reach highest level in more than a decade

Bachelet: right to social security, matter of ‘the utmost urgency’ 

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Monday that the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, and the changing world of work, makes the right to social security for all, “a matter of the utmost urgency.”  Michelle Bachelet was participating in the first ever intersessional panel discussion on the right to social security hosted by the Human Rights Council.  The goal was to identify challenges and best practices, through debate… Continue reading Bachelet: right to social security, matter of ‘the utmost urgency’ 

Green industrial policies key for climate adaptation in developing world

Green industrial policies will be critical for developing countries to adapt to climate change, UN trade and development body UNCTAD said in a report published on Thursday.  The agency has called for a “transformative approach” that will allow these nations to address current and future climate threats while also driving growth and job creation.  The… Continue reading Green industrial policies key for climate adaptation in developing world

Pandemic impact on jobs, worse than expected: ILO 

The agency is projecting that global hours worked this year will be 4.3 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, the equivalent of 125 million full time jobs. This is a dramatic revision of the projection made in June, of 3.5 per cent or 100 million full-time jobs.  The eighth edition of the ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work also warns of a “great divergence” between developed and developing countries,… Continue reading Pandemic impact on jobs, worse than expected: ILO 

$667 million funding call to help Afghans through economic crisis

To help ordinary Afghans, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has announced the launch of a “people’s economy” fund, to provide desperately needed access to cash. The fund will tap into donations frozen since the Taliban takeover in August. Germany has already pledged $58 million of the more than $660 million required over the next 12 months, UNDP… Continue reading $667 million funding call to help Afghans through economic crisis

Only ‘real equality’ can end vicious cycle of poverty

Although poverty and privilege “continue to reproduce themselves in vicious cycles”, it is possible to break the chain and shift the paradigm, an independent UN human rights expert told the General Assembly on Wednesday.  Presenting his report, The persistence of poverty: how real equality can break the vicious cycle, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier De Shutter, said that “with political will”, it is possible… Continue reading Only ‘real equality’ can end vicious cycle of poverty

Rush for new profits posing threat to human rights, UN experts warn 

The finance industry’s demand for new sources of capital worldwide to satisfy investors, is having a serious negative impact on the enjoyment of human rights, a group of UN-appointed independent rights experts have warned.  Among the rights at risk from increasing speculation in the financial markets by hedge funds and other investment funds, are the right to safe drinking water and sanitation, food, adequate housing, development, and a healthy and… Continue reading Rush for new profits posing threat to human rights, UN experts warn 

Business leaders join UN chief to step up action for sustainability 

Business leaders joined UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday, to step up delivery of critical investment, for a ‘sustainable, net zero, resilient and equitable world’.  The Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance, which brings together 30 business giants worth an estimated $16 trillion, met Mr. Guterres in New York, and outlined concrete actions for the future.   Since October 2019, when the Secretary-General convened the GISD Alliance, its CEOs and other top executives have… Continue reading Business leaders join UN chief to step up action for sustainability 

In highly uneven recovery, global investment flows rebound 

That’s according to the latest Investment Trends Monitor, released this Tuesday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).   It shows the increase in the first two quarters in FDI, recovered more than 70 per cent of the losses stemming from the COVID-19 crisis in 2020.  For the UNCTAD‘s director of investment and enterprise, James Zhan, the good news “masks the growing divergence in FDI flows between developed and developing economies, as well as the lag… Continue reading In highly uneven recovery, global investment flows rebound 

Food Heroes: Cameroon’s shrimp entrepreneur

Anastasie Obama, a Cameroonian woman who set up her own smoked shrimp business, has been recognized by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Agency (FAO) as a Food Hero, for her contribution towards unlocking the potential of selling shellfish locally and abroad. Cameroon sits on the Atlantic coast where Western and Central Africa meet. It was named… Continue reading Food Heroes: Cameroon’s shrimp entrepreneur

‘Time for action’ to support most fragile States: Guterres

From COVID-19 to the climate crisis and growing inequality, Secretary-General António Guterres underscored, at a financial meeting on Thursday, the importance of greater commitment and cooperation for a “more peaceful and prosperous future”. The pandemic has forced more than 100 million people into poverty and more than four billion have little or no social support,… Continue reading ‘Time for action’ to support most fragile States: Guterres

Trade can play a pivotal role in addressing climate change, says UN report 

Economies in the Asia-Pacific region need to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including to maintain their trade competitiveness as carbon taxes at borders threaten to rise, according to a new United Nations report.   Around 16 million new jobs could be created in clean energy, energy efficiency, engineering, manufacturing and construction industries in the Asia-Pacific region, more than compensating for the estimated loss of five million jobs by downscaling… Continue reading Trade can play a pivotal role in addressing climate change, says UN report 

Cotton sustains more than 100 million families worldwide 

A single metric tonne of cotton provides jobs for five people on average, often in some of the world’s most impoverished regions; that adds up around 100 million families across the globe.  To recognize these and other contributions, the United Nations is marking World Cotton Day, this Thursday.  Cotton is an important means of livelihood for millions of smallholders and attracts export revenues to some of the poorest… Continue reading Cotton sustains more than 100 million families worldwide 

Inequalities between ethnic groups are stark, new UN report reveals 

Differences in so-called multidimensional poverty among ethnic groups are consistently high across many countries, according to a new analysis released this Thursday.  The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), produced by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, also found that in nine specific ethnic groups surveyed, more than 90 per cent of the population is trapped in poverty.   In some cases, disparities… Continue reading Inequalities between ethnic groups are stark, new UN report reveals