APRIL 2011 WORLD AFFAIRS
Fighting Poverty With Economics
AD McKenzie of IPS, for the Guardian Development Network (6 April 2011)
Economist Esther Duflo believes poverty can be tackled by implementing the right economic policies.
Aid agencies must listen to the people they're helping
Nicholas Van Praag, Poverty Matter Blog, guardian.co.uk (1 April 2011)
"The agenda of development aid should not be set by people so far removed from the uncertainty of life that has dominated human existence for the majority of time."
Podcast: Does microfinance help people escape poverty?
guardian.co.uk (1 April 2011)
Many people like the sound of microfinance because it isn't charity. But are all poor people budding entrepreneurs? And what happens when people cannot repay their loans?
Crisis Watch No.92
In Côte d'Ivoire, the security and humanitarian situation deteriorated as civil war reignited. The month saw continued heavy clashes between forces backing internationally-recognised president Alassane Ouattara and those loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo, with reports of sexual violence, summary executions, and direct shelling of civilians.
Haiti's displaced women and girls are targeted by rapists (UN Wire)
"An Epidemic of Rape for Haiti’s Displaced", Editorial, New York Times (3 April 2011)
Security is nearly nonexistent for the many thousands of women and girls living in Haiti's homeless encampments. Rapists prey with impunity as police rarely patrol unlit, sprawling camps. This editorial notes that better lighting, aggressive policing and a commitment to include women in Haiti's reconstruction will go a long way to protecting those in the camps.
Doctors Go Far Afield to Battle Epidemics
Celia w. Dugger, New York Times (2 April 2011)
Western doctors tackle developing world health emergencies (UN Wire); Young American doctors are traveling to remote locations in the developing world to aid the battle against epidemics such as HIV/AIDS. Many of the programs to place the doctors focus on Africa, which is home to 25% of the world's afflicted but has only 3% of the available heath care workers.
How the Mazar-e-Sharif UN attack developed
Thousands of worshippers, flogged into a rage by sermons denouncing a burning of the Quran by a fringe preacher in the United States, spilled out of the Blue Mosque in Mazar-e-Sharif and marched about a mile to the UN compound and attacked UN workers inside, easily overwhelming the 60 or so Afghan police who tried to protect the site. One safe room at the UN compound proved ineffective in sheltering those inside. The attack developed so quickly that U.S. forces were unable to mobilize in time to intervene.
Inside the Massacre at the Afghan Compound
Dion Nissenbaum and Maria Abi-Habib, Wall Street Journal (4 April 2011)
MAZAR-E-SHARIF, Afghanistan—Officials are painting the weekend killings at the United Nations mission in northern Afghanistan's largest city—which sparked cascading violence across the nation—as the handiwork of a small band of insurgents that used a protest against a Quran-burning as cover for a murderous plot.
A Clash of the Extremes: Pastor Terry Jones and the Claim to Absolute Truth
Hasnain Kazim, SPIEGEL (6 April 2011)
Twenty people have died in the protests triggered by Pastor Terry Jones' burning of the Koran in March and more violence is likely. But both his action, and the reaction in the Muslim world share the same problematic roots: Claims to absolute truth have little place in the modern world.
Humanitarian Intervention: Whom to Protect, Whom to Abandon
Michael Elliott, Time (10 April 2011)
Death and taxes are always with us, and so are arguments about whether nations ever have the right or duty to intervene in the affairs of others. The case for "humanitarian intervention," under a variety of names, has been asserted at least since the great powers threw their weight behind Greece's struggle for independence in the 1820s, but in its modern form was developed during the Wars of the Yugoslav Succession, when it appeared to many that armed force was the only way to end terrible atrocities. More recently, the U.N. has adopted as a norm of international affairs the "responsibility to protect," which contemplates the possibility of armed intervention when a state shows itself unable or unwilling to prevent grave human rights abuses.
The Peacebuilders: Making Conflict Resolution Permanent
Jina Moore, CS Monitor (2 April 2011)
Out of the UN comes a new idea for ending war. Peacebuilders: An intensive process that gives permission for foreign 'interference' in conflict resolution.
UN intervention in Africa marks policy shift
The new willingness by United Nations to take strong action -- underlined by what an official calls moral choice and military and legal imperative -- in order to save lives in places such as Cote d'Ivoire and Libya shows a policy shift in the world body, analysts say. "There is a new trend in the Security Council in which the responsibility to protect principle is gaining a new hold," said a French diplomat.
Recent U.N. Actions Show Policy Shift, Analysts Say
Dan Bilefsky, New York Times (5 April 2011)
UNITED NATIONS — The unusual military strikes by the United Nations against military bases of the Ivory Coast’s strongman, Laurent Gbagbo, represent a seminal moment in which an organization generally disinclined to intervene forcefully in the affairs of member states is showing a new willingness to take bold action to save lives, diplomats and analysts said.
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