The issue of hunger in urban areas has long been neglected, as part of a more general neglect of urban poverty. And when the issue is covered, there are some glaring gaps in the analysis.
Imagine you live in a small village in Africa. You and your family cultivate a small plot of land, graze livestock on village land and collect fire wood from a nearby forest – just as your grandparents and great grandparents did. Then, one day, everything changes. A big car arrives in the village with company officials and the chief district officer. You are told that the company and the government have signed a lease that gives the company a large area of land – including your plot, rangeland and forest. The visiting officials are upbeat – there will be jobs, a village school and a clinic as result. But you have heard promises before, and you were let down. You stand to lose all that you have – the land that feeds your family and that you belong to. All for an uncertain future. You rightly ask: “Will the jobs materialise? Will I get one? Why should I give up my farm to work on somebody else’s plantation?”
A gastronomic boom sweeping through Peru reflects the country’s economic growth and optimism.
After recent announcements of winners for the Nobel prize, the World Food prize and the African leadership prize for good governance this blog asks, do prizes work?
Communities often develop from a sense of place and a shared sense of belonging to that place. So, how do you bring a community together in a slum where people aren’t allowed to ‘belong’ because they don’t have anywhere to live, or they’re living illegally in a shack and know they might be evicted tomorrow?
When a large disaster hits – like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami – it receives international media coverage, aid is mobilised and aid agencies rush to respond. While survivors of smaller disasters might wish for such attention, there are some serious negative side-effects to these responses. Survivors are often sidelined with little influence on the responses chosen and with little control over how the external funding is used or prioritised, as these decisions rest mostly with external funders. But responses that don’t consult with them risk not only failing, but potentially weakening the communities they’re working with. It doesn’t have to be this way.
I have been attending a meeting of around forty Archbishops and Bishops from all over Asia for several days now at Assumption University on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand surrounded by flood waters approaching the country’s low-lying capital city.
An anniversary is an opportunity to both celebrate and reflect. For IIED, which marks its 40th birthday next week, it is a time to remember what we have achieved and invigorate ourselves for the challenges ahead.