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News and Analysis

"The whole purpose of democratic government is to eliminate poverty."

These are the words of India's Finance Minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, as he unveiled this year's budget. In his previous budget, Mr Chidambaram pledged billions of dollars for the poor and to assist farmers. This year his budget continues to take an 'anti-poverty' approach as he provides a further boost to spending on primary education and heath care services.

The State of the World's Children 2005: ''Childhood Under Threat''

Carol Bellamy, UNICEF Executive Director, has recently launched the 2005 UNICEF report "Childhood under threat", a comprehensive and all encompassing report on the state of the world's children. The facts uncovered by the report are devastating: 15 years have lapsed since the convention of children's rights was passed, children have never been so high on the public agenda and yet, the initial promises seem broken. "Childhood under threat" uncovers that at least half of the world's children are severely deprived of one or more of the basic necessities:

Kyoto and the long road to reducing emissions

Despite outright rejection by the Bush administration, the Kyoto treaty came into force this week. Altogether 128 member states have ratified the protocol to reduce greenhouse emissions over the next 7 years to levels below those of 1990.

STWR Cost Of War Calculator

Have you ever wondered what the International community could achieve if funding for war was diverted to urgent humanitarian needs? STWR have created this eye-opening cost calculator which shows what could be bought instead of arms and military equipment.

US Declares Iraqis Must Destroy Their Own Seeds

As part of sweeping "economic restructuring" implemented by the Bush Administration in Iraq, Iraqi farmers will no longer be permitted to save their seeds, which include seeds the Iraqis themselves have developed over hundreds of years.

Global poverty targeted as 100,000 gather in Brazil

Activists join presidents as annual World Social Forum gets under way in Porto Alegre.

One planet, two very different worlds

Two world forums start today, one economic and one social. Both offer a real chance to tackle global poverty

Will debt relief make a difference?

Will debt relief make a difference?

By Orla Ryan, BBC News business reporter

The world's richest countries are getting ready to grant a debt moratorium to countries affected by the tsunami.

But critics question whether the proposals - to freeze payments for a year or more - go far enough.

Some argue that the debt should be cancelled, not just temporarily suspended.

Others say the debt moratorium is ill-conceived, designed to reflect well on the world's richest countries while achieving little for the world's poorest.

Brown's 1bn Africa debt pledge

The UK has pledged to pay 10% of the developing world's foreign debt bill in an attempt to fight poverty.

Aid for vulnerable islands declines

January 4, 2005, Paul Brown, The Guardian

UN conference hears how small states are struggling with rising seas, pollution and cuts in foreign assistance.

Aid to 45 small island states, home to the people most vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, has fallen by more than half in eight years, a UN conference will be told today.

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