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Issue Date: Feb 15, 2001
About 830 million people around the world have not got sufficient food to eat because of natural disasters, armed conflicts and poverty, says the United Nations World Food Programme. "From generation to generation, people do not have enough food to eat," said Catherine Bertini, the agency's executive director. The worst-hit regions include large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia where tens of millions of people, most of them women and children, do not have sufficient food.

Fixing the drought

Issue Date: Jan 31, 2001
For a large part of the year anybody who was anybody in India talked about match fixing in cricket. When Parliament was in session there was a hue and cry over the Ayodhya issue but hardly a whisper in the corridors of power over drought. Ayodhya and match fixing became issues for nationwide debate. But not the drought. Therefore the prime minister's Christmas gift of Rs 2,600 crore worth of foodgrain to the poorest of the poor in the country comes as a welcome surprise. But is this measure sufficient to tackle the drought?

Environmental injustice

Issue Date: Nov 15, 2000

Killer with a BIAS

Issue Date: Nov 15, 2000
cancer is not an 'equal opportunity killer'. Samuel Broder, director of the us National Cancer Institute, says, "Poverty is a carcinogen." That the living conditions of the industrial poor put them at a greater risk of several diseases has been known since the days of Charles Dickens' novels.

Today's Plague

Issue Date: Nov 15, 2000
T he six cancer registries in India fail to give the true picture of cancer incidence as several cases go unreported. Vinod Raina, additional professor of medical oncology at aiims , recently stated in a television programme that only about 30 per cent of the patients diagnosed with cancer undergo treatment because of the cost and many drop out halfway, having run out of money.

Battered Lungs

Issue Date: Nov 15, 2000
W hile lung cancer's link with smoking has been publicised, its link with air pollution is considerably underplayed. "Data do suggest that urban smokers are more likely to develop lung cancer than rural smokers, even after accounting for smoking behaviour (how heavily a person smokes, what kind of cigarettes are smoked and so on).

Cry the beloved country

Issue Date: Aug 15, 2000

Spare change

Issue Date: Jul 31, 2000

The right to develop

Issue Date: Jul 31, 2000
The United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) human development report for 2000 has for the first time linked human rights to human development, particularly in the poverty eradication sector. "Human rights is not, as has sometimes been argued, a reward of development. Rather they are critical to achieving it," says Mark Malloch-Brown, UNDP administrator, in his foreword to the report.

Labour pangs?

India is fast becoming the land of superlatives. For all the wrong reasons, of course. Be it August 15, 1999 (UN prediction), or May 11, 2000 (government of India estimates), the nation has reached the inevitable mark. At the time of Independence, the country's population was as low as 350 million. Five decades later, the number has multiplied three-fold (see graph). The growth rate is 1.8 per cent per year, comparatively higher than China's 0.9 per cent. This despite the country being the first in the world to adopt a family planning policy in 1952.
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