Economic Development

FROM THE FIELD: The Myanmar child workers risking their lives for stones

Thirteen-year-old Min Min scavenges day and night for precious stones in a quarry in Hpakant, northern Myanmar, where perilous conditions have led to the deaths of many workers. With more than a million children working in the country, the UN is fighting to end child labour worldwide.

In Davos speech, UN chief highlights private sector role in pandemic recovery

The private sector has a key role to play in lifting countries out of both the COVID-19 and climate crises, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told international business leaders on Monday. 

COVID’s led to ‘massive’ income and productivity losses, UN labour estimates show

Job losses or reduced working hours due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic cost the world the equivalent of 255 million jobs in 2020, the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Monday, noting that the “massive impact” was nearly four times the number lost during the 2009 global financial crisis. 

FROM THE FIELD: The microscopic creatures helping build Africa’s Great Green Wall

A young woman scientist in Burkina Faso is researching the role of micro-organisms in fighting desertification in the Sahel Region, as part of a UN programme to restore degraded land in Africa.

Economic and Social Council turns 75; President reaffirms mandate to tackle pandemic, development challenges

Marking its 75th anniversary amid the most serious economic and health crisis the UN has ever faced, the Organization’s Economic and Social Council “has the mandate and the responsibility to respond to these challenges,” the body’s President, Munir Akram, said on Saturday.

Air travel down 60 per cent, as airline industry losses top $370 billion: ICAO

A new report from the UN’s air transportation agency confirms there was a “dramatic” fall in international air travel due to COVID-19, of around 60 per cent over the course of last year, to levels last seen in 2003.

Fewer protections, lower wages, and higher health risks: Homeworking in the COVID era

The UN’s labour agency (ILO) called on Wednesday for greater recognition and protection for the hundreds of millions of people who work from home, accounting for almost eight per cent of the global workforce even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘An unwanted prison sentence’ for seafarers stuck at home and stranded at sea

Hundreds of thousands of seafarers have been on board for many months longer than planned, stranded at sea due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Six months after the problem was first revealed, many of them are still struggling to cope with the ongoing uncertainty.

World Bank expects global economy to expand by 4% in 2021

The World Bank Group on Tuesday issued a guarded growth forecast for the global economy this year, saying that a four per cent overall expansion was likely, although the recovery will likely be a “subdued” one.

FROM THE FIELD: Weathering a tourist downturn in Kyrgyzstan

The residents of a small traditional village high in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia, which once attracted a steady stream of visitors, are learning how to adapt to the reality of a world where the COVID-19 pandemic has all but frozen out the opportunities provided by tourism.