May 8, 2012
Patricia Kisare writes about the need for an international debt court in the latest Third Way Cafe.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are two of the largest sources of sovereign loans for low-income countries. While most of these loans are for poverty alleviation, the debt burdens they have created are themselves creating cycles of poverty.
High interest rates have made it more expensive for countries to service these loans, forcing governments to spend more on debt services than on social services for their citizens. As a result, many low-income countries continue to struggle with paying off their sovereign debts.
Read the entire article here.
April 2, 2012
Patricia Kisare marks the passing of Women’s History Month with a reflection on the role of women in world wide food production and the need to better account for who produces food when making policy and development decisions.
Women produce more than half of the world’s food, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. In most developing countries, rural women produce between 60 and 80 percent of the food and are the main producers of the world’s staple crops such as corn, wheat and rice.
Although these facts have been common knowledge for a long time, women’s role as key contributors to global food security is only now being recognized by policymakers and development experts. This is critical because agriculture can contribute immensely to global economic growth and development. How women farmers fare in the food production chain is a significant component in the fight against hunger.
Read the entire article here.
February 3, 2012
Emily Wilson-Hauger, public policy intern, writes about the connection between our consumer choices and modern-day slavery in the latest Third Way Cafe.
Photo credit: jk_scotland/flickr
A friend recently posted a link on her Facebook feed that read, “How many slaves work for you?” The Slavery Footprint survey simply asked me to quantify my consumption of clothes, electronics, household items, appliances, food, and other tangibles.
How many slaves work for me? 40! Even with a lower number than the average 20-something in America, how could a socially conscious person, who tries to live simply, rely on 40 slaves for the things I use every day?
Read the entire article here and let us know what you think in the comment section or on twitter or facebook.
January 4, 2012
Patricia Kisare writes about the increasing problem of land grabs in the latest issue of Mennonite Weekly Review. Large purchases of agricultural land, often in Africa, by international corporations leads to economic and environmental degradation.
Dubbed “land grabbing,” this trend is a stark reminder of colonial-era practices when poor countries’ natural resources were controlled by foreigners and a few local elites. Not surprisingly, conditions under which most of these land deals are being pursued are extremely poor and lack transparency.
A growing number of reports have shown that these large-scale land acquisitions promote an unsustainable form of agriculture and are not a solution to the serious food crisis with which we are faced.
Read the article online here and let us know what you think in the comment section or on twitter or facebook.
December 23, 2011
Theo Sitther writes for Third Way Cafe of the revolutions around the world and the connections to the Christmas story.
In this season of Advent, the words of Mary bring hope. Christ enters our broken world, uplifts the lowly, and feeds the hungry. Christ’s birth brings hope of newness and renewal. Was this a year of revolutions? In many ways, yes. How will we in our comfort respond to the injustice in our own communities and our world?
Read the article here and let us know what you think in the comment section.
December 20, 2011
Youth for Eco-Justice at a demonstration in Durban. WCC/LWF/W. Noack
In early December, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change met for the 17th time in Durban, South Africa to discuss the international community’s response to climate change. Though the governments agreed to continue working on a comprehensive treaty, this agreement falls short of providing climate justice to the most vulnerable.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) joined the strong presence of faith communities advocating in Durban. The quotes below reflect the urgency needed to combat climate change and to foster climate justice.
The WCC’s official statement reads, “In Durban, religious communities have come together in various ways to express that climate change is also a moral and spiritual crisis. We proclaim together: We have faith. Act now for climate justice” the statement requested.
Expressing his views regarding the COP17, the WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said, “Though a minimum deal was achieved at the last minute to keep the Kyoto Protocol, make some steps towards a new legally binding agreement in 2015, and implement the Green Climate Fund, the overall Durban outcome is far from being enough to respond to the currently disappearing countries and future generations.”
“We need to listen to vulnerable countries and populations, and think of the legacy we are leaving to our children. Churches should continue to act and pray, especially during this time when we prepare for Christmas, the event when God sent his Son, Jesus, to save our beloved planet,” he added.
Read the rest of the article here.