News in the Humanosphere: Sharp rise in global urban population predicted by UN

Mumbai, India
Mumbai, India
Mumbai, India
Ekaterina Didkovskaya

Where Humanity Will Live in 2050…Our Urban Future: A new UN report predicts a sharp rise in urban living. “Two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, posing unique infrastructural challenges for African and Asian countries, where 90% of the growth is predicted to take place…Africa is projected to experience a 16% rise in its urban population by 2050 – making it the most rapidly urbanizing region on the planet – as the number of people living in its cities soars to 56%.” (Guardian)

Africa

Amnesty International has published the names of people suspected to have committed human rights violations and war crimes in the Central African Republic. The human rights group says these individuals must be investigated and held accountable in order for the country to begin a peace and reconciliation process. (VOA )

More than half of China’s foreign aid of over $14 billion between 2010 and 2012 was directed to Africa, the government said on Thursday, underscoring Beijing’s interest in the resource-rich continent to fuel its economy. (Reuters)

The number of hungry people in Somalia will increase this year for the first time since the 2011 famine as drought is starting to bite, the United Nations said. (Thompson Reuters Foundation)

Health workers in Liberia are said to be fleeing and returning from their areas of assignment due to the increasing number of Ebola patients. Some are said to have died from treating patients infected by the deadly virus. (The New Dawn)

A new study by two British universities says Somalia’s piracy problem can be sustainably solved by building roads and harbors to encourage people in remote areas to engage in legitimate trade. (AP)

MENA

The United Nations has evacuated dozens of foreign staff from its mission in Libya due to a deteriorating security situation in the North African country, a UN spokesman said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Palestinian deaths from Israel’s aerial attacks in Gaza rose sharply on Thursday, while militants there fired more than 100 rockets into Israel, reaching new targets spread across a vast swath of the country. (NYT)

Asia

John Kerry arrived in Afghanistan Friday on a key mission to try to quell tensions over disputed presidential polls which have triggered fears of violence and ethnic unrest. (AFP)

India’s new government has unveiled what it says is a roadmap to revive economic growth, which has fallen to its lowest level in nearly two decades. (VOA)

The US military is scaling back its counter-terrorism assistance program in the southern Philippines after more than a decade of regular rotations. The move comes despite persisting security threats in the region. (VOA)

Four reporters and the chief executive officer of a magazine in Myanmar have been sentenced to 10 years at hard labor in prison on a national security charge for investigative stories about a weapons factory. (AP)

The Americas

The Nicaraguan government has confirmed the country’s first two cases of people infected with a mosquito-borne virus that has spread quickly through the Caribbean region this year. (AP)

Panama’s new president Juan Carlos Varela’s key challenges include dealing with slower economic growth, rising inflation and the goal of reducing poverty.

Opinion/Blogs

“Help” is Hurting Africa (Medium)

What is compelling this surge in migration to the USA, particularly of unaccompanied minors? Who are these children and families? And what is their journey like?  (Global Dispatches Podcast)

I’m getting tired of ‘corporatization’ claims regarding the development industry (Aidnography)

What Can South Africa Learn From India’s Response to Sexual Violence? (Daily Maverick)

The west’s peanut butter bias chokes Haiti’s attempts to feed itself (Guardian)

Q&A with Simon Denyer: India’s Massive, Complex Democracy (VOA)

The Elusive Quest for Women’s Land Rights (CGD)

Q&A with Rita Manchanda: Conflict and Women’s Rights (VOA)

The Brics New Development Bank and Currency Reserve Arrangement At a Glance (GEG Africa)

Can the New African Court Truly Deliver Justice for Serious Crimes? (ISS)

Obama’s Quick Fix Won’t Solve the Regional Refugee Crisis (IPS)

Research/Reports

A cash injection of as little as $12 per month for an impoverished family could determine whether a child eats properly or goes to school or not. With cash transfer programs around the world now having a profound impact on the lives of poor people, the debate is less about whether to implement them than how to do so. (IRIN)

The dealings of public finance institutions, which use billions of euros of taxpayers’ money to fund private sector projects in poor countries, remain shrouded in secrecy and skewed to favor the governments of wealthy states, according to a coalition of NGOs. (Guardian)

Some of the statistics in the latest Millennium Development Goals report are up to four years old, according to the lead author of the UN’s recent report. (SciDevNet)

Between 2009 and 2012, an estimated 94,000 newborn deaths were averted as a result of the scale-up of these malaria interventions during pregnancy. Countries attaining high coverage and use of malaria control interventions during this period saw child mortality rates fall by as much as to 20%. (WHO)

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About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]humanosphere.org.