The Optimist

Famine Is a Crime

Civilization has defeated mass starvation. So why are so many Somalis dying of hunger?

Charles Kenny |


Swaziland's Silent HIV Epidemic

In one of the most beautiful parts of the world, and also one of the deadliest.

Shaun Raviv |

Photo Essay

Postcards from Hell, 2011

Images from the world's most failed states.

Elizabeth Dickinson |

The Optimist

Green Shoots in the Killing Fields

Citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo believe there's hope for their war-torn country even if no one else does -- and their optimism is starting to get results.

Charles Kenny |


Talking the Talk

South Africans aren't the only ones keeping quiet about AIDS.

Passport Administrator |

The Optimist

Through Rose-Colored Corrective Lenses

Poor vision is a major hurdle to getting ahead in the developing world. Fortunately, remedies are cheaper and easier -- and more profitable -- than they've ever been before.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

Inpatients Abroad

How do you solve America's health-care woes? Outsource them.

Charles Kenny |

Spring In Afghanistan

Trauma Center

How do you bring peace to a country where everyone has PTSD and the only therapy is prayer?

Anna Badkhen |


The Myth of 9 Billion

Why ignoring family planning overseas was the worst foreign-policy mistake of the century.

Malcolm Potts |


Can the World Feed 10 Billion People?

With an exploding global population -- and Africa's numbers set to triple -- the world's experts are falling over themselves arguing how to feed the masses. Why do they have it so wrong?

Raj Patel |

The Optimist

Out of Eden

Pre-modern lifestyles were fraught with violence, disease, and uncertainty. We should be happy that indigenous societies are increasingly leaving them behind.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

The Civil War That Killed Cholera

Why the best ideas for fighting some diseases may come from poor countries, not rich ones.

Charles Kenny |


Meltdowns and Misinformation

What do we actually know about Japan's nuclear crisis?

Joseph Cirincione |

The List

Atomic Dogs

Fukushima wasn't the only nuclear accident waiting to happen. From Bulgaria to New York, here are five other nuclear power plants to keep an eye on.

Charles Homans |


Identification, Please

In the developed world, high-tech personal IDs are the stuff of Orwellian dystopia. But for everyone else, they could be a path to a happier, healthier, less precarious life.

Jamie Holmes |


FP Book Club: Charles Kenny's Getting Better

An FP discussion on contributing editor Charles Kenny's new book: Are we winning the global war on human suffering?

Charles Homans |

The Optimist

Fiber Cons

You don't need to be superfast to be super-competitive -- but try telling that to the governments sinking billions into fiber-optic networks.

Charles Kenny |


The Madness of China's Mental Health System

One of the country's leading activists and health advocates explains the tragic irony of mental health in China today: Many who need treatment won't get it, while many who don't are forced into treatment to silence political dissent.

Wan Yanhai |


Smoke and Mirrors

It's time for Washington to stop giving cigarette makers an open door to developing markets.

Thomas J. Bollyky |

The Optimist

Great Expectations

The biggest problem with post-disaster relief efforts like Haiti's is the unreasonable ambitions we have for them.

Charles Kenny |


Don't Try This Abroad

Nick Kristof is wrong. Amateurs are not the future of foreign aid.

Dave Algoso |

In Box

Fat Race

Last year's jeans won't fit? Blame the free market.

Joshua E. Keating |

The List

The Save-the-World Clock

Global leaders promised a decade ago to end poverty by 2015. With just five years left, the U.N. General Assembly -- including an estimated 140 heads of state -- will meet this week to assess progress. How much good has been done? Here's a hint: not enough.

Elizabeth Dickinson |


Should We Be Afraid of the Superbug?

A mysterious infection-breeding gene is sweeping the world -- or possibly just cable news.

Jesse M. Pines |


The New Lost Generation

Suicide rates for troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq are out of control, and post-traumatic stress disorder is reaching epidemic proportions. But is the Pentagon willing to tally the true cost of war?

Ron Capps |


The Truth About Africom

No, the U.S. military is not trying to take over Africa. Here's what we're actually doing.

Robert Moeller |


China's Billion-Dollar Aid Appetite

Why is Beijing winning health grants at the expense of African countries?

Jack C. Chow |


A Tremor for Haiti's Aid Industry

The earthquake was only the latest disaster to capsize the country's already fragile local aid economy. Now outside organizations are threatening to overwhelm it entirely.

Pooja Bhatia |


Congo’s New Mobutu

As the Democratic Republic of the Congo turns 50 this month, its leader is taking a page from Mobutu Sese Seko’s playbook on repression. And the West is helping him.

Joe Bavier |


The Long Emergency

Barack Obama's administration is taking an expansive, ambitious approach to global health. Does that mean giving up on combating HIV/AIDS?

Elizabeth Dickinson |