Public Health

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 |

Failed States

The Brutal Truth

Failed states are mainly a threat to their own inhabitants. We should help them anyway.

Stewart Patrick |

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

No Need for Speed

Save your money, United Nations -- the developing world doesn't need broadband Internet to get ahead.

Charles Kenny |


Life Lessons

How are children in Benghazi coping with war?

Ryan Calder |

Think Again

Think Again: The Afghan Drug Trade

Why cracking down on Afghanistan's opium business won't help stop the Taliban -- or the United States' own drug problems.

Jonathan P. Caulkins, Jonathan D. Kulick, and Mark A.R. Kleiman |

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 |


Iran Cracks Down While Egypt Cracks Up

Tehran is claiming that the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt reflect the heady days of 1979. Not so fast says the Green Movement -- it's 2009 that's a better parallel.

Barbara Slavin |

The Optimist

After the Break Up

Sudan has 99 problems, but secession isn't one.

Charles Kenny |


Africa's Epidemic of Disappearing Medicine

The global system for public health donations has a crippling accountability problem.

Roger Bate |

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 |

The Optimist

Let There Be Light

How a new kind of bulb will transform the developing world.

Charles Kenny |


Is the WHO Becoming Irrelevant?

Why the world's premier public health organization must change or die.

Jack C. Chow |

The List

Good Ideas For Bad Times

A look at the innovative thinkers and bold ideas that kept 2010 from being a total wash.

Charles Kenny |


Why Democracies Don't Get Cholera

It's about a lot more than just clean water.

Joe Amon |

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 |


What the Waters Washed Away

The rural, conservative refugees from Pakistan’s floods have not only lost their homes, but also their entire way of life.

Rania Abouzeid |


The Permanent Slum

The residents of Buenos Aires's Villa 31 have been shunted to the side for as long as they can remember. Now, they're looking to assert their identity in an unfriendly city.

Jordana Timerman |


Grain Pains

Imagine if the drought this summer near Moscow happened near Chicago or Beijing. Lester Brown has, and he's afraid.

Christina Larson |


Cozying Up to the Taliban

In recent months, humanitarian groups in Afghanistan have begun to cooperate much more closely with the Taliban to deliver their services. Is that a bad thing?

April Rabkin |

In Box

Best. Decade. Ever.

The first 10 years of the 21st century were humanity's finest -- even for the world's bottom billion.

Charles Kenny |

5 Things You Didn't Know About...

The Flu

The world has virtually wiped out polio, eradicated smallpox, and slowed the spread of HIV/AIDS. But when it comes to the deadly influenza virus, all governments seem to do is panic.  

John Barry |


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 Fastest to Die

A study reveals how deeply the wounds of conflict have cut the Central African Republic -- and not where you would expect.

Patrick Vinck |


China's Billion-Dollar Aid Appetite

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

Jack C. Chow |