Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns induced by human activity. More greenhouse gases in the atmosphere lead to hotter temperatures, rising sea levels, and adverse weather events that are more frequent and intense. This global issue will affect all nations, but will hit the poorest countries the hardest. Perhaps our most significant modern challenge, solutions include climate policy, adaptation and technological innovation.
Racial injustice stems from racism - an assumption that members of a given racial category are somehow inferior to others. Racial injustice remains an acute issue worldwide, and is often one institutionalized in a country’s economic, judicial and education systems. Fighting racial injustice is both an individual responsibility (actions and attitudes) and a governmental responsibility (creating policies that promote equality.)
Economic inequality is an unequal distribution of wealth, such that certain groups, communities or countries aren’t afforded the same opportunities as others. It represents the growing gap between the richest and poorest in modern society. Many economists claim this divide can create perpetually oppressed minorities, exploit disadvantaged populations, hinder economic growth, and even threaten democracy.
Animal welfare is a broad spectrum of viewpoints, from using animals in ‘humane’ ways that minimize unnecessary pain and suffering, to entirely ceasing all current animal practices. Modern animal welfare often focuses on agriculture practices like factory farming. Work in this space includes advocacy in neglected countries, research that improves our understanding of animals, and campaigns that compel large corporations to improve their policies.
Modern medicine has given us a wealth of effective treatments against almost every conceivable disease. Unfortunately poorer countries simply don’t have the wherewithal to offer these treatments to their citizens. The good news is that offering health interventions in developing nations can be incredibly low in cost, whether the focus is prevention (alcohol awareness, tobacco taxation) or cure (drugs, treatments, vaccines.)
Education forms the foundation upon which a poor nation can build itself up, which makes it perhaps the most reliable and highest growth investment that we can make in developing parts of the world. Offering access, providing infrastructure and equipment, and improving the quality of the teachers and the curriculum can be the first step in breaking the cycle of poverty, by granting everyone equal access to the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.
Reliant on their own food supplies, which can be devastated if a drought or any other adverse weather event hits, the people of developing nations are more at risk of malnutrition. Chronic malnutrition can lead to infant mortality, an increased risk of disease, stunted growth, and a long-term loss in cognitive ability. The fight against malnutrition focuses on delivering a steady supply of quality food to the most vulnerable communities.
When the United Nations made its Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the 10th of December 1948, it set out, for the first time, the fundamental human rights that were to be universally protected. The rights outlined in this document are many and varied, including being born free and equal in dignity and rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly. These rights are constantly under attack across the world, but thankfully a lot of organisations are committed to protecting them.
Corruption, whether in government or business, creates the opportunity for increased inequality and reduces the return of productive activities (which only serves to make corrupt activities more attractive.) Corruption can involve bribery, embezzlement, fraud and insider trading, and often involves practices that are perfectly legal in many countries. One of the most effective antidotes to corruption is to simply expose it, although many more steps are required to end the practice.
Misinformation and misleading propaganda can be used by a wealth of groups, including governments, terrorists, conspiracy theorists or foregin agents, to misrepresent the truth in order to serve their own ends. Managing misinformation is about identifying it, removing or disproving it, and supporting trusted journalism, which encourages critical thinking and keeps those in power accountable.
Birth rates, and rates of infant and maternal mortality, tend to be significantly higher in developing countries. The primary reason is an unmet need for family planning - a lack of investment in sex education, contraception, and efforts to change long-held views. Investment in both family planning and healthcare infrastructure can greatly reduce infant and maternal mortality, and give women a say in their future, which can turbocharge the development of a country’s economy.
Poverty is more than just a lack of money. It manifests as hunger and malnutrition, limited access to basic services, social discrimination and exclusion, and a lack of participation in decision-making. In totality it represents a lack of opportunity or ability to change one’s circumstances. Overcoming poverty is about arming a population with the resources it needs to succeed, including nutrition, shelter, education and influence.
disaster risk reduction
Hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods and fires impose an economic toll that can disrupt and undermine a society for a long time, particularly in developing countries. What’s more, a disaster in one country can have a ripple effect on many others. While preventing disasters is difficult - particularly those that are natural - risk-reduction measures can help to reduce the damage when the inevitable occurs.
Covering over 70% of the planet’s surface, the ocean regulates our climate. It absorbs significant amounts of carbon dioxide, produces half the oxygen we breathe, delivers rain to land, and feeds vast numbers of people. But human activities like climate change, pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction have put our oceans in jeopardy, and such is the scale of the problem that it will demand a truly global effort to save them.
clean water and sanitation
One-third of the world population does not have access to basic sanitation, one billion of whom don’t have so much as a communal toilet. More than just an inconvenience, inadequate sanitation costs lives. Diarrheal diseases are a leading cause of death for children under five years of age, while cholera outbreaks can be regular and devastating. Ultimately a lack of sanitation impacts a population’s social and economic development.
Mental illnesses represent disturbances in thoughts, feelings and perceptions that are severe enough to affect day-to-day functioning. While genetics and physiological factors often form the root cause of mental illness, external factors such as rapid social change, stressful situations, discrimination, social exclusion, ill health and addiction can trigger and exacerbate these issues. Investments in awareness and care are two ways to effectively combat the mental health crisis.
As the name suggests, homelessness is defined as a lack of stable and appropriate housing. The homeless population experiences higher rates of physical and mental health issues than the general population, and also has higher rates of suicide. Any solution should attempt to address the root causes of homelessness, though because it can be a result of a wealth of issues, from the individual to the global, solutions tend to vary greatly across the world.
clean energy innovation
As our civilization continues to develop, its energy requirements will only increase. But if we are to live sustainably on this earth, we need that energy to be generated cleanly. Renewable energy technologies include solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, biomass and hydropower, while low emission technologies like nuclear power might form a stepping stone to a 100% renewable and sustainable future.
While developed nations have found success in the battle against infectious diseases, developing nations continue to battle against those that are overwhelmingly curable. COVID-19 was a rare modern instance of developed nations being acutely affected, which brought home the impact that widespread disease can have on a population. The lifelong complications that often result from these infections can have a ripple effect on the development of a country, so investing in low-cost medicines and immunizations can offer benefits that extend far beyond those treated.
Defined as the death of a child before their fifth birthday, child mortality continues to adversely affect developing nations. 86% of deaths are due to infections, premature births, complications during delivery, perinatal asphyxia and birth injuries, and the overwhelming majority of these are preventable in some way, shape or form, provided the necessary investments in education, training, technology and health care infrastructure are made.
forest and land protection
The air we breathe, the timber we use, the weather patterns we rely on and the animals we coexist with; forests are the lifeblood of the earth, providing habitats, resources and environmental stability for humans and animals alike. They will play a key role in mitigating climate change, and only through their active protection, and ideally their growth, can we ensure they are around for generations to come.
science and innovation
Almost every improvement to human civilization and general wellbeing can be put down to science and innovation. Scientific research is an incredibly broad field, encompassing all facets of human knowledge. Often breakthroughs come from unexpected sources, such as the discovery of penicillin in a bacteria culture. Investing in a broad array of scientific endeavours is therefore critical for the evolution of our civilization.
arts and culture
Arts and culture strike at the very heart of what it is to be human. Arts charities exist to promote and develop artistic expression in a wealth of fields, including painting, sculpture, writing, photography, film, theatre, dance, and music. Culture charities meanwhile often focus on preservation, ensuring a culture isn’t lost to the sands of time, but is kept alive to strengthen a community’s sense of identity.
The overwhelming majority of the global population describe themselves as religious, making religious education - a knowledge and understanding of religion in all forms, not just your own - critical in the modern world. So often religion is a source of conflict, but by promoting awareness about how religious beliefs and practices affect the individual, the family and the community, we can break down barriers and create a more cohesive society.
From minor regional conflicts to wars between large and well-equipped armies, armed conflict continues to be a global issue, though one that tends to impact the least developed nations the most. The cost of modern conflict can be devastating. From the immediate casualties to the economic collapse that so often follows. Conflicts can deny people access to health care, food and education, and can create refugees that become the concern of other countries. But by treating the root causes of conflict, we can avoid the aftereffects.