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Ben Rawlence

Ben Rawlence worked for Human Rights Watch on Ethiopia from 2008 to 2012. He is the author of Radio Congo: Signals of Hope from Africa’s Deadliest War.

Diary: in Nigeria

Ben Rawlence, 26 April 2007

The sky is never fully clear in Ibadan. A haze of pollution hangs above Nigeria’s third city. It is most visible in the morning, when the sun lights it from the side; lit from above, the sky simply becomes murky, like soup. It was early morning when my American colleague and I left Ibadan, after six suffocating days. Our taxi nosed its way through crowded streets, as the faithful made...

From The Blog
22 October 2013

Alan Milburn, the government's paradoxically named ‘social mobility tsar’, last week released the first annual report of his Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission. The findings are not surprising: inequality is getting worse; the government will miss its child poverty targets by up to two million; 275,000 more children are now in absolute poverty, two-thirds of them in working households; youth unemployment is at a 20-year high. The report concludes: We see a danger that social mobility, having risen in the middle of the last century then flatlined in the end, could go into reverse in the first part of this century.

From The Blog
28 January 2013

This year, for the first time, the UK government will devote 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income to foreign aid, finally meeting the target set in a 1970 UN General Assembly resolution. The budget of the Department for International Development has leapt from £8.8 billion in 2012 to £11.5 billion for 2013, about £183 per UK citizen. A report by Jonathan Foreman for the right-wing think tank Civitas has criticised the arbitrariness of the 0.7 per cent figure, and there has been a raft of scandals involving overpaid consultants, private equity firms and a lack of transparency at DFID last year, but the place of foreign aid in British politics appears assured. The big question, though, is who to give the money to.

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