Author: Shivani Ekkanath

Shivani is an Indian writer for The Borgen Project living in Singapore. Her hobbies are music, dance and writing. She loves reading about current affairs, political relations and other social issues.

SEATTLE, Washington — Rwanda is a Central African nation bordered by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania, and has a population of 11.26 million. Rwanda’s clamorous recent history includes the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 and ethnic conflict between the Tutsis and Hutus. Today, however, Rwanda’s economic development plans are driving the country forward. Rwanda’s successful social and economic reforms are coincident with a 5.4 percent average growth rate since 2000. Rwanda is the most prosperous nation among its Central African neighbors. It has successfully achieved many of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and is bustling with business opportunities…

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SEATTLE — Latin America has a population of more than 640 million and a poverty rate of 38 percent, as reported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Many of these nations are still burdened by income disparities, inadequate infrastructure, poor healthcare services and high illiteracy rates. Falling oil prices and rising inflation have exacerbated economic uncertainty. Venezuela has been embroiled in an economic crisis following the oil price plummet, and many of its citizens have been forced to cross the border into Colombia for food and medicine. Argentina has also faced a major economic setback with crippling price rises, outstanding debts and…

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CARACAS — Venezuela, a Latin American country with a poverty rate of 76 percent, has been plagued by falling oil prices since late 2014, and a crippling inflation estimated at 500 percent for 2016. It is crucial for inflation in Venezuela to be addressed with effective economic reforms. At the beginning of 2016, the government resolved to utilize two exchange rate systems to bolster the currency and increase overall liquidity from oil sales. Inflation in Venezuela remains the main cause of beleaguered economy. Purchasing power has declined drastically due to hyperinflation, and the government has clamped down on the level of private sector participation,…

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SEATTLE, Washington — With nearly 17 percent of the global population being deprived of basic electricity needs, we face a major hurdle to ensure global access to this necessity, especially in the face of climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions. Renewable energy has taken the world by storm. Wind and solar energy have fueled and diversified markets over the years, making renewable energy a boon for the developing world. A recent report by The Guardian highlights how developing countries’ investment in renewable energy has overtaken that of developed economies. China alone spent $102.9 billion on wind power in…

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey has become the primary focus of the migrant exodus in Europe as refugees in Turkey reach a peak. European Union immigration policies have clashed drastically with Turkey’s attitude to and mediation of the crisis over the past year. Turkey’s precarious political climate is also exacerbating the problem, especially after the attempted coup to oust incumbent President Recip Tayyip Erdogan in July. More than 3.1 million refugees from disputed areas all over the region have been registered in Turkey. But, only 250,000 have been able to secure places in the 26 expansive refugee camps in Turkey, all…

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NEW DELHI, India — In an historic move, the Indian government proclaimed that 500 and 1000-rupee notes would no longer be considered a legal tender from November 8. Cash is the cornerstone business in India, so the demonetization scheme could result in insurmountable pressure on the economy, and casts uncertainty on nearly 86 percent of the currency currently in circulation. India’s demonetization has caused a good deal of inconvenience as millions of people are queueing up near ATMs to secure funds. However, it is still a positive signal with regards to alleviating poverty. Owing to the quick and swift implementation of India’s new…

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Clean water infrastructure is one of the most powerful tools to reduce poverty through sanitation. Decreasing the staggering 15 percent rate of open defecation and improving access to clean drinking water is a global initiative that many water and sanitation organizations have made their mission. The deficiency in these services has plagued rural communities for too long and contributes to major disparities. Poor sanitation puts insurmountable pressure on the health of communities and gives way to severe water-borne diseases. Open defecation, in particular, leads to fecal contamination. Women and girls are especially burdened by this issue. Girls have to spend a…

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SEATTLE — Egypt’s diminishing tourism sector, political instability and tumbling oil prices have resulted in significant amounts of systemic weaknesses in the economy. Egypt, a nation with a population of 94 million, has a synchronous poverty rate above 27 percent. The coup d’etat of 2011 resulted directly in the abdication of President Hosni Mubarak, and ongoing unrest. Despite winning 52 percent of the vote, his successor Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood party was criticized for not altering the political and structural framework of his predecessor. His despotic rule and brutal fervor against protestors finally led to his own conviction and downfall in…

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NAGORNO-KARABAKH, Azerbaijan — The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict dates back to 1987. Yet, 29 years later, the 9.6 million-strong population of Azerbaijan is still reeling from the tumultuous events that plagued Eastern Europe throughout the 1990s, and the consequences of the dissension still remain indelible. The foundation of the refugee crisis of Nagorno-Karabakh was in Mikhail Gorbachev’s Glasnost and Perestroika reforms in Eastern Europe, which was introduced to assuage Soviet control and pressure among many Soviet Republics. Therefore, Armenia seized on the slackening soviet grip as an opportunity to take over the Nagorno-Karabakh region as a means of “ethnic cleansing”. The region was internationally-recognized…

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VIENTIANE, Laos — The South East Asian nation of Laos is fringed by the Mekong River delta, and has a population of 6.8 million. Trade drives Laos’ economy, which has experienced a decade of annual growth greater than seven percent, but the nation has a poverty rate of 23.2 percent. Laos has had a tumultuous century. After the collapse of French colonial rule in 1953, Laos became embroiled in the Vietnam war, where high civilian casualties and the threat of chemical weapons left the economy under strain. Primary industry and agriculture produce Laos’ main exports of copper, coffee and wood.…

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