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Global Issues

The world faces a multitude of global issues that cannot be solved by one nation acting alone. These include climate change, food insecurity, water shortages and sanitation problems, weapons of mass destruction, threats to animal species and the environment, economic growth with unequal impacts on different regions, human rights violations, and terrorism.

These are complex issues with high resistances to change, uncertain causes and remedies, multiple potential points of intervention but few assurances of success, evident interconnections across superficially segmented problems and levels of governance, and short decision-making time horizons. They also often involve long-term impacts that are not apparent or predictable from the immediate perspective.

Achieving sustainable development goals is becoming more difficult as the challenges grow and their effects become more severe. Many governments and non-governmental organizations are trying to tackle these issues, but their resources are limited. Learn about the work being done to address global issues and what you can do to help.

Global Issues Library offers a collection of more than 180 thematic units of content from around the world that span history, international relations, political science, sociology, anthropology, and other disciplines. Designed for teaching global issues through comparative study, this collection includes video footage and documentary films, contemporary texts, and archival materials.

Water is a global issue, with about two billion people lacking access to clean drinking water. About half of this group lives in countries that lack the capacity to supply their own freshwater needs. In addition, many of the world’s water supplies are vulnerable to natural disasters, exacerbated by conflict and displacement.

There is enough water on the planet to sustain life, but it remains a struggle for millions of people to have access to clean and safe water. Adding to this struggle is the impact of climate change, which will make existing water sources more scarce and expensive to obtain.

Many nations face water shortages and sanitation problems, with untreated sewage being a problem in many places. Poor sanitation is a major cause of disease, and sewage pollution can degrade soil and damage ecosystems. These problems impede the development of healthy societies and economies. Moreover, they can result in mass migration of refugees. The water crisis is compounded by war, disasters, climate change, and rising prices of energy, food, and water. This leads to poverty and inequality, which create a vicious cycle. It is important to understand that the key to addressing this is sanitation and hygiene. In the end, a good clean-up of our cities and towns will be crucial for the health of our people and planet. To this end, many communities support programs to promote good health and cleanliness. Similarly, there are organizations that focus on providing clean water to people in need. These organizations are worth supporting. You can do your part by donating to them.