Indonesia: 5 ways cities are preparing for rising sea levels July 23, 2014
Man-made climate change is happening, and while there's an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence proving its existence, there isn't international consensus among governments and economic superpowers about how to stop it. But instead of waiting for the worst to happen, architects, urban planners and engineers around the world are designing and maintaining systems to handle one of climate change's most destructive byproducts: rising sea levels...
Why management reform is sexy July 16, 2014
I have a confession to make. I may have a serious day job fighting for better policies to help vulnerable people around the world, but after hours I’m an avid consumer of tabloids. Grocery store check-out lines – the longer the better. Hair salons – I don’t mind waiting. Airport kiosks are my preferred venue for binge reading. I’d choose a salacious, rumor-mongering US magazine over the more serious, well-sourced Foreign Affairs any day of the week.
Syria: In defiance of Damascus, aid goes cross-border to rebel-held areas July 16, 2014
The warehouse off a dusty back road near the Turkish frontier is vast. Large wooden crates are stacked and ready for delivery to the desperate and displaced inside Syria. This is the operations hub for Mercy Corps, a U.S.-based charity, and one of the largest aid providers to civilians in rebel-held areas in northern Syria. There are many other aid organizations working on a multimillion-dollar cross-border aid operation funded by Western governments, including the U.S. For the first time, aid officials are talking about the program openly.
Philippines: Globe Provides ICT solutions to Mercy Corps Cash Transfer Program July 16, 2014
Leading telecommunications company Globe Telecom extends information and communications technology (ICT) support to Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian organization implementing a cash transfer and financial literacy program for 25,500 households in the Philippines that were affected by Typhoon Yolanda, specifically on the islands of Leyte, Cebu, and Panay.
Colombia: Stand together: Mercy Corps finds Colombian connection in Portland with Timbers July 15, 2014
As the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil has shown, sport can be a way to connect people across the globe through a common interest. Here in Portland, that sentiment was brought to Providence Park through a recent visit of Colombians hosted by Mercy Corps looking to explore methods of sport for change. "The program aims to strengthen community leaders who are working with at-risk youth to harness the power of sports," said Oliver. "We use sports to translate into something broader, into life lessons that they can use."
Iraq: Why U.S. should fund democracy & governance in Iraq July 10, 2014
Although policymakers and the news media seem surprised by the most recent crisis in Iraq, the reality is that the Iraqi state has been steadily deteriorating for months, writes Beza Tesfaye, a research advisor at Mercy Corps, in this guest post. Stoked by political rivalries and an unwillingness to reconcile, sectarian tensions have been taking a consistently violent turn since 2013.
South Sudan: South Sudan three years on July 10, 2014
The conflict has plunged the country deeper into an ongoing humanitarian crisis. According to the latest UN figures, 1.1 million people have had to leave their homes to escape the violence; a further 400,000 South Sudanese have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. Whether these people stay within South Sudan or cross borders, they place additional pressure on already stretched resources – so they rarely find the sanctuary they seek.
Iraq: Iraqis trickling back to Mosul, but bracing for more violence June 26, 2014
When Islamic militants swept into Mosul in northern Iraq earlier this month, at least 500,000 people fled the city. Some have since returned, but many others are watching and waiting in the nearby relatively peaceful Kurdish region. The thousands of displaced Iraqis in the Kurdish region are staying with relatives and friends, in schools that are empty for the summer, and in temporary camps, said Steve Claborne, Mercy Corps’ Iraq country director.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: For displaced Syrian youth, art draws the mind out of war and into the future June 20, 2014
PORTLAND, Oregon — The charcoal drawing was slightly larger than a man’s thumbprint. Adjusting my sense of scale, I studied the tiny sketch: a tree, bare of its leaves, straining under a stiff wind. “It’s a small drawing, but it has big meaning,” said the artist, 15-year-old Youssef. The small tree, he said, represents him. The wind that had blown the leaves from the branches represents the forces that try to blow him off course. The roots — Youssef’s friends, family and education — hold the tree firm.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Young refugees can be force for positive change June 20, 2014
Take a moment: imagine what the lives of adolescents in Syria would look like today had they not been derailed when fighting broke out in March 2011. This year, Bayan would be completing her lower secondary schooling and preparing for her ninth-grade examination to enter upper secondary school. Instead, she fled Damascus when she was 12. Today she is a refugee in Jordan. Mohammed was 15 when he fled Homs. He should be completing his 12th grade examination and preparing to enter university or the workforce. Today he is a refugee in Lebanon.