Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: The world must not turn a blind eye to Syria's struggling families November 8, 2013
It was 4 a.m. in the dusty courtyard of the Raba'a al Sarhan transit center near the border between Jordan and Syria. At the far end of the dark courtyard, I saw a long line of people, refugees who had crossed the border at night, waiting to be registered. They were caked in dirt and eerily quiet – even the babies – seemingly dazed by the terror of their flight across the Jordanian border under cover of darkness. At their feet were tattered, overstuffed suitcases and bags tied with rope.
Egypt: After Tahrir: The Next Generation November 7, 2013
...Nearly a quarter of the government’s budget is spent on energy subsidies:Egyptians currently pay about a quarter of the real energy costs of the country, something that may change very soon given the current political and economic climate. More than 25 per cent of the country lives below the national poverty line, and yet such are the state of Egypt’s schools, citizens spend as much as $3bn annually on private tutors. According to the country’s central statistics bureau, the unemployment rate among Egyptians aged 20-24 has reached 39 per cent.
Myanmar: MasterCard expands its business literacy program in Myanmar with Mercy Corps November 5, 2013
Women entrepreneurs will benefit from new funding to support business literacy initiatives in rural Myanmar, MasterCard announced today.
Syria: Portrait series of Syrian refugee children reveals innocence amid trauma October 23, 2013
Kids and toys usually go together like peas and carrots. But for many Syrian refugee children, having fled their war-torn homeland with little more than the clothes on their backs, toys are luxuries from bygone days. Earlier this year, global aid agency Mercy Corps, with the help of two generous sponsors, sought to change that by transporting thousands of toys to Jordan to brighten the lives of some of the Syrian children living there.
Jordan, Syria: Syria's grinding war takes toll on children October 21, 2013
Alexandra Chen, a specialist in childhood trauma, is on her way from the Lebanese capital, Beirut, to the southern town of Nabatiyeh, where she's running a workshop for teachers, child psychologists and sports coaches who are dealing with the Syrian children scarred by war in their homeland. "All of the children have experienced trauma to varying degree," explains Chen, who works for Mercy Corps and is training a dozen new hires for her aid group.
West Bank and Gaza: Tech startups face all the usual challenges and more in Gaza October 16, 2013
Building an IT startup on the Gaza Strip isn't simple: electricity is sporadic, there is no 3G network. You can sell your product outside Gaza's tightly controlled borders, but it can be difficult to move the money back into Gaza. Nonetheless, half a dozen entrepreneurs from Gaza recently pitched their ideas for consideration in a unique program, one that could catapult their businesses into the global marketplace. NPR's Emily Harris reports.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Assessing the Syrian refugee crisis October 8, 2013
To date 2.1 million refugees have fled Syria, many of them settling in neighboring countries, causing a major strain on economies, governments, and individuals. Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO of Mercy Corps, talks about the burden on host countries.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Humanitarian situation in Syria October 8, 2013
Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO of Mercy Corps, spoke about the humanitarian situation resulting from the Syrian civil war at the National Press Club during their Newsmaker program. The United Nations estimated there to be more than 3 million refugees from the Syrian civil war by December 2013. Watch the video ▸
Jordan, Syria: ‘Such hardship’: Inside a Syrian refugee camp September 20, 2013
When aid worker Robert Maroni drives to the Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, he knows to expect a sea of Syrian children. There are nearly 50,000 of them, after all.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Missile strikes or no missile strikes, Syrians are desperate September 4, 2013
Mercy Corps' Jeremy Barnicle writes about the needs he saw on his recent trip to Jordan: Water is scarce throughout the region, especially for refugees. Temporary shelters will need to be improved and winterized in the coming months. Refugee children need easier access to schools and school supplies, both for their near-term emotional health and to keep their longer-term education on track. Tensions are rising between refugees and the communities that are hosting them, and we have to make an investment in keeping the peace there.