Lebanon, Syria: Syrian refugees in Lebanon need our help April 2, 2013
Imagine the population of your town swelling with war refugees by 25 percent in one year – or even doubling or tripling in size. Imagine the competition for work, housing, and social and medical services.
West Bank and Gaza: As Obama visits the West Bank, Palestinians reach for their tech startup future March 25, 2013
Sitting in Snobar, a cool bar shaded by fir trees in deepest Ramallah, George Khadder is practically thumping the table as he speaks. A Palestinian who has worked in Silicon Valley, he talks passionately about his desire for Palestinian entrepreneurs to control their own destiny. “I came back from Silicon Valley because I believed I could affect change,” he tells me. It’s a sentiment that has been echoed during President Obama’s visit to Israel and the West Bank.
Mali: What we must get right before attention falls elsewhere February 19, 2013
Mali, long on the international backburner, is now having its moment in prime-time. Media from around the world have breathlessly covered the lightning offensive by French and Malian military forces and the liberation of the legendary city of Timbuktu. But the limelight is already beginning to fade, obscuring that the hardest task is yet to come. Restoring a degree of normality in northern Mali will mean dealing with a humanitarian emergency and building peace amid weak governance and worsening ethnic tensions.
Haiti: Haiti launches micro-finance catastrophe insurance program February 11, 2013
When Hurricane Sandy struck Haiti late last year, the home Guerda Pierre shares with her three children and mother in Cabaret, north of Port-au-Prince, was flooded — and so was the merchandise she sold to make a living. "The books, the food, everything was wet after Sandy," said Pierre. The plantain plants and beans in her garden were also destroyed. But unlike the majority of Haitians, Pierre had an insurance policy.
Resilience meets disaster economics February 6, 2013
Each January, thousands of leaders—from the private sector, civil society and government—gather in the snowy hamlet of Davos, Switzerland, to participate in the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. Each year, we wrestle with weighty issues, including global recession, energy crises, and political upheavals. This year was different. Instead of focusing on the problems of today, we considered how to anticipate and better prepare for the problems of tomorrow. The World Economic Forum calls this concept “resilient dynamism.” I call it smart work that is long overdue.
Jordan, Syria: Syrian refugees flood into Jordan January 28, 2013
Several thousand Syrian refugees cross the border into Jordan every day – in the dark, braving shots fired by the Syrian military. They find safety but not comfort, as the refugee camps are days from filling up. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports. Watch the video ▸
Jordan, Syria: Refugees struggle with cold, hunger and uncertainty January 15, 2013
HAMED ONE RECEPTION CENTER, Jordan -- Just after dark on a bitterly cold January night, a truck full of refugees arrived at a reception center on the border with Syria. Carrying their belongings in suitcases and plastic bags, about 50 men, women and children climbed out of a Jordanian military vehicle. A little girl cried while clinging to an older sister. A frail elderly man had to be helped off the truck. One teenage boy arrived without a coat and wearing plastic sandals on his bare feet.
Lebanon, Syria: Syrian refugees in Lebanon facing bitter winter January 8, 2013
Editor's note: Dee Goluba has worked with aid group Mercy Corps since 1999, responding to some of the world's largest humanitarian crises including the Boxing Day tsunami in Indonesia and emergencies in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ghassan Wehbe, who helped with this report, is from the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, has worked for Mercy Corps since 2006 and is responsible for the current emergency program in the Bekaa.
Jordan, Syria: Life inside a Syrian refugee camp August 29, 2012
I've spent the past week working in the Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, about six miles from the Syrian border. The camp was opened less than a month ago to receive Syrians fleeing the violence in their country. Built on a barren desert plain without a tree or shrub in sight, it can seem an unwelcoming place to arrive, even for a refugee. Dust storms and scorching heat have taken their toll on refugees and aid workers here. But given that less than 4% of Jordanian land is arable the terrain is not a surprise.
Jordan, Syria: Refugee camp overwhelmed August 28, 2012
Cassandra Nelson with Mercy Corps talks to CNN about the refugee crisis as Syrians flee across the border into Jordan. Watch video ▸