North Korea: North Korea's pleas for food aid draw suspicion April 13, 2011
The United Nations is warning that 6 million North Koreans — a quarter of the population — could be at risk of starvation. It's warning of a likely humanitarian crisis, with North Korea's public distribution system set to run out of food in May. North Korean food shortages are no longer news, but this year Pyongyang has made unusually public pleas for food aid, raising fears as well as suspicions. In North Korea, from May until July is called the "lean season." This year they're already using other Orwellian euphemisms, too, like "alternative food."
Scale of destruction startles Mercy Corps and Peace Winds officials April 4, 2011
TOKYO — As chief executive of Portland-based Mercy Corps, Neal Keny-Guyer has seen epic destruction, suffering and recovery in disasters and wars around the globe. But the veteran aid manager struggled Monday to describe the enormity of Japan’s devastation and the challenge of responding to the triple calamities rocking this traumatized nation.
Woes could linger for Japan's jobless March 30, 2011
Long lines have formed at the town hall of this coastal community as residents look for government aid and access to working phones while relief workers queue up for their orders. This week, a new line formed: people looking for jobs. When an earthquake and tsunami rocked this region of Japan this month, it not only killed more than 11,000 and left more than 16,200 missing; it also left potentially hundreds of thousands of people jobless or unable to reach those workplaces that have even reopened.
Q&A: Mercy Corps aid worker shares observations from trip to Japan March 28, 2011
Joy Portella, the Seattle-based communications director for Mercy Corps, has been in Japan since March 22. She spent the last four days in hard-hit communities, including Kesennuma on the northeast coast of the island of Honshu. Mercy Corps has about a half dozen staffers in Japan and is working on aid efforts with its Japanese partner, Peace Winds. In a Monday afternoon telephone interview with Seattle Times reporter Hal Bernton, she offered these observations of the situation: Q: Is relief aid making it through to people in the areas you visited?
North Korea: North Korea, normally coping with chronic hunger, faces massive food shortage March 25, 2011
A United Nations report released Friday said more than 6 million people in North Korea urgently need food aid and face chronic hunger. Margaret Warner speaks with Mercy Corps' David Austin, who recently led a delegation of aid workers to North Korea to observe the food crisis.
West Bank and Gaza: Israeli technology companies turn to West Bank for outsourcing March 15, 2011
Military roadblocks, nine-meter- high barriers and six decades of Israeli-Palestinian hostility didn’t deter Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (MLNX) from picking the West Bank for a new software design center. “Israelis and Palestinians are in the same time zone and are pretty similar culturally,” said Eyal Waldman, chief executive officer of the Israeli maker of chips for data-center adapters. He chose the Palestinian city of Ramallah after considering India and China because of lower costs and the proximity to the Mellanox headquarters in Yokneam Elit...
Central African Republic: International Women's Day: Supporting women of the Central African Republic - in pictures March 8, 2011
Life for women in the Central African Republic can be extremely hard. Mercy Corps has been working with women to educate them about their rights and to give them access to financial services. To mark International Women's Day we share some of their stories.
Sudan: Why southern Sudan should be watching Egypt March 7, 2011
Egyptians recently converged on the streets of Cairo to demand the ouster of a leader they accused of being out of touch and unaccountable to his people. Seventeen-hundred miles to the south, another crowd poured into the streets of Juba to celebrate the January referendum results favoring independence for southern Sudan. The two mass gatherings were radically different, but the southern Sudanese would do well to keep their eyes on Egypt.
Peace Corps turns fifty March 1, 2011
March 1, 2011 will mark fifty years since President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Peace Corps. Since then more than 200,000 volunteers have served in 139 countries. Over 13,000 of them have come from Oregon and Washington.
Giving the world's young the future they deserve February 25, 2011
Young people represent promise. As a parent, I often look at my children and wonder: What will they make of their lives? How can I help them achieve their potential? As the chief executive of Mercy Corps, I look at young people in the world's poorest, most desperate places and ask the same questions.