Jordan: Jordan hopes controversial Red Sea Dead Sea project will stem water crisis March 20, 2014
Jordan, one of the most water-scarce states, is facing a perfect storm of pressures including chronic scarcity, overuse, waste and a surge in demand caused by refugee arrivals, according to a report by Mercy Corps, an NGO.
Lebanon, Syria: Syria’s children and the cost of war March 19, 2014
The death toll as Syria’s terrible conflict and civil war heads into its fourth year now approaches 150,000. But it is the living who suffer. Barrel bombs and chemical warfare. Siege and starvation and mass torture. For all its tensions, Syria was a pretty settled, comfortable, middle-income country of schools and business and holidays. Now it’s a raging hell of destruction and displacement. Blasted families and desperate refugees. 40 percent of all Syrians have fled their homes. And in the middle of it all — bewildered, suffering children.
Guatemala: Making a Healthy Exit March 16, 2014
In rural Guatemala, access to basic health services is often minimal at best. In many areas of the country, the only available health options are to consult a traditional healer, to self-medicate, or to make an expensive visit to a doctor in a town that is several hours away. Overall, health outcomes in Guatemala compare unfavorably with those of much poorer countries. That’s especially true in rural, indigenous communities, where child mortality and malnutrition rates are 50 percent higher than in urban, non-indigenous communities.
Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: How you can help Syria's children March 10, 2014
The lives of more than 5 million children have been scarred by the three-year civil war in Syria. Some have been severely injured themselves. Others have lost schools, homes or relatives. Of these children of war, 3 million are believed to be displaced, a million are living near the front lines or in a battle zone, and at least a million are refugees beyond the Syrian borders. More than 300,000 children under the age of 5 are believed to be living in places so far inaccessible to help. Here are some charities doing their part — and how you can help... Mercy Corps
Nigeria: The Coca-Cola Company and the UK Government strengthen girls’ education and economic opportunities in Nigeria March 7, 2014
The Coca-Cola Company and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) have joined forces to bolster the educational and economic opportunities of more than 10,000 marginalised girls and young women in Nigeria.
Syria: Washington native to receive the 2014 World Citizen Award March 4, 2014
Tonight, the World Affairs Council will honor Mercy Corps co-founder Dan O'Neill with its World Citizen Award. According to the Council, the "annual award recognizes an outstanding Washington State citizen who has contributed to solving a global problem, shown leadership in promoting international understanding in our community, and provided inspirational international service."
Egypt: The spirit of the Egyptian revolution can still be felt through its female entrepreneurs February 28, 2014
SAKKARA, Egypt – When Um Abdullah, a farmer in this rural village, heard that a new agricultural organization had organized a date festival in a nearby village marketplace, she immediately climbed her date trees, picked a basketful of dates, and hurried to the market to take part. Since that moment Um Abdullah has been working with the organization, Nawaya, on a variety of new agricultural practices to create higher-value products and increase her income.
Syria: Syria on track to become world's largest source of refugees February 28, 2014
A photo from Syria is grabbing the world's attention: a sea of people lining up for food amid the rubble of a Palestinian refugee camp inside Syria... ...Aid groups need to start looking at the long-term needs of host countries, like Jordan and Lebanon, says Nigel Pont of Mercy Corps. "This is a refugee crisis that isn't going away," Pont says. "The bordering countries are being destabilized both by the conflict and by the refugee presence itself, and there's a real need to invest in the communities."
Davos shines a light on financial inclusion via electronic payments February 26, 2014
When I boarded the plane heading to Davos for my first time at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, I was excited for the week ahead and unsure what to expect. While I was there, I was impressed by the attention paid to financial inclusion and the recognition that electronic payments can drive a smarter, more transparent and more inclusive economy. With half of all adults around the world lacking something as simple as a bank account, there is agreement that something must be done...
West Bank and Gaza: Palestinian connection February 26, 2014
Outside of Silicon Valley, one of the most vibrant places for technological innovation is Israel. And while it is early days and tiny by comparison, another entrepreneurial ecosystem is emerging on the far side of Israeli military checkpoints: the West Bank now boasts about 300 firms operating in the information-technology (IT) industry...