Iraq: Why the US should continue funding democracy and governance programs in Iraq
While US policymakers shift away from Iraq, recent events threaten to plunge that country into a new civil war. Sectarian conflict has become a source of chronic tragedy: So far this year, terrorist attacks and bombings have killed over 2,000 civilians. As Iraqis head to the polls in the first election to be held since US troops withdrew in 2011, many fear the rising tide of conflict will undo the democratic gains of recent years.
West Bank and Gaza: As Israel-Palestine peace talks grind on, young West Bank entrepreneurs aren't waiting around
RAMALLAH, West Bank – As the media focuses on the latest efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, what is not being seen is the culture of entrepreneurship, small business creation and new investment vehicles that is accelerating on the West Bank, and to a lesser degree in Gaza.
Afghanistan: Afghanistan After Karzai: A Washington-Kabul Town Hall
Afghanistan is at a crossroads as Hamid Karzai's presidency ends and international troops prepare to leave. We connect residents of Washington and Kabul to talk about what comes next. Ann Vaughan, Director of Policy and Advocacy for Mercy Corps, participates in the discussion:
Syria: Complexity of conflict leaves donors wary of aiding Syrians
DAMASCUS, Syria — When an earthquake killed 150,000 people in Haiti in 2010, private individuals donated $20 million to the international aid group Mercy Corps to help victims, most of it within weeks of the disaster. During three years of turmoil in Syria that have produced a similar death toll, the organization has collected just $2 million for Syrians.
Jordan: Refugee crisis draining Jordan's water resources
March 22 is World Water Day. It is a time to celebrate: Since its first observance in 1993, important steps have been made to sustainably improve global water security. But as the refugee crisis in Jordan underscores, water supply is complicated by local and regional dimensions, and compounding crises can threaten stability and development...
China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nepal, Tajikistan: The Water Bearers: Exclusive interview with Xylem Watermark and Mercy Corps
In his message for World Water Day 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recognized the importance of access to clean water in "our efforts to build stable societies and lives of dignity for all," specifically calling for "innovative strategies." Here's one partnership that has been successful in answering that call.
Jordan: When water scarcity becomes personal
"There are so many problems here around water," Sabeen said. Sabeen is Syrian. Last year she and her children fled Damascus, and now they live in northern Jordan in a one-room flat. Mattresses without sheets were tilted up against one wall. "Sometimes I can hardly breathe," she said. "There is no space." And there is no water.
Jordan: Jordan hopes controversial Red Sea Dead Sea project will stem water crisis
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
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
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.