North Korea: U.S. treads cautiously with transition
The changing of the guard in North Korea poses clear risks for the United States. Kim Jong Il's son Kim Jong Un is the likely successor. But he's still in his 20s and has had little time to prepare to take over the country. Analysts say that because he's weak, he won't be in any position to get back to nuclear disarmament talks and make concessions. Kim Jong Un may also be tempted to take provocative actions to establish his leadership credentials, and the Obama administration has to take all this into account as it decides on next steps.
North Korea: Aid Groups: Children in North Korea at risk for starvation this winter
North Korea is approaching another severe food crisis, according to international relief groups who are calling on the U.S. and other governments to join South Korea in increasing aid to the reclusive communist nation. Floods and a brutal winter have cut into crop production and -- combined with rising global food prices -- have created severe food shortages throughout the country. Aid groups are increasingly concerned about the health effects on North Koreans, especially the country's children.
Gifts that say you care
GIVE Grandma a bit of credit! These holidays, would she rather receive a silly reindeer sweater or help a schoolchild acquire glasses to see the blackboard clearly for the first time? Choosing the perfect holiday gift is one of life’s greater challenges, modestly more difficult than earning a Ph.D. in astrophysics. So it is time for my annual gift guide.
Doing development differently: Social and financial innovation at Mercy Corps
In a recent joint interview, I had in-depth discussions about innovating for impact with Mercy Corps’ Leesa Shrader (Senior Director, Financial Services Innovation) and Andy Dwonch (Senior Director, Social Innovations). Today, Mercy Corps helps more than 16.7 million people each year recover from disasters, build stronger communities and find their own solutions to poverty.
North Korea: Head of U.N. humanitarian aid paints dire scene in North Korea
SEOUL — North Koreans, especially children, urgently need outside aid to fight “terrible levels of malnutrition,” the United Nations’ humanitarian chief said Monday, in an appeal that came amid criticism that both Washington and Seoul were withholding aid for political reasons... ....“It’s all wrapped in a political process,” said David Austin, the North Korea program director for the U.S. relief group Mercy Corps.
North Korea: Autumn harvest watched warily in food-poor N Korea
Scythe in hand, a woman slices through a bright green field of rice. Oxen plod down country roads pulling carts piled high with harvested stalks of grain. This autumn, as farmers fan out into fields of corn, wheat, rice and cabbage, such evocative pastoral scenes — the stuff of centuries-old Dutch landscape paintings — also are a reminder of the challenges North Korea faces in feeding its people.
North Korea: U.S. plays politics with N. Korean food aid, NGOs say
As South Korean President Lee Myung-bak continued his state visit to the United States on Friday a group of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) wants the Obama administration to explain what they call unconscionable delays in deciding whether to resume U.S. food assistance to North Korea. "There has clearly been a political lens put over a humanitarian issue," said Jim White of the international relief organization Mercy Corps, which took the lead in prior U.S. aid efforts to North Korea.
Foreign aid set to take a hit in U.S. budget crisis
America’s budget crisis at home is forcing the first significant cuts in overseas aid in nearly two decades, a retrenchment that officials and advocates say reflects the country’s diminishing ability to influence the world.
China, Haiti, Japan, Libya, United States: Healing kids in NYC — and around the world
It is difficult to imagine anything good resulting from the senseless and devastating September 11th terrorist attacks. But in the days and weeks after 9/11, I witnessed something positive and incredible: people coming together to heal the emotional wounds of kids in New York City, and taking that healing to kids around the world.
Somalia: Famine turns to health crisis in Mogadishu
I've spent the past weeks working on the famine response with Mercy Corps, an international aid organization, in Mogadishu. As a humanitarian aid worker, I've responded to crisis around the world for almost a decade, but I've never seen a situation as devastating as what I am witnessing in Somalia today.