South Sudan: Cows and conflict: South Sudan's “slow motion” livestock crisis
KAMPALA, 15 January 2015 (IRIN) - At 11 million head, cattle outnumber people in South Sudan and are central to the country’s economy and society. Now, 13 months of civil war have disrupted traditional migration routes and disease patterns in a way that has sparked fresh cycles of violence and jeopardized the country's broader social cohesion. South Sudan’s cattle are in danger of becoming “no longer resilient, no longer economically viable, not a viable way of life,” Sue Lautze, country head of the Food and Agriculture Organization, told IRIN...
After 12 years, Pies for Peace looks for new advocacy bakers to continue Mercy Corps fundraiser
Twelve years, hundreds of pies and about $40,000 later, Pies for Peace is ending its long-running bake sale fundraiser for Mercy Corps. Founded by four Washington County women, the Pies for Peace project began in 2003 as way to make a tangible – even if small – difference in the Middle East...
Syria: Syrian refugee children long for home
...Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks to Raed Nimri, deputy country director for Mercy Corps in Jordan, about the difficulties facing the children growing up in the camp. “The majority of the kids, if you ask them to draw something out of their head, you would go with most of them drawing home back in Syria,” Nimri said. “And they draw it shiny, with sunlight, with flowers and stuff. So they always imagine a beautiful image of their home back in Syria...
Haiti: The promised land: 5 years later, Haitians find hope in Canaan
Just north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, runs National Highway One, a ribbon of road separating the country's capital from several thousand acres of countryside. But where just five years ago there was nothingness, now stands what could be considered Haiti’s third-largest city. They call it Canaan – the Promised Land – and it began as a place where refugees from Haiti's largest natural disaster in recent history could make a home...
West Bank and Gaza: Tech-savvy females taking Gaza startup scene by storm
Entrepreneurial Gazan women are flocking to the tech startup scene, the director of Gaza’s only startup accelerator has told Computer Weekly. Iliana Montauk, director of Gaza Sky Geeks Accelerator, said the number of females attending its annual Startup Weekend event has increased from 27% in 2011-2013 combined, to 48% in 2014...
Iraq: Field post: 'We live in the same world but we have such different lives'
It’s hard when you go into a refugee camp or a host community and there is a real connection with someone. For me that’s the hardest thing. I choose to be here and do this job and if it all gets too much I can go home. But if I meet someone who is the same age as me and she is a mother of four, lives in a tent in a refugee camp, and her husband has no means of income, it’s hard emotionally when you realise that we live in the same world, but we have such completely different lives.
Afghanistan: A crucial test for Afghanistan's new government
A new chapter filled with uncertainty opens for Afghanistan as the number of international troops dwindles down to a few thousands, raising fears over the state of security in the country. In the last few months leading to the scheduled complete drawdown of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan, security in places such as Kabul worsened. But what concerns aid groups more than security, however, is the issue of foreign aid...
Haiti: Push to make Haiti an e-cash economy fell far short
CARREFOUR, Haiti — In the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, few people have bank accounts. But cheap cellphones are ubiquitous, and for people like Johanna Joseph, they are the sole link with any form of banking. While most Haitians store their wealth in the form of crumpled, grimy bills, Joseph gets a monthly stipend from the government deposited directly into an electronic cash account tied to her cellphone...
Syria: U.N.’s fear of angering Assad leaves gap in Syria aid effort
Six months ago, the United Nations assured the world it could deliver humanitarian aid to as many as 2 million imperiled civilians living in rebel-controlled communities along Syria’s borders with Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq. Today, the U.N.’s chief relief agencies are reaching only a fraction of those numbers — meaning that hundreds of thousands of desperate Syrians are still at risk of starvation, dehydration, and disease...
Boxing Day Tsunami: How you helped victims
It began just before 1am. The earthquake erupted just off the coast of Sumatra – unleashing a force 1500 times greater than the Hiroshima atomic bomb and tearing open an 800-mile wound in the sea bed. On and on the quake shuddered and slammed and shifted, the shocking movement triggering a series of mountainous waves towards the low lying coastline of Indonesia...