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113th Congress Sets Politics Aside for Critical Development & Humanitarian Issues

2014 has been a busy year for the international humanitarian and development communities. From the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to ongoing conflict in Iraq and Syria, 2014 saw an unprecedented number of humanitarian crises around the globe. At the same time, this year's midterm congressional elections brought partisan tensions to new highs inside the Washington Beltway.

Top 7 Ebola myths we are fighting in West Africa

 1. If you go into a clinic, you’ll be given an injection to speed your death.2. Routine blood tests and school vaccinations are a campaign to infect children with Ebola.3. Ebola can be cured by home remedies, like a mixture of hot chocolate, coffee, milk, raw onions, and sugar.4. Governments have fabricated the Ebola scare to deflect attention from scandals or depopulate rebellious provinces.5. Health personnel and NGO staff are the ones spreading the disease.6. Body parts are being harvested in the isolation units.7.

Drenching Rains Bring Fresh Misery to South Sudanese Camps

After what seemed like a slow start to a mild rainy season, the rain and all the chaos it entails came to Bentiu’s Protection of Civilians (POC) camp on Friday.

We’d been expecting the rainy season for a while, but we’d begun to hope we might get off light. Just last week, a colleague asked, “Is it just me, or is this rainy season really not that rainy?” 

Ebola: The Day That Changed Everything

And then there was the day in late spring that changed everything – the day a woman, a stranger, came to the home of Cecilia Babyoh, a nurse in the eastern Sierra Leone district of Kailahun.

The woman was sick, and she was referred to Babyoh. Babyoh treated her, there in her home, and then took her to a community health center. There was no talk of Ebola then; rumors and myths about the deadly virus were still to come. So Babyoh didn’t think – not at first – that her life might be in danger from doing her job. 

Ebola Spread through Myth and Fear

The world is facing the largest-ever Ebola outbreak as the deadly virus punches its way across three Western African countries, spread through contact with an infected person’s blood or other bodily fluids. But that is not the only way the disease is transferred from one person to another.

The Human Side of Ebola

An Ebola outbreak unprecedented in terms of its deadliness and its geographic reach has been sweeping through West Africa, hitting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to the World Health Organization, over 800 people have so far been infected and more than 500 have died, with the numbers steadily climbing. Initial flu-like symptoms develop quickly into vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes internal and external bleeding. There is no vaccination and the mortality rate can be up to 90%. 

In Southern Ethiopia, the Ripple Effects of Clean Water

Doge Laroso, Ethiopia –The child simply couldn’t get well. He was just over three years old, and his mother had taken him to every health clinic she could find, but for nearly a year, he hadn’t been able to shake the dysentery. He was malnourished, often dehydrated, sometimes curled in pain.

Three Days without Water

Many of you probably don’t remember, but last summer residents of Prince George’s County, Md. prepared to go without water for three days. “In Prince George's County, 100,000 To Go without Water during Main Repairs,” one headline read. “Prince George's Residents Stockpile Water Ahead of Outage,” read another.

The Gift that Can't Be Gift Wrapped

As nearly any guide book or travel magazine will tell you, my home country of Madagascar is indescribably beautiful. It’s heaven on earth for anyone who loves the outdoors, with a wealth of breathtaking landscapes. Within one island, we have rain forests, deserts, beaches and barrier reefs – and all of the wildlife pertaining to them.

How My Family Transformed Our Christmas Giving

Two years ago, my son Jordan—a freshman in high school at the time—launched a chain of events that transformed an entire village half a world away. It also transformed the way our family gives during the holidays.