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A Long Way From Home

“Some people don’t even have a home, mom!”

This was the response scribbled by my 19-year-old daughter on a note I left asking her to clean up the house.  I had written, “This house has been such a mess, I’m starting to dread coming home,” scolding my family for not being tidier.

Hard to believe she had to remind her humanitarian-aid-writer mother that I should be thankful just to have a home. But she’s right. In fact, millions of people don’t have a home; many through no fault of their own.

Mothers Fight Back In Malawi

As the hot, dry breeze wafts through the lakeside district of Nkhotakota, Malawi, a group of women sing as they take turns to water their near-ripe crop of maize. Further downstream, another group is busy making seed beds in preparation for another crop.

Children With Disabilities In Niger To Receive Food Assistance

It is often said that children suffer the most from food insecurity. While this is true, there is another group that suffers even more hardship – impoverished children with disabilities. In Niger, this is particularly acute in the capital of Niamey since most food security initiatives focus on rural areas.

The Mobile Wallet

When Michael Joseph started Safaricom in 2007 he invested three million dollars in a venture that no other investor had interest in. Four years later, that venture known as Safaricom, a leading mobile network subscriber, has evolved as the central player in mobile banking in Kenya and financial inclusion around the world with 12 million subscribers. Panelists at a recent  Brooking event on on mobile technology described the need for the private sector to invest in technological infrastructure and for donors to take risks in investments.

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah Sees Aid in Action in Juba, Sudan

Rajiv Shah, administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), last week toured a new FM radio station in Juba, southern Sudan. The new station was funded by USAID and is run by Education Development Center, an InterAction member.

Civil Society Must Push Governments On Risk Reduction

This week I am participating in the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Geneva. Government delegations, UN reps, NGO workers, academics, and others have gathered to assess progress in efforts to reduce the exposure of communities to disasters.   

The news isn’t good.


Originally posted by Nicole Mlade on USAID Impact on May 5, 2011.

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World Malaria Day: Local Art and Music Pave the Way

In the developing world, malaria is a leading cause of death, affecting 3.3 billion people worldwide and causing almost 1 million deaths each year. In Africa alone, a child dies of malaria every 45 seconds. Not only is malaria deadly, it is also easily preventable and treatable.

Global Governance: The Need for Security

Back at the University of California, Davis, we learn that one of the challenges international organizations face, particularly the United Nations, is implementing international law. The Rwandan genocide instantly comes to mind. The neglect and abandon that nations portrayed showed an ugly truth about global governance. It took the United States more than two years to reach internal consensus to intervene and stop the killing.

The Sphere Project: Holding Ourselves Accountable

*Excerpt of blog originally posted on AlertNet*

As a new aid worker in the late 1990s, I thought the Sphere Project was awesome.  I’m a huge music fan and for me, Sphere was like having all your favorite bands do a compilation album, but one that teaches you how to play music too.


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