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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%. 
 

Stanford ‘Extreme’ Students Unveil Innovations to Address Neglected Global Health Issue

Last month, students at Stanford University’s Design for Extreme Affordability unveiled a set of innovative products and processes they developed to address some of the most pressing issues facing the world’s poorest citizens.

5 NGO blogging myths, debunked

When it comes to web content, NGOs are competing with cat videos. So when staff are already strapped for time, fundraising inhibits risk-taking and authenticity, and immediate returns on investment in communications are hard to come by, it’s hard for NGOs to fully realize that blogging can be a central part of building brand identity and achieving an organization’s mission.

These sentiments were shared by the over 65 NGO communications staff in attendance at our session at the 2014 InterAction Forum, “Why are most NGOs’ blogs so bad?”

Connecting Efforts to Protect Children and Empower Women Economically

We walked to the Tuesday market in Lusaka, Zambia and I stopped to buy some avocados. The woman who sold them had a horribly disfigured face that made it hard for her to speak. When she handed me my change she struggled to grip the money with her twisted and lame arm.

After we walked away I asked my Zambian friend who accompanied me if he thought her injuries were the result of a cooking accident, a common cause of injury for women in Africa. He said no. Her boyfriend’s wife had doused her with acid.

Conflict and Late Rains Drives Thousands from their Homes in Somalia

Shukri Sheikh Ali thought this year would be different. It was to be a time of rebuilding, of recovering, of returning home. Instead, she is starting over once again from scratch, her land thirsty for rain and her village emptied by conflict as Somalia once again faces the threat of a cascading and critical food shortage.

U.S. NGOs investing to help children reach their 5th birthday

In 2015, InterAction’s member NGOs will spend over $450 million in private, nongovernmental funds on child health and survival, a substantial increase over this year’s spending. These dollars will allow children around the world to reach their fifth birthdays and lead healthy, productive lives. Having worked for years to advance the wellbeing of children, I know firsthand why these investments are so critical.

Pact Mourns Loss Of Former Leader

Former Pact president and CEO Louis Mitchell, who oversaw Pact’s transition from a membership organization to an international development NGO, passed away Tuesday.

Mitchell served as Pact’s leader from 1989 to 2001 and helped to pioneer capacity-building of local organizations into an important sector of international development. Capacity development still serves as a linchpin of Pact’s integrated approach to local solutions in the 30 countries in which Pact works today.

Letter from the President: Wow... What a Forum!

Dear Friends:

Forum 2014 came to a close Friday after four days of invigorating discussion, vibrant community-building, and some exciting new developments:
 
1. InterAction’s NGO Aid Map went global – our members are now mapping projects in all countries and all sectors.

Back where they belong – returning to neighborhoods in Port au Prince

The background music to this Tuesday morning is the constant drumming of heavy rain on stretched canvas and the freeform melody of droplets landing in pools. I count nine different receptacles placed strategically around the mud floor to catch the leaking water which invades Gurlene's home every time there's a downpour. And in Haiti, it rains a lot.

As World Refugee Day Approaches, a UPSer Recalls Her Visit to Dadaab, the World’s Largest Refugee Camp

From the air, Dadaab doesn’t appear – it slowly comes into focus. The huge empty expanse of red dust looks like a terracotta platter dotted with pepper. As you draw closer, the black specks grow and change color, and the bare platter fills, resembling a generous helping of githeri, the beans and maize dish that is a Kenyan staple.

Only as you begin your descent does it become clear that this arid expanse of white is actually a vast expanse of tents – row upon row, both man-made and manufactured. An area designed for 90,000 now houses five times that many.

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