Category Archives: Blog

How the United States Can Feed More People By Reforming Food Aid

Hunger is a perpetual global crisis that affects 805 million people every day. Some continents have hunger rates as high as 21 percent of its population. In fact, Africa and Asia have the highest hunger rates in the world. 791 million hungry people live in developing countries. [1]

The United States has long been a food provider for the world, but the way in which food aid is chosen and delivered to poor countries around the world is outdated. In fact, the system is bloated with nugatory, bureaucratic red tape and payments that go to middlemen instead of buying the food and transporting it that is desperately needed.

Oxfam America - food aid reform share graphic - B

Food Aid Reform has been an area of contention for quite some time in Washington. Some of our leaders want to keep the status quo intact while others are loath to waste another year through archaic feeding programs that can easily be shifted  and reshaped to feed more people.

Continue reading How the United States Can Feed More People By Reforming Food Aid

The Critical Stance on Raising Vaccine Awareness Abroad and at Home

By Lisi Martinez Lotz PhD, Program Director, Vaccine Ambassadors

Vaccine Ambassadors was created by parents and healthcare professionals in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of immunizations for all children, whether living in an area where vaccines are part of routine care or where this resource is far less common. By becoming Vaccine Ambassadors during their clinic visit, parents are able to give to the global community, while also engaging in a conversation with their pediatrician on the value of immunizations.

Our program speaks to the issue of under vaccination. In many areas of the world lack of access leads to low vaccination rates, while in others it is a direct consequence of misinformation. Vaccine Ambassadors offers parents a meaningful way to make an impact in the lives of children who otherwise would go without life-saving vaccines, while also highlighting the need for vaccines in our local communities.

Polio vaccination in POC 3 at UN House
Polio Vaccination Campaign in South Sudan Polio vaccination at the UN-House Protection of Civilians (PoC) 3 site in Juba, South Sudan. The Ministry of Health of the Republic of South Sudan is conducting the fourth and last round of its national immunization campaign for 2014, with the support of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and working with local non-governmental organization Magna. The campaign is targeting children aged 0 – 5 years and aims to immunize 2.4 million children nationwide. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Continue reading The Critical Stance on Raising Vaccine Awareness Abroad and at Home

International Women’s Day Puts Spotlight on Global Poverty, Gender Inequalities

International Women’s Day Twitter Chat

We will join Global Impact to discuss these aforementioned women’s and girls’ issues on Friday, March 13 at 1 PM EST. Join us using #HerDay2015.

In Ormoc, Philippines women tend to take on village leadership roles to ensure children under five get their scheduled vaccinations and routine check-ups. These women also provide medical information to mothers and families who live deep in the rural parts of Ormoc and have a harder time attaining health services.

1 billion victims of violence

These village leaders are, for all intents and purposes, the lifelines for these rural families to health care. In addition to village leaders, rural health units staffed by volunteer health workers and nutrition scholars are charged with providing essential health care and information to families who otherwise would go without medical care.

“Being a leader makes me happy, but it is difficult,” said Ludivinia Perez, a village leader in Ormoc, Philippines on Leyte island. “I feel good about it. What makes it difficult is if I don’t have enough funds and resources.”

Continue reading International Women’s Day Puts Spotlight on Global Poverty, Gender Inequalities

PHOTOS: Women and Water in the Philippines

Across the globe 748 million people still lack access to clean drinking water every day. Dirty water leads to a whole host of waterborne diseases including diarrhea, one of the top three killers of children under the age of five. One of the main challenges that NGOs face when providing clean water to people is that there is rarely a guarantee that when clean water is provided to a village or community it will continue to flow.

World Vision is the largest NGO provider of clean water in low- and middle-income countries. In fact, in 2014, World Vision provided clean drinking water to people in 2,416 villages in Africa. And, because of their work, one person gets access to clean water every 30  seconds.

On a recent trip to the Philippines with World Vision USA I saw some of their water projects in small, rural villages.  AfterTyphoon Haiyan World Vision worked to get clean water flowing  via gravity from springs to villages at the base of mountains. In addition to providing water to the villages, World Vision also provides community awareness programs to also teach the community members about sanitation.

Continue reading PHOTOS: Women and Water in the Philippines

World Food Programme Launches Hunger Awareness Campaign With Footballer, Zlatan Ibrahimović

A few days ago I had never heard of Zlatan Ibrahimović. Now, I’ll never forget his name and the 805 million people who go hungry every day.

On February 15, the United Nation’s World Food Programme launched a moving hunger awareness campaign with international football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic called 805 Million Names. The campaign features Ibrahimovic with 50 names temporarily tattooed on his body symbolizing the hundreds of millions of people who go without adequate food each day. He revealed the tattooed names during the February 14th game between his team Paris Saint-Germain and Caen after making a goal.

“If I could, I would write all the names of people suffering from hunger on my body. But they are 805 million. It is a disaster. Me and the World Food Programme want to make sure the world knows this,” Zlatan Ibrahimović said in a statement.

805 Million Names

 

Even though Ibrahimović was immediately slapped with a yellow card during the game after taking off his shirt to reveal the 50 names, the message had already been sent.  In just a few short days the video has been seen over 2.5 million times and counting.

Watch the Video

 

To learn more about the campaign and the World Food Programme’s role in feeding people around the world visit wfp.org/805millionnames.

Human Rights Watch Exposes Mass Rape in Darfur

Special Prosecutor for Crimes in Darfur Yasir Ahmed Mohamed (R) and his team talk to women during an investigation into allegations of mass rape in the village of Tabit, in North Darfur, November 20. © 2014 Reuters
Special Prosecutor for Crimes in Darfur Yasir Ahmed Mohamed (R) and his team talk to women during an investigation into allegations of mass rape in the village of Tabit, in North Darfur, November 20. © 2014 Reuters

Human Rights WatchLast week, Human Rights Watch released a scathing report exposing mass rape by the Sudanese military. We first heard about these mass rapes late last year, but the news could not be easily corroborated. Since then, however, through telephone interviews, Human Rights Watch has been able to verify that nearly 200 rapes occurred during a three-day period – between October 30 to November 1, 2014 —  in the small town of Tabit in North Darfur.

Through 130 interviews Human Rights Watch learned that women and girls were routinely raped in their homes by government soldiers sometimes in front of their husbands and children. They were not shown any mercy often having several men rape them.  Soldiers who left the military told HRW that women and girls were targeted because those in high command beliebed them to be rebel supporters.

“The deliberate attack on Tabit and the mass rape of the town’s women and girls is a new low in the catalog of atrocities in Darfur,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement. “The Sudanese government should stop the denials and immediately give peacekeepers and international investigators access to Tabit.”

Continue reading Human Rights Watch Exposes Mass Rape in Darfur

9 Last-Minute Virtual Valentine’s Day Gifts for Good

Valentine's Day 1

If you’re like many of us you may have waited until the very last-minute to buy your loved ones Valentine’s Day gifts. While you can still run out and buy a wealth of flowers, cards, and chocolates, here are nine virtual Valentines’s Day gifts you can give that also give back.

Oxfam Unwrapped: Oxfam recommends giving duos of animals for Valentine’s Day: a pair of chickens ($18), a pair of sheep ($80) or a pair of goats ($100).  Send lovely animals to families in need.

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation: EGPAF is asking its lovely supporters to send Valentine’s Day e-cards to spread awareness about pediatric AIDS. It costs nothing, but the gift of awareness is always key. Click here to spread the love.

Midwives for Haiti: We all believe in the power of saving mothers’ lives. This Valentine’s Day donate to Midwives for Haiti and help them stock their medicinal chest with life-saving medicines for the entire year. Donate with love to Midwives for Haiti.

Vaccine Ambassadors: There is no doubt that vaccines save lives. Vaccines are one of the best ways to show love for children around the world. Buy vaccines with love for children whose lives can be saved by this easy intervention. $10 vaccinates 19 children against the measles.

Continue reading 9 Last-Minute Virtual Valentine’s Day Gifts for Good

IN PHOTOS: Engaging Health Workers to End Female Genital Mutilation

Friday, February 6 was International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation. Individuals, corporations, NGOs, the media, and foundations rallied together to raise awareness about FGM. Over 140 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM and it is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.

Press Conference on Engaging Health Workers to End Female Genital Mutilation at the United Nations

Edna Adan Ismail (centre), Nurse-Midwife, Director and Founder of the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in Hargeisa, Somaliland, addresses a press conference on the subject of engaging health workers to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The press conference took place on the International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation (6 February).
Edna Adan Ismail (centre), Nurse-Midwife, Director and Founder of the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in Hargeisa, Somaliland, addresses a press conference on the subject of engaging health workers to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The press conference took place on the International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation (6 February).

Continue reading IN PHOTOS: Engaging Health Workers to End Female Genital Mutilation

UNICEF Announces Largest-Ever Fundraising Appeal: How Parents Can Help

UNICEF announced its largest fundraising appeal in history, $3.1 billion, to provide assistance to 62 million children who are victims of armed conflicts, natural disasters, and infectious diseases. This latest appeal is a $1 billion increase over UNICEF’s 2014 appeal.

“A staggering 1 in 10 of the world’s children – or more than 230 million – currently live in countries and areas affected by armed conflicts. Children have the right to grow up happy and safe, and should not have to fear that they will be targeted by combatants,” said Caryl Stern President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “I have seen firsthand the devastating impact that living in a conflict zone – without protection or access to water, medicine, food and school – can have on children.”

NYHQ2014-1291
On 15 August, Nyabel Wal chops small-leaved succulent plants known in the local Nuer language as ‘wool’, which grow wild close to the ground all around the town of Kiech Kon, where she lives in Upper Nile State. Ms. Wal recently travelled for six days to look for food, only to come back empty-handed. © UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1291/Pflanz

Annual fundraising appeals routinely rely heavily on the private sector, corporate partnerships and large philanthropic organizations to provide critical funding to help the world’s poorest. Today, 1 in 10 children are living in countries with armed conflicts including Syria, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Nigeria and Iraq. These conflicts cause children to be deprived of basic necessities like food, water, an education, and shelter. While UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories, there are certain hotspots where children need added assistance.

Continue reading UNICEF Announces Largest-Ever Fundraising Appeal: How Parents Can Help

Vaccination: From Policy Analysis to Personal Practice for a First-Time Mom

A full circle moment: My son receives his rotavirus vaccine. - See more at: http://defeatdd.org/blog/vaccination-policy-analysis-personal-practice-first-time-mom#sthash.jPAg2ACV.dpuf
A full circle moment: My son receives his rotavirus vaccine. – See more at: http://defeatdd.org/blog/vaccination-policy-analysis-personal-practice-first-time-mom#sthash.jPAg2ACV.dpuf

Guest post by Erin Sosne, Policy and Advocacy Officer for the Advocacy and Public Policy Department at PATH. This post originally appeared on DefeatDD.org.

With the measles outbreak dominating the US vaccine-related news (and jeopardizing a trip my two-month old baby and I planned to take to visit family in southern California), I wanted to share some positive news.

Last week, I joined mothers (and fathers) around the world and took my baby boy to receive his first series of childhood vaccines, including the vaccine against rotavirus.  As a person working on vaccine-related policy issues, I awoke with a number of emotions and thoughts running through my head:

Continue reading Vaccination: From Policy Analysis to Personal Practice for a First-Time Mom