Author: Jennifer Philipp

OXFORD, United Kingdom — Colombia, ranking fifth globally in banana exports, faces industry challenges including conflicts between corporations and workers, exacerbated by internal disputes and the competitive nature of global markets. The COVID-19 pandemic’s socioeconomic impacts have led corporations to prioritize competitive pricing, affecting profits. With agriculture employing 62% of Colombia’s rural population and a 44.6% rural poverty rate, workers are especially vulnerable. Fairtrade and trade unions are making strides against inequality, suggesting a potential model for Colombia’s banana industry and its improvements. Historical Context of the Banana Industry in Colombia The United Fruit Company (UFCO), later rebranded as Chiquita…

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Only 19% of Togo’s population uses safe government-managed drinking water services, according to the United Nations (U.N.) 2022 Sustainable Development Goals Report. The U.N. Committee of Experts highlighted that growing issues such as pollution, changing weather patterns and urban development make increasing access to clean drinking water challenging. In 2019, the Togolese government confronted this issue by improving Togo’s water monitoring system by implementing the “Monitoring of Drilling Works and Water Indicators” (SOFIE) project. The government stated that the SOFIE project objectives focus on providing consistent access to drinking water, particularly among rural populations. The access to…

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SAN JOSE, California — As global challenges demand collective action from responsible global citizens, U.S. policymakers play a crucial role in shaping and supporting U.S. international aid initiatives. Among the several acts concerning global poverty relief, U.S. Congress deliberates on reauthorizing the Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development (READ) Act, the End Tuberculosis Now Act, the Mental Health in International Development and Humanitarian Settings (MINDS) Act, the Securing Allies Food in Emergencies (SAFE) Act and the Afghan Adjustment Act. However, one of the most critical initiatives the U.S. Congress must pass is the International Affairs Budget, which one can consider a…

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SEATTLE, Washington — The Mental Health in International Development and Humanitarian Settings (MINDS) Act (H.R.3988/S.2105) seeks to improve the overall integration of mental health services in U.S. foreign service. With a particular focus on vulnerable groups such as women and children, this bipartisan Act would allow for the codification of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Coordinator for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS). In addition, it would establish an MHPSS working group to further develop substantial U.S. foreign assistance mental health programming. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the MINDS Act on June 17, 2021. He reflected on…

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KAMPALA, Uganda — By the end of the 1980s, the landlocked Eastern African nation of Uganda was in the midst of an HIV/AIDS pandemic that had ravaged Africa and the rest of the world since the first documented incidences in the mid to late 1970s. In fact, the earliest data that UNAIDS reported in 1990 estimated that over 850,000 Ugandans were living with HIV, with over 110,000 new infections in that same year. Here is some information about HIV in Uganda and The Faithful House, an organization working toward eliminating HIV by strengthening marriages. About HIV HIV, or human immunodeficiency…

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HANOI, Vietnam — With 89.8 million cases and 1.9 million deaths worldwide, COVID-19 has ravaged the world both medically and economically. Although the World Bank categorizes Vietnam as a lower-middle-income country with a population of 96 million people and a 1,450 km shared border with China, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, Vietnam is successfully dealing with COVID-19. Success by the Numbers Vietnam experienced its first wave of COVID-19 roughly between January and April 2020 and managed to escape with zero deaths and less than 400 infections. Consequently, Vietnam was free of COVID-19 for nearly 100 days until another reported…

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — On September 20, 2017, a Category 5 hurricane named Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. According to a Harvard University study, Hurricane Maria killed 4,600 people even though the official death toll was 64. This natural disaster also destroyed many homes, businesses and communities and left most Puerto Ricans without electricity, food and fresh water from September until June. This article will discuss how a class from Drexel University worked with the organization Plenitud PR to install rainwater collection systems in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. About the Class In December 2019, Steve Dolph, Ph.D., taught…

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NAIROBI, Kenya — In Kenya, education is slowly becoming more and more accessible to Kenyan citizens. In 2003, Kenya’s government created a free primary education program. By 2008, it instituted the same for secondary education. More recently, Kenya published an education sector plan for 2018-2022. It aims to build upon its 2013-2018 strategy as well as improve access to education. Some of these strategies will improve female education in Kenya. Challenges for Female Education Historically, the education of women and young girls has not always been a top priority for many developing countries. Many families are impoverished, but girls are…

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SEATTLE, Washington — Due to unstable political and economic climates, the U.S. federal government sought to provide foreign assistance in Central America to combat the effects of COVID-19. However, statistics are not promising. With all the proposed pandemic assistance, one must wonder: what is not working? Federal aid in Central America has recently been high. However, a shift in focus from immigration to self-sustainability can be the driving force in keeping Central America afloat. The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center drafted a proposal that can turn aid into foreign investment by financially motivating local businesses and creating more job opportunities.…

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TACOMA, Washington — The COVID-19 pandemic has completely shaken the world. Countries globally have taken measures to flatten the curve but it seems as if some countries have had more success than others. Wisdom and lessons taken from prior epidemics are helping some successfully handle COVID-19. One such country is South Africa. The Spanish flu and the HIV/AIDS epidemic have helped South Africa become better equipped to handle the COVID-19 pandemic. South Africa’s History of Epidemics The first epidemic that struck South Africa in the 20th century was the Spanish flu. Returning South African troops carried the virus from Europe.…

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