Author: Staff Reports

Political Director at The Borgen Project.

SEATTLE — Located in the Indian Ocean 500 miles off the coast of Madagascar, the country of Mauritius is barely 10 times the size of Washington DC. Despite its size, but the country is attempting something big: creating an environment for potential investors and new jobs with its Smart City Scheme. Mauritius has already found success in moving from an economy based primarily on sugar exports and tourism to one based on finance, business and banking outsourcing. The island nation now boasts one of the most successful economies on the continent. If this Smart City Scheme project proves successful, it…

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The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) confirmed that in September of 2018, the first ladies from both China and Africa have committed to advocate and prevent HIV/AIDS among adolescents, creating a joint initiative that emphasizes a three-year health promotion and HIV-prevention advocacy program. Coming Together to Address HIV/AIDS Prevention in China and Africa For the past few decades, China has been providing aid to Africa by making a financial commitment and working together to decrease the growing poverty epidemic. China has committed approximately $75 billion in aid and development to Africa during the past decade, providing and implementing projects…

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ZIMBABWE, Glen View — On September 5, 2018, the first sign of the most recent cholera epidemic that ran rampant in Zimbabwe was noticed in a suburb called Glen View when 25 patients were admitted to the hospital in the capital city, Harare with symptoms. By September 13, Government had declared it a state of emergency and, the next day, it was declared a disaster. Zimbabwe’s History with Cholera Zimbabwe is no stranger to fighting a cholera epidemic, having fought off the largest outbreak that the country, and the continent, has ever seen in 2008. That outbreak caused about 100,000 cases and…

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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — A young, motivated entrepreneur is aiding the poor in an ingenious way via soap.  After studying abroad in Cambodia, Samir Lakhani realized he wanted to help the rural population progress towards better public health practices, starting with providing access to soap in Cambodia and the fundamental act of hand washing. How Soap Is Saving Lives in Cambodia The idea was first sparked when Lakhani witnessed a mother washing her child with detergent. Lakhani was alarmed and became determined to find a solution. It occurred to him that the hotels in a nearby tourist town, Siem Reap,…

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SEATTLE — Researchers and scholars in global mental health from all over the world gathered to launch the 2018 Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development on The University of Washington’s campus on Friday, October 19. The 28 Commissioners worked for three years to produce a comprehensive report on the status and progress of the field and how to move the global action on mental health forward. Global Mental Health and Its Problems There is a large gap between affordable effective treatment and government policy and funding for global mental health. According to the Commission, less than 1…

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NEPAL — The Dalit caste is historically one of the most economically marginalized and under-resourced communities in Nepal, with the Dalit women being treated the worst. Without access to income, Dalit women and children live in entrapping poverty. Dalit women do not have access to education and have only limited access to health services. Since they have little control over their resources, they can’t invest in projects to improve their families’ food security, livelihoods and prosperity. Agroecology in Nepal is offering a solution to these women that will help them and their communities. Women’s Savings and Credit Groups Strikingly, 90 percent of…

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SEATTLE, Washington — Annual benefit concerts have discovered a way to use peace, love and music to save the world by working to eliminate global poverty. The following nonprofits offer these benefit concerts annually (or more frequently) and use the proceeds to work toward alleviating poverty around the world. Global Citizen Festival Perhaps the most widely known, due to star-studded performers and worldwide reach, annual benefit concert fighting global poverty is The Global Citizen Festival. This year, the festival will be held in December in Johannesburg, South Africa and will be headlined by Beyoncé and Jay Z. Global Citizens plans…

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The poverty rate in Tanzania as a whole is steadily declining, yet 70 percent of the population lives on less than two dollars a day. The agricultural industry employs three-quarters of the Tanzanian population and accounts for 30 percent of the country’s GDP. Unfortunately, crop yields have been stagnant for the past 50 years and large plots of land are quickly becoming nutrient-deficient and unproductive. Claims of Contaminated Fertilizer This problem is being further exacerbated by news reports of tainted fertilizer that have spread across rural Tanzania, causing farmers to distrust suppliers despite a lack of evidence. The uncertainty in…

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Diamonds are associated with many joyous and happy occasions: engagements, birthdays, anniversaries and even winning the Superbowl. For many people, diamonds represent wealth and personal milestones. However, for the many people involved in the diamond supply chain, the reality is a much darker picture. “Blood diamonds” have received their graphic name due to the violent, unethical and horrific conditions in African diamond mines. What Are Blood Diamonds? The United Nations defines blood diamonds, or conflict diamonds, as gems “mined in areas controlled by forces opposed to the legitimate, internationally recognized government of a country and that is sold to fund…

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NIGERIA — Banking, especially online, is so common it hardly requires a thought for most people. In many developed countries, paying with the tap of a phone or the swipe of a card is practically second nature. This phenomenon is hardly universal, though, since bank account ownership is less common in developing economies. For Nigerian women, however, getting a bank account is now becoming a new road to true financial independence with the possibility of freedom from poverty. While the gender divide remains worldwide in bank account ownership, new laws and innovative companies are helping Nigerian women gain financial access…

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