Author: Rafael Santa Maria

Rafael is a writer for The Borgen Project originally from the Los Angeles area, CA. His academic interests include politics and international relations. Rafael hopes to go to law school, and is particularly interested in studying international law, constitutional law, and human rights law. Rafael also wants to be a professional jazz saxophonist.

MANILA — The Philippines is a country situated off the coast of mainland Asia consisting of over 7,000 islands. Despite the island country’s abundant natural resources and unique cultural and historical characteristics, widespread and severe poverty leaves much of the Philippines poor. In 2015, 21.6 percent of Filipinos lived in poverty, placing the islands amongst the poorest Asian and Pacific countries. Of the roughly 100 million people in the Philippines, most of those living in extreme poverty reside in rural areas. Around 10 percent of the population lives on less than $1.90 a day. The disappointing statistics regarding the Philippines’…

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SEATTLE — Mark Andrew Green, a powerful ally of international development and global anti-poverty measures, has been nominated as USAID’s new administrator. Amidst the negative political climate today, this is an encouraging new development. Mark Green previously served four terms in Congress as the representative of Wisconsin’s eighth district. The son of a South African father, Green spent time in his father’s country of origin and developed a passion for helping disadvantaged people throughout the globe, particularly those suffering from poverty and disease in Africa. During his four terms in Congress, Green helped write the Millennium Challenge Act, which created…

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ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, exemplifies the need for foreign aid and humanitarian assistance programs in the U.S. The troubled nation relies on food and resource aid from wealthier nations in order to provide the bare minimum for its population, as famine in Ethiopia is a major concern. Ethiopia faces several systemic and situational problems. They are primarily caused by the country’s proximity to volatile neighboring states such as South Sudan and Somalia, inadequate institutions created by corrupt past governments and other factors. Perhaps the most concerning problem is famine in Ethiopia. It…

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