Author: Saiesha

VICTORIA, British Columbia — Nicaragua is one of the most impoverished nations in Latin America, with an estimated 30% of the population living below the national poverty line, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). Poverty is especially prevalent in the autonomous regions of the country’s Caribbean coast, where most Indigenous communities reside. Due to the rural and isolated nature of the Caribbean coast, Indigenous communities in Nicaragua face disproportionately high levels of food and water insecurity compared to the rest of the country. Issues Impacting Indigenous Nicaraguans In 2019, more than 80% of Indigenous communities “in the northern and…

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AUSTIN, Texas — More than 1 billion people around the world currently live in slums. These slums are settlements of informal housing that have a high population density, minimal public services and high rates of poverty. Almost a quarter of the world’s slum dwellers (238 million people) reside in sub-Saharan Africa, a region where more than half of the urban population lives in slums, with Kenya accounting for the largest of these slums. Here, an organization called Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) works to combat urban poverty and empower those living in Kenya’s slums. Urban Poverty in Kenya Approximately 56% of…

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VICTORIA, British Columbia — In March and April 2022, a La Niña weather pattern caused a devastating drought in East Africa. The failure of much-needed spring rains has left millions in the arid regions of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya at risk of severe famine. These nations’ economies are heavily dependent on agriculture and are thus incredibly vulnerable to fluctuating weather conditions. Drought in East Africa disproportionately affects impoverished rural populations because their livelihoods depend on successful growing seasons and livestock rearing. One cannot overstate the significance of agriculture to peoples’ livelihoods in East Africa. In all three nations, rural and…

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GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico — Developers have come up with a spray made from seven common bacteria and fungi prevalent in India’s soil to biodegrade agricultural waste in the fields of India, enriching the soils and saving thousands of dollars in material and labor costs. The developers expect the spray to help solve India’s air pollution problem, eliminating the practice of burning post-harvest waste, a common cause of smog. Several Indian states began distributing the spray to farms in October 2021 and are already seeing positive results. What is it and How Does it Work? Developed by the Indian Agricultural Research…

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TACOMA, Washington — On April 27, 2022, the House of Representatives passed the Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act (H.R. 4693) with a vote of 384-44. The bill was first introduced on July 26, 2021, by Reps. Meeks (NY-05), McCaul (TX-10), Kim (CA-39) and Houlahan (PA-06). The bill authorizes USAID to advance programs that prevent and treat malnutrition around the world, maintain multi-sectoral nutrition programs and ensure the effective use of funding for these programs. The international community must address global hunger and malnutrition now more than ever. Globally, 690 million people endure undernourishment, including women and children. More specifically,…

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BRONX, New York — In February 2022, the U.K.’s energy regulator, Ofgem, announced that it would increase its energy “cap price by a record-breaking 54% from April 1.” The surge in gas prices has prompted “almost every household energy supplier to raise prices to the maximum allowed.” Such huge increases in energy bills spark concern among customers who worry about their ability to afford this. With Ofgem expected to raise the price caps again in October 2022, four in 10 British people (40%) could endure fuel poverty in the United Kingdom. What is Fuel Poverty? In general, households suffer from…

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AUSTIN, Texas — Since 2014, civil war has consumed Yemen. This war has killed thousands of civilians and displaced millions more, creating what the U.N. deems the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” However, a glimmer of hope came on April 2, 2022, when U.N. negotiators announced a historic ceasefire in Yemen. This temporary truce aims to relieve the country’s rampant humanitarian suffering and may be the first step in resolving the devastating civil war. Background The civil war began in late 2014 when Houthi insurgents seized the capital city of Sana’a in an attempt to overthrow President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Since…

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GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico — In March 2022, NBA star Bismack Biyombo decided to donate his full seasonal salary to fund the construction of a hospital in his native country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as a way to honor his late father by giving back to their home country. The donation of his $1.3 million salary, according to his contract with the Phoenix Suns, will improve health care in his hometown. The Bismack Biyombo Foundation, which the NBA star created at age 19, has supported several humanitarian efforts in the DRC, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation will…

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BRONX, New York — Sri Lanka, a South Asian island nation of 22 million people, is grappling with “an economic and political crisis,” causing mass protests and prompting government officials to step down from office. According to the World Bank, Sri Lanka’s poverty rate (at $3.20 per day poverty line) stood at 10.9% in 2021. However, Sri Lanka’s economic crisis could severely exacerbate poverty in the nation. With mounting debt and record-high inflation, Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is its worst since the nation’s independence in 1948. Causes of Sri Lanka’s Economic crisis Lack of Foreign Reserves: Sri Lanka “has been…

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BROOKLYN, New York — Mexico City faces unique challenges, including a history of rapid growth, geographical complexity and widespread inequality. Not to mention, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the country hard. By February 14, 2021, Mexico City noted 32,000 deaths from COVID-19. Most alarmingly, low-income communities of the cities accounted for the areas with the highest numbers of infections. With household incomes reducing due to the pandemic, and with 57% of the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods not receiving “social protection payments,” the inequity that marginalized communities in Mexico City experience only increases in severity. Rehabilitation efforts in Iztapalapa, a borough…

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