For this Humanosphere podcast, we’re talking with Elizabeth Hausler, CEO and founder of Build Change – a non-profit organization that works around the world to prevent deaths from earthquakes or other disasters that lead to homes or other buildings collapsing. As engineers like to say, or well, as they say even if they may not like to say it: “Earthquakes don’t kill people; buildings kill people.”
The government of Myanmar is proudly rolling out resettlement plans after months of violence and displacement amid a security crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in the restive northern Rakhine state. But the U.N. refugee agency has raised concerns that planned “model villages” will further stoke tensions. Others, who are being relocated to the commercial capital of Yangon, feel they have been given no option but to leave their homes.
Forty-three senators signed an open letter to the four senators leading federal budget negotiations, asking them to protect the foreign aid budget. Members from both major parties requested “robust funding” for the international affairs budget – home to diplomatic and foreign aid spending. The letter comes just days after a Trump administration budget document was leaked proposing deep cuts to foreign aid programs and to shift money away from USAID to the State Department.
Latin America’s economy is growing, but low investment investment in the region threatens to slow poverty reductions, a top U.N. official said this week.
Turkish authorities have detained 15 staff of a US NGO working on Syria relief operations – the latest in a series of moves restricting humanitarian aid groups in the country. Police detained the 15 employees, who were working for the International Medical Corps in the southeastern city of Gaziantep, near the Syrian border, on Thursday 20 April. Four of those detained – foreign nationals from Britain, India, Indonesia and Ireland – were deported five days later. (IRIN)
The state of press freedom is getting worse, say two organizations that advocate for journalists, regardless of whether journalists are working in repressive regimes or democratic countries. Governments around the world are finding new ways to censor and suppress journalism, the Committee to Protect Journalists warns in a report that echoes finding earlier issued by Reporters Without Borders.
A U.N. expert on the rights of people with disabilities has gained rare access to North Korea, the United Nations announced today.
Members of indigenous groups clashed with police in the Brazilian capital on Tuesday amid a protest over land rights in the Amazon, which activists say is in jeopardy under the current government.
The government in India’s Jammu and Kashmir State ordered internet service providers in the restive Kashmir valley to block social networking services there, an unusually harsh measure to counteract escalating waves of protests and violence in the region. (NY Times)
An inexpensive and widely available drug could save the lives of thousands of women who die each year from severe bleeding after childbirth – the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, according to new study.
The Trump administration appears to be planning a major restructure of the U.S. aid agency. Money for USAID would shift to the State Department as a part of the White House effort to streamline the federal government, according to a leaked budget document obtained by Foreign Policy.
On April 25, 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people and leaving 3.5 million without homes. Now two years later, after an impressive immediate response and declarations by the government to “build back better,” development workers are saying the recovery process has stalled, especially in rural areas.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson invited the chairperson of the African Union to Washington for a meeting, then backed out on him at the last minute, infuriating African diplomats according to sources. (Foreign Policy)