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Taking On Food Aid Reform, Metrics, the Refugee Crisis, and TOMS Shoes

Start your week off right with the latest Humanosphere podcast! We appreciated having Tom Murphy, Humanosphere’s East Coast correspondent, on the program so much in the previous edition that we invited him back to hash out all the news with us.

First, we tackle last week’s failed attempt in Congress to reform aid – what could have been, the politics of the decisions, and the future prospects for changing how we feed the world’s hungry.

Then we go wonky and discuss metrics of poverty and inequality. Everyone seems to have ideas and proposals, but what about the data? The two Toms explain how a new landmark study provides a solid grounding for the debate, as the next generation of the Millennium Development Goals develops.

We move on to the UN’s startling announcement that the number of refugees worldwide has reached a high point, fueled by the crisis in Syria. There’s something fundamentally wrong with the way the humanitarian system serves people who’ve been displaced – dividing them into two categories of “refugee” and “internally displaced person,” placing them in camps – we all agree. But with national borders and government sovereignty at issue, it’s not clear how to make that system better.

And to conclude, we get into the criticisms and counter-criticisms of the notorious and popular TOMS Shoes charity. You’ll want to hear this.

Tune in below and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes!


About Author

Ansel Herz

Ansel Herz is a freelance multimedia journalist whose objective is to “go to where the silence is." His work has been published by ABC News, The Nation magazine, the New York Daily News, Al Jazeera English, Free Speech Radio News, Inter-Press News and many other publications. A Seattle native and survivor of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Ansel is producer of Humanosphere's podcast, among other things. You can contact him at ansel.herz[at] or follow him on Twitter @Ansel.