The global health threat posed by Zika was made starkly clear when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a warning that pregnant women should not travel to a Miami neighborhood where the virus has spiked. Yet, around the same time, Colombia remarkably declared an end to its Zika epidemic. Colombia was one of the hardest-hit countries, with the second-highest number of infections after Brazil. But unlike Brazil, Colombia had a robust Zika monitoring system in place when the first infections were confirmed due in part to international support from U.S. health officials.
If the 65 million displaced people in the world today were a country, they would be the 21st largest country in the world. Fueling this mass displacement are numerous conflicts around the world, including four “Level 3” emergencies – the most severe classification – in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and South Sudan. The crisis in Syria alone has forced over 11 million people from their homes. While most agree that the solution to these conflicts is ultimately a political one, there remains a pressing need for the United States to respond to the humanitarian disaster and provide life-saving assistance to those in need.
Over the past two decades, there has been a dramatic transformation in developing countries: the number of people living in extreme poverty has been more than cut in half and, as a result, there are one billion fewer people living in extreme poverty today. But if we are going to achieve the United Nation’s sustainable development goal and eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, we must first understand how the landscape of poverty has changed.
While our gains against malaria have been historic, they should be viewed as a call to action. It is estimated that malaria claims the lives of over 800 children every single day, meaning that in the time it took you to read this article, a child...
Catherine Samba-Panza, interim president of the Central African Republic (CAR), was in Washington last week asking for help for her country and her people. CAR was considered a “Level Three” humanitarian crisis – the United Nations’ highest designation – until May of last year due to years of inter-religious violence that killed thousands and displaced roughly 1 million people, about one-fifth of the country’s population. It is in America’s interest to invest in long-term stability and resilience by helping CAR address the underlying causes of the conflict.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Colombia was on the brink of collapse and the U.S. grappled with the threat of a major drug war spilling over its southern borders. But over the past decade, the economy has grown at an average of 4.3 percent, and unemployment and poverty are at historic lows. The country’s homicide rate has been cut in half, kidnappings have declined by 90 percent, and in a little over a month, the Colombian government is expected to sign a peace agreement with the rebel movement known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), ending the longest civil war in Latin America. How did we get here?
In December 2014, only 9 percent of Americans cited foreign policy as the country’s most important issue. A year later, that number had jumped to 32 percent, with 18 percent citing terrorism concerns. There appears to be a consensus among presidential candidates that a military component will be required to counter violent extremism, at least in the short term. But what’s equally vital, and much less often discussed, is a long-term strategy that utilizes all the tools of American leadership – including strategic investments in development and diplomacy.
A little-noticed but important development is underway in Congress that could improve the way the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) promotes economic growth: regional compacts. The idea behind regional compacts is that constraints to economic growth in areas like water, transportation, and energy infrastructure may not be met most effectively within national boundaries. Accelerating regional integration has been identified as one of the keys to economic growth in Africa, and a study by the World Bank last year estimated that regionally integrated infrastructure could double Sub-Saharan Africa’s share of global trade.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is the first U.S. trade deal with a chapter exclusively focused on development. This suggests that the old “trade vs. aid” debate is finally over, and that there is wide support for “trade and aid.” Today, most experts agree that foreign assistance creates the enabling environment for trade to flourish by strengthening the rule of law, fighting corruption, and creating a climate that is attractive to foreign investment.
Godfrey Nyombi is the kind of young leader that represents Africa’s enormous potential. For the past seven years, he has served as the Regional Health Secretary in the remote region of Mtwara, Tanzania, where he works to expand access to quality health care by coordinating the efforts of local authorities with U.S. government agencies, universities, and NGOs.