Author Archives: Humanosphere

Central America big winner in White House budget proposal

The international affairs budget in the White House request for fiscal year 2016 received an unexpected boost yesterday. The Obama administration requested $54.8 billion to fund diplomatic, humanitarian and development work for next year. It is a 7.7 percent increase that may reverse a five-year trend of spending cuts. But the devil is in the

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News in the Humanosphere: Tax fraud costs Africa $50 billion a year

New data on how illicit corporate practices and organized crime are drains on African economies: “Africa loses at least $50 billion a year to illicit practices like tax fraud, corruption and organized crime, a worrying situation that is hurting the continent’s economies, a U.N.-mandated study group warned Sunday. Illicit financial flows – which range from

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Patently unfair: On the need for more equitable drug pricing

For this Humanosphere podcast, we are talking to James (aka Jamie) Love, director of an organization that works for social justice and equity in the realm of intellectual property – patents, copyrights and those sorts of things. The organization Love runs, based in DC, has the somewhat inscrutable name of Knowledge Ecology International and it has

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The striking economic toll of Ebola and war on African countries


Ebola in West Africa and the conflict in South Sudan are causing significant harm to regional economies in sub Saharan Africa. Separate reports issued on Wednesday detailed the steep costs. Together, they show just how regions are affected by sudden crises – whether they be conflict or the spread of a virus. For East Africa,

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Wonks disagree over whether IMF contributed to Ebola crisis

A commentary arguing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) helped to weaken health care in the West African countries struggling with Ebola caused a bit of a debate between academics. Critics of the commentary say the connection between the IMF and Ebola in West Africa is tenuous and assumes the large money lender has far more

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Vaccine to eliminate one of Africa’s most feared and deadly diseases – meningitis

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Imagine how the world would react if with a massive vaccination campaign we could, in one fell swoop, completely eliminate a disease in Africa that regularly threatened as much death, havoc and suffering as the current Ebola outbreak. Well, it’s already happened. And a decision today by the World Health Organization is a step toward

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Fighting and Islamic State force 670,000 Syrian children from schools

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The simple act of going to school is getting harder and more dangerous for children in Syria. At least 68 attacks were leveled against schools in 2014 and some 670,000 children have recently experienced disruptions to their education, warns the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The group says at least 160 children were killed at school last

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Visualizing the rise of chronic kidney disease worldwide

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By Lauren Hashiguchi, special to Humanosphere Non-communicable diseases today account for nearly 70% of all deaths globally, according to the latest results from the Global Burden of Disease study, an ongoing project to measure the impact of disabling and deadly conditions across the world. Among the major non-communicable killers such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,

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Cause-of-death study shows progress – albeit unequal– and big red flags


A massive cause-of-death study finds that we are living about six years longer than we did in 1990, that child deaths have plummeted thanks to Read More

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Typhoon-battered Philippines in ‘fight for survival’

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At least 21 people were killed and 1 million forced into shelters when Typhoon Hagupit made landfall this weekend. With climate negotiations under way in Lima, Peru, officials from the Philippines offer an expert voice on the future for island states as the planet warms. “The Philippines has long experience coping with flooding and typhoons,

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The case for cash transfers in emergency relief

Once seen as a sure-fire way to build dependence on charitable assistance, cash transfers that give people money with or without conditions are making a comeback. So as the United States struggles to reform its antiquated food aid system, other countries and organizations are turning to one of the oldest forms of aid. The return

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Global health tough sell: Immunizing against idiocy


News analysis  As Americans swoon over everything Ebola, either from (often exaggerated) fear or that weird kind of excitement some get from pondering the apocalypse, more threatening but less newsworthy bugs continue to wander around, killing and maiming tens or even hundreds of thousands of people to little notice. “In 2007, we had more than

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What about a health systems development goal for Post-2015?

The continued spread of Ebola in West Africa has both exposed problems with the international response and the existing state of healthcare in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The difference between the experience in those countries and Nigeria is stark. The larger neighbor managed to immediately isolate and track down people who contracted Ebola when

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European nations leading, US lagging ahead of UN climate summit

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(Malmö, Sweden) – World leaders will soon descend upon New York City for the annual UN General Assembly, starting on Tuesday. One of the main issues on the docket is climate change. A series of demonstrations across the world culminated in a march led by UN Secretary General Ban -ki-Moon. The hope is that world

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