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At the Heart of Ebola — Health Systems That Need Strengthening

Health workers in personal protective equipment (PPE) wait to enter the hot zone at Island Clinic / Morgana Wingard

The Ebola epidemic reminds us that our global efforts to build the capacity to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to infectious disease threats like Ebola have never been more vital. If we use all of our might to ramp up the response to Ebola while also investing in strengthening critical health care systems, we can help bring the current epidemic under control and reduce the possibility of future outbreaks.

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Washington Post Overly Alarmist on Liberia’s “Descent into Hell”

The U.N. World Food Program distributes USAID-donated rice in West Point, a Monrovian township that has been one of the hardest hit by the Ebola epidemic. / Morgana Wingard

The Washington Post’s September 30 story of Liberia’s “descent into economic hell” was overly alarmist and disconnected from that country’s recent history. In fact, the Ebola crisis has hit a society that is on the rise economically and in the midst of constructing legitimate and effective government institutions.

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Politically Smart Development

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Earlier this month, Tony Blair, Patron of the Africa Governance Initiative, set out the case for politically smart and locally led aid which means identifying and working on reforms that political leaders really care about. By taking this politically realistic approach, we believe aid will be more effective and so will governments in developing countries.

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Five Promising Innovations in Contraception

NES/EE vaginal ring. / Julie Sitney

USAID is developing innovative new contraceptive methods to meet the needs of millions of women across the globe. Enabling women to decide whether, when and how many children to have is vital to safe motherhood and healthy families.

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International Day of Democracy: Engaging Young People on Democracy

Alumni of the 4th edition of the Certificate in Leadership and Political Management course, Matagalpa, Nicaragua. / Corina Fuentes

Young people play a vital role in our efforts to promote resilient, democratic societies. Youth are not only the “leaders of tomorrow,” but a driving force for change today. They often are more willing to take risks and push for democratic change when others have become apathetic, subservient to undemocratic regimes, or are risk averse.

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The Power of Scientific Research Investment in Africa

USAID-related science programs assist in expanding training for women. / Zahur Ramji (AKDN)

Earlier this month, the New York Times published an op-ed arguing persuasively that scientific and technological progress is the key to African development. We are pleased to say that this vision is one that USAID fully supports and has already taken significant steps to catalyze. Today, Africans are the architects of their development, not just beneficiaries.

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Making for a Stronger Africa

WoeLab inventor Afate Gniko with his e-waste 3D printer. / woelabo.com

The Maker Movement is transforming the way we design and produce things – both here at home and overseas. With young African leaders having recently converged on Washington, we got a first hand look at how makers are shaking up the continent

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Providing Humanitarian Assistance During Unprecedented Times

Our partner Catholic Relief Services distributes life-saving aid from OFDA airlifts to those affected by the ongoing crisis in the Central African Republic. /Catholic Relief Services

Today is World Humanitarian Day, a day to commemorate the fallen relief workers who died in the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, as well as the thousands of others who have given their lives to help those in need. Last year marked the most violent year for aid organizations in the past decade: 155 relief staff were killed, 168 were injured, and 132 were kidnapped. This is always a sobering day, but is all the more so this year as we mourn the six aid workers just recently murdered in South Sudan and the many health care staff in West Africa who have sacrificed their lives treating those with Ebola.

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On the Frontlines of the Ebola Response: an Inside Look at a Program to Help the Grieving

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In Liberia, a country gripped by Ebola, the outbreak has not only taken its toll on health care workers but also on the professionals who comfort the grieving.

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Sharing Agricultural Success with President Obama: One Year Later

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It’s been a year since Nimna Diayte met President Obama in Senegal when he stopped by for a chat at her booth at the Feed the Future Agricultural Technology Marketplace. The president was impressed by Nimna’s can-do attitude and the way she had become a community leader and entrepreneur. Nimna made quite the impression! In fact, President Obama even mentioned her last week during a discussion at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington, DC.

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