The Guardian reported that USAID and the Department for International Development (DfID) in the UK will be joining forces in Mozambique to fight against trachoma, a disease that is the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness. The first crucial step the organizations will undertake is mapping the areas to determine where people are at risk of blindness from the disease, which will help identify where prevention measures, distribution of medicine, and surgery are most needed. The goal of the program, set forth in a World Health Assembly resolution in 1998, is to eliminate blindness caused by trachoma by 2020.

GMA News Online of the Philippines highlighted USAID relief funding and assistance for victims of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that affected the Central Visayas region early this week. Simultaneously, hygiene kits will be made available to earthquake victims through USAID’s VisayasHealth Project.

AllAfrica reported that USAID will invest $25 million on orphans and vulnerable children in Nigeria. The project, which seeks to improve the wellbeing of 500,000 vulnerable children and 125,000 caregivers, will target local governments and strengthen the organizational systems and technical capacity of the Ministries of Women Affairs and Social Development.

Science Daily detailed the results of a USAID-supported study that examined the safety, efficacy, and acceptability of a one-year contraceptive vaginal ring (CVR). The results of the study, which demonstrated a positive response to the new contraceptive, indicated that the CVR could have a substantial impact as a resource for women in developing countries who lack convenient access to a health care facilities or reliable electricity. Currently, a wide range of obstacles prevent women in developing countries from accessing effective contraceptive methods.

Sun Star had an announcement that the city of Cagayan de Oro in Misamis Oriental province of the Philippines has been chosen by USAID as a pilot city for two-year development project. The project, called Investment Enabling Environment (INVEST), will seek to turn the city into an economic hub by streamlining business processes and improving investment planning and promotion. Government officials in Cagayan de Oro expect the project to boost local business and create employment opportunities in the city.

AllAfrica reported on a joint effort between USAID and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that will increase rice production in Nigeria. The project, which will work to boost agriculture and ensure rural development, is part of an effort to boost economic activity. Farmers in Nigeria will be given access to tools and resources to increase their income and raise their standard of living.