This year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction emphasizes the need to ensure that disaster planning and mitigation efforts are inclusive of all people, particularly the aging population. The day also recognizes the experience and knowledge that the aging population can bring to disaster preparedness–showing that all generations can learn from one another by working together before disasters strike to reduce risk and increase resilience.
Archives for 2014
Today, West Africa faces the largest Ebola epidemic in history. A new Grand Challenge for Development is calling on innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs to generate pioneering solutions that help health care workers on the front lines provide better care and contain this devastating virus.
The Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research was established in the 1970s as a premier research facility to develop scientific breakthroughs for a variety of viral infections, including hepatitis. Now, the facility finds itself drawn into an epidemiological battle against another outbreak, this time as one of only a handful of laboratories where Ebola specimens are sent to be tested. The U.S. Government is joining forces to boost its capacity.
Indonesia’s Chamber of Commerce and four of the world’s biggest palm oil companies announced a zero-deforestation palm oil pledge at the U.N. Climate Summit 2014 in New York. The U.S. supports this historic announcement and will stand with Indonesia as the country pursues a future of cleaner, more sustainable growth.
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.
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.
Ebola threatens not only lives, but livelihoods. If it is not contained, it could reverse years of development progress for the affected countries. That’s why the United States, along with our international partners, is stepping up to this challenge.
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.
This is the second blog in our Profiles in Courage series in which photojournalist Morgana Wingard compiles snapshots and sound bites from our USAID and Disaster Assistance Response Team staff on the front lines of the Ebola response. Here she talks to U.S. Army Civil Engineer, Andrew Hill who creates the blueprints for life-saving Ebola treatment units.
The global community is already sending important signals that partnering to eradicate extreme poverty deserves a place at the top of the development agenda. Because of the progress already being made, we sit at a unique intersection where, with the brightest minds from the entire development community, ending extreme poverty is possible. This video shows that when we create a world free from extreme poverty, we liberate people from the stark choices they should never have to make.