Stories: Poverty

  • Syrian refugees in Mauritania dream of resettlement

    NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania – Mohamad Mudar Oulabie knows he doesn't have many choices. But after almost five years in Mauritania, an impoverished and isolated country on the coast of West Africa, the 52-year-old father of four is becoming increasingly frustrated. Today, making an irregular crossing to Europe, despite numerous dangers, is on his mind. "That's the last resort," Oulabie...

  • There’s a Message for City Planners in Cape Town Plumbing Poll

    A mother and father stand in the doorway of their Khayelitsha home, looking on as their two young children goof around on the small patch of dirt outside. It’s something like a front yard, only that — flanked on one side by the family’s corrugated tin shack and on the other by a public portable toilet...

  • Life Has Hills

    “We wanted to have Christmas.” It was December 2014, and as Moses looked around his hovel in a slum in Kampala, Uganda, there was just one thing of significant monetary value: his boyfriend John’s old laptop. So they sold it. With the $55 they got, they bought ingredients for a lavish Christmas dinner: two live chickens ($11), potatoes (55 cents),...

  • Elton John Fears for the World If Donald Trump Is Elected President

    A potential Trump presidency makes Elton John "fear for the world" — at least when it comes to fighting the global HIV crisis. The musician and longtime AIDS activist was in Durban this week for the 21st International AIDS conference. On Wednesday, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for...

  • Here’s How People Make Ends Meet in One of the Poorest Places in the World

    Niger is a country at peace. But a World Food Program distribution site in Torouf — a village about an hour’s drive from the city of Tahoua — seemed lifted out of a conflict zone. Sacks of millet emblazoned with the logo of the United States Agency for International Development awaited villagers clutching yellow ration cards. Staffers...

  • This Program Actually Graduates People Out of Extreme Poverty

    Livestock, cash support and training help the ultra-poor escape extreme poverty. A new research paper combining findings from studies on what is called the graduation model conducted in six countries found that the lives of the ultra-poor markedly improved because of the program. Not only that, gains remained in key areas like food security and household assets ...

  • Telling the Stories of Mozambique

    Mozambique is one of the world’s poorest countries. But summarizing Mozambique with one of its oft-repeated statistics does not do the country or its people--and their struggles and successes--any justice. Dancers in Xai-Xai, Mozambique, perform a war dance local to the Gaza district to welcome dignitaries. Everything I read about Mozambique on the Internet in my pre-trip research...

  • Bolsa Familia Program - Ending the World’s Problems Through Education and Food

    In my recent trip to Brazil, I had the opportunity to learn about Bolsa Familia -- one of the most popular cash-transfer schemes in Latin America. A predecessor to this scheme is the Oportunidades which originated in Mexico in 2002. According to the Bolsa Familia scheme, the beneficiaries receive R$70.00, which is approximately US$35.The government requires the families to send...

  • What Happens When World Cup Tourists Flood Rio’s Favelas Looking for Cheap Rooms?

    This past April, I found myself on my first ever motorcycle ride, speeding on the back of a motorcycle taxi headed to the top of Rocinha, Rio De Janeiro's largest favela. Along the way, we weaved through a crush of buses, motorcycles, and people, all going about their day in this city inside a city. I made my...

  • Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda 2.0 – Islamic Extremism in Africa

    The kidnapping of more than 300 Nigerian school girls weeks ago – and now word of a new massacre – by Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group that operates in northern Nigeria, has drawn the attention and outrage of the international community. The Obama Administration said Tuesday it plans to send military officials and hostage experts to help...