The World’s Vulnerable Are Losing

Steve Stirling

Steve Stirling

By Steve Stirling

In the lead up to and aftermath of the recent presidential election, Americans have focused on winners and losers. They have watched endless coverage of the campaign, the election and now the analysis. Social media is lit up with debates and political hashtags. Continue reading

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Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: More people will die if we don’t act now

Jean Michael Vigreux, Haiti Country director

Jean Michael Vigreux, Haiti Country director

By Jean-Michel Vigreux, CARE Haiti Country Director

As the impacts of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti started to emerge, the damage from the storm immediately started being compared to the damage of the 2010 earthquake. I could not imagine that a hurricane could possibly leave comparable levels of damage as the 2010 earthquake. But then I went to Jeremie, the capital of Grand’Anse that was hardest hit by the storm, and saw firsthand the shocking level of destruction this hurricane left in its wake.   Continue reading

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Holding My Gaze on Haiti

By Jennifer Grant

It’s the first Tuesday of the month which means, where I live, that the emergency siren was tested at 10a.m. Poised to sound in the event of a tornado or other dangers, it’s a long, shrill sound, starting up like an air raid signal, swirling and filling the sky. I’ve lived here in the suburbs of Chicago for most of my life, so I barely notice the test. But this morning when it broke the morning’s silence, my thoughts—though not far from it at the time—were wrenched back to Haiti, where in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, a real emergency continues. Continue reading

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UN General Assembly Elevates Antibiotic Resistance to Crisis Level

Dr. Judy Monroe is president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.

Dr. Judy Monroe is president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.

By Dr. Judy Monroe, president & CEO of the CDC Foundation

What do we do if antibiotics no longer work and are no longer the “miracle drug” we’ve all come to take for granted since at least the 1940s? This question was a key topic at the 71st session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York City at the end of September, and weighed heavily on my mind. This was only the fourth time in UN history that a health issue has been the topic of the main high level meeting at the assembly, where heads of state dig deeper into one key issue affecting the world.  For anti-microbial resistance to be elevated in such a manner shows that we are facing a serious global problem if we don’t find solutions now. Continue reading

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My First Disaster

Kathryn Hearn | Marketing Communications Officer

Kathryn Hearn | Marketing Communications Officer

By: Kathryn Hearn

They say you never forget your first disaster. For me, it occurred this summer as I was part of the team from MAP International responding to the floods in Louisiana. Louisianans are no strangers to flooding conditions, but this flooding was unprecedented. Nothing could prepare me for what we were going to encounter. The destruction was widespread and heartbreaking. Continue reading

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Sir Richard Peto Receives CDC Foundation Hero Award

Dr. Judy Monroe

Dr. Judy Monroe

By Dr. Judy Monroe, president & CEO of the CDC Foundation

Did you know that cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart attack and stroke, is the leading cause of death in the world today? Eighty percent of CVD deaths are the result of heart attacks and strokes, with more than three-quarters occurring in low-and middle-income countries. A significant number of those at highest risk for CVD events are without access to medications that could have immediate benefits. In addition, CVD places a significant economic and social burden on low- and middle-income countries. If current trends continue, related costs over the next decade could be as high as $3.6 trillion annually. Continue reading

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Join CARE’s Walk in Her Shoes to Help End Poverty for Women and Girls

Nicole Harris is the Media Relations Manager at CARE

Nicole Harris is the Media Relations Manager at CARE

By Nicole Harris, CARE Media Relations Manager

For more than 20 years of our 70-year history, CARE has been headquartered in Atlanta. From our bright orange building at the corner of Piedmont and Ellis St, we help provide women, girls and their families with the information, resources and skills needed to reach their full potential – and in turn to help their communities overcome poverty. Continue reading

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Helping Special Children Lead a Full Life

By Steve Stirling, President and CEO, MAP International

Living with a disability isn’t easy. As a child in Korea, I contracted polio and lost my ability to run and play like other children. But because I was later adopted by an American family, I received excellent health care and today live a full life. Continue reading

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Puerto Rico Needs Our Help to Stop Zika

By Dr. Judy Monroe

The Zika outbreak continues to rapidly spread across the Caribbean. If Zika were an earthquake, Puerto Rico would be the U.S. epicenter, while Florida and other at-risk states on the mainland would be developing fault lines. To help Puerto Rico bolster its response to Zika, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week declared a public health emergency at the request of the territory’s Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla. The public health emergency declaration shines a bright light on the needs in Puerto Rico. Continue reading

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South Sudan: We won’t give up on you

South Sudan Country Director, Fred McCray

South Sudan Country Director, Fred McCray

By Fred McCray, CARE Country Director in South Sudan

In all my 16 years as a humanitarian aid worker, I have never seen anything like the violence that besieged Juba, South Sudan, last month. It started on a Thursday night with small-arms gunfire that I thought would end quickly. Little did I know it was merely the start of a bloody five-day battle in the heart of South Sudan’s capital that would result in hundreds of deaths, thousands of newly displaced people and widespread panic throughout the city.

As aid workers, we prepare for moments like this, especially in a country like South Sudan, where the only thing predictable is the unpredictability that each day brings. All of our staff had stocks of food, water and fuel for just this type of violent outbreak, which could imprison them in their homes indefinitely.

After the gunfire exchange on Thursday, the city of Juba was tense. You could feel it in the air. As a precaution on Friday, I closed the office early so staff could collect any extra supplies and hunker down in the safety of their homes. It turned out to be a good decision, because the fighting resumed Friday night and escalated quickly. Outside the team house, I could hear gunfire, heavy tank artillery and helicopter gunships. I was fearful, not so much for my own safety as for my staff members. And it wasn’t just their physical safety that concerned me. I worried about their emotional safety, too, as they endured and navigated the escalating violence. We employed every method of technology in order to stay in touch as a team, constantly sharing security information, checking on one another’s safety and providing psychosocial support to one another.

Mercifully, Saturday brought a lull in the violence that served as a false sense of hope that the fighting had ended. On Sunday morning, Juba exploded into what seemed like full-blown war. I wasn’t worried as much about the military violence, because I knew we were not targets, but I was worried about the armed looting and chaos that most certainly would follow.

It was in this moment that I made my most grueling decision as a country director: to evacuate all international staff from South Sudan. Many other humanitarian actors were making the same decision. As the leader of more than 200 national staff, it was so difficult to look at them in the midst of violence and utter chaos and say, “I’m leaving.” But I found the risk simply too great for the international staff to stay.

My entire team supported that decision. Luckily, I was gone for only five days, working remotely from Nairobi. During that period, my dedicated staff ensured that CARE’s office was safe and secure, that information flowed to the appropriate people and, most importantly, that our life-saving work continued.

Now as we focus on scaling up our emergency response, we face even more challenges. There’s a saying in South Sudan that “easy things are not easily done.” That couldn’t ring more true. Aside from the unpredictable bouts of violence, the biggest challenge we face is lack of infrastructure. There’s no power grid, the rainy season renders the roads inaccessible and supplies are limited — all of which obstruct our ability to reach the people most desperately in need.

Yet we must march on. And we will. Working in a country like South Sudan, you have to be a passionate, dedicated problem-solver, and that’s just what every member of CARE South Sudan is. The staff’s commitment to the communities we serve keeps me going on those days when I could more easily give up. When the violence broke out in Juba, the staff in Unity State kept providing treatment to malnourished babies. Even though there is fighting in Eastern Equatoria, the staff wants to get back to work. They know the people in these communities, they know the depth of their needs, and they want to honor them by doing everything in their power to meet those needs. They inspire me daily.  

South Sudan is in a time of extreme uncertainty. In spite of that and the suffering they endure, however, the people here do not give up. They are survivors who kindle a lasting hope for a peaceful tomorrow. To honor them and their resilience is to keep that hope alive, powering through the chaos with the tools and services we know the people of South Sudan need — even when our work is fettered and “easy things are not easily done.”

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