The Obama Administration has mobilized a number of government agencies to respond to the Ebola crisis in West Africa and to prevent its spread into the U.S. At the frontline of the Administration’s response is the Pentagon, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control, the U.S. Agency for International development

President Obama recently announced that approximately 3,000 U.S. troops will deploy to West Africa in an effort to combat the Ebola epidemic, which has struck more than 4,985 people and resulted in over 2,461 deaths.  The U.S. Africa Command will establish its Joint Force Command headquarters in Monrovia, Liberia to coordinate regional assistance to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal.  The additional health facilities, medical expertise, equipment, and supplies that the U.S. will provide are desperately needed, yet the mission’s effectiveness will depend in part on the United States’ ability to adequately address the underlying governance challenges and social dynamics that are propelling this debilitating virus.

On September 18, the international non-profit IREX sponsored a Washington, D.C. event entitled Ebola in Liberia: The Challenges of Preserving Peace in a Public Crisis.  Panelists in the field of healthcare, media and civil society development, and justice sector reform offered useful observations concerning Liberia’s governance obstacles and their effect on the Ebola outbreak.  The experts highlighted the social realities that have hindered the fight against Ebola and identified potential opportunities for the upcoming U.S. mission to maximize its impact in Liberia.


Continue Reading Governance Challenges, Social Barriers, and the Upcoming U.S. Mission to Fight Ebola

Over the past six months, the Ebola virus has killed approximately 2,100 people in West Africa, creating an international health crisis and terrorizing communities in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.  The race to develop, produce and disseminate Ebola vaccines has proven to be immensely challenging.  Experimental but potentially life-saving drugs were produced in insufficient quantities

The United States has issued aid, police, travel, and military sanctions against Uganda in response to its Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), which President Obama has criticized as being contrary to human rights.  The Act was signed into law on February 24, 2014.  It imposes a life sentence for certain homosexual conduct and criminalizes the “promotion,” “aiding”

Electrical and electronic waste (“e-waste”), which includes discarded technology equipment and parts, contains contaminants that are hazardous to human health and the environment.  E-waste management is a growing concern for a number of African countries which, in addition to generating e-waste domestically, also receive millions of tons of (often illegally) exported foreign e-waste.  In