As the Obama presidency is near its end and historians are set to reflect on the legacy of America's first black president, I can't help but look favourably on the impact he has had on the continent of Africa.
Ten years ago, World Vision started working with people in Humbo, Ethiopia, to plant trees. The organization funded the project by selling 'carbon offsets' for the roughly 22,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide that those trees mop up each year. Before planting began, the region's mountainous terrain had been severely degraded.
The need for support is urgent and helping children survive is our main concern. Canada has played a leadership role in international development and Canadians have always been known to provide relief in humanitarian crises.
The young Ethiopians growing up in today's environment have many options to choose from. In a population that is in the upwards of 90-million, there are now over 12 TV stations that are exclusively geared toward the local population. By far, Kana TV is making the most impact and impression on Ethiopians and the future of Ethiopian television (for good or bad).
It's World Tuberculosis Day, and this year it will be marked with the sad distinction that we have allowed this preventable, curable disease to become the world's biggest infectious killer. The millennia-old disease tuberculosis (TB) now outranks even HIV/AIDS in the number of lives it claims, at over 1.5 million a year. With leading experts predicting that by 2050 evolving strains of drug-resistant TB could claim an additional 75 million lives worldwide -- costing the global economy $16.7 trillion -- the need for immediate action is clear.
I was in Debre Libanos, Ethiopia, visiting family, when the conversation turned to Canadian politics. My uncle reflected on the Canada he understood and remembered. This included having an international perspective, respect for international institutions such as the United Nations, and a Canadian society that acted like a neighbour when disasters struck.
And it's surprisingly easy to make at home!
In the summer of 2008, Canada's (now) Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Philpott, was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she met with Ethiopian colleagues to explore the possibility of establishing family medicine as a formal discipline in the East African country of 90 million people. For the next decade, she would help spread an initiative to help launch such a program in the East African nation.
We've heard where $575 million of the contribution will go, including to renewable energy in Africa, climate risk insurance and to the Least Developed Countries Fund. We haven't heard what percentage of the funds will go to adaptation efforts. This needs early clarification, and there need to be transparent discussions on the disbursement of the over $2 billion that is yet to be allocated.
Marissa Cepelinski had the trip of a lifetime recently by participating with her fellow ultra marathoners and running for clean water projects in Ethiopia. Her team of 15 raised just over $102,000. It was enough to set up a school and a clean water well in the town of Hidri, Northern Ethiopia.