Friday, August 28, 2009
here is a great web site!!!
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
* The Pulitzer Center's mission is to promote in-depth coverage of international affairs, focusing on topics that have been under-reported, mis-reported - or not reported at all.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Who We Are
ReliefWeb is the worldâs leading on-line gateway to information (documents and maps) on humanitarian emergencies and disasters. An independent vehicle of information, designed specifically to assist the international humanitarian community in effective delivery of emergency assistance, it provides timely, reliable and relevant information as events unfold, while emphasizing the coverage of "forgotten emergencies" at the same time.
ReliefWeb was launched in October 1996 and is administered by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Recognizing how critical the availability of reliable and timely information in time of humanitarian emergencies is, the UN General Assembly endorsed the creation of ReliefWeb and encouraged humanitarian information exchange through ReliefWeb by all governments, relief agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Resolution 51/194 on 10 February 1997. The General Assembly reiterated the importance of information sharing in emergencies and of taking advantage of OCHA's emergency information services such as ReliefWeb in Resolution 57/153 on 3 March 2003.
ReliefWeb has seen steady growth in usage. In 2002, ReliefWeb received 1.5 million hits per week, and in 2004, the site received approximately 1 million hits a day. Shortly after the South Asia Tsunami disaster of December 2004, it received 3 million hits a day on average.
ReliefWeb maintains three offices in three different time zones (New York, Geneva, and Kobe) to update the web site around the clock. The total budget for the project is USD 2 million (2005), the bulk of which is supported by voluntary contributions by donors.
In recognition of its successful virtual teamwork among three offices, ReliefWeb received two UN21 awards in March 2004 in the areas of "knowledge management" and "improvements to the working environment."
>>For information about OCHA, see OCHA on-line
>>To contact ReliefWeb, see Contact Us
>>For more donor information, see Donor Support
What We Do
ReliefWeb disseminates timely, reliable and relevant humanitarian information by updating its web site around the clock. In addition, ReliefWeb reaches over 70,000 subscribers through its e-mail subscription services, allowing those who have low bandwidth Internet connections to receive information reliably.
ReliefWeb posts some 150 maps and documents daily from over 2,000 source from the UN system, governments, NGOs, academia and the media. Map Centre also creates original ReliefWeb maps.
All documents posted on the site are classified and archived in the ReliefWeb document database, allowing advanced searching of documents from past emergency responses. The database contains nearly 300,000 maps and documents dating back to 1981.
In addition to Map Centre and emergency updates by latest or by country, region, and emergency, ReliefWeb offers various resource sections specifically targeted to relief professionals:
- Appeals and Funding - Funding appeals for complex emergencies and natural disasters and financial tracking of responses to funding requirements
- Policies and Issues - On-line library of reference materials covering humanitarian policies and issues of global nature
- Professional Resources - Information of practical use for relief professionals, including a sectoral or thematic listing of "communities of practice," listings of job opportunities and training opportunities, and an information providers' directory.
The site also offers a "web feed" service to deliver customized content to partners' web sites. The service allows users to further utilize the ReliefWeb's content, thereby avoiding duplication of efforts.
>>For subscription services, see ReliefWeb via Email
>>For the use of third party content, see Terms of Service [under development]
>>For submitting documents, maps, vacancies, etc., see Contact Us
>>For complete overview of the site, see Site Map
>>For additional information, see Help
>>Download new ReliefWeb brochure (pdf): Part 1 (front page), Part 2 (back page)
For internship opportunities with ReliefWeb New York Office, please click here
For internship opportunities with ReliefWeb Kobe Office, please click here
Was the information in this section useful? Your feedback is welcome
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Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Special Bacteria May Curb Bowel Diseases
Genetically Engineered Bacteria and Drink Reduce Colitis in Early Lab Tests; Human Studies Next
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
"Aug. 21, 2009 -- Researchers in England may have found a new way to treat colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases."
"Those scientists took a bacterium called Bacteroides ovatus, which people naturally have in their gut, and genetically altered it to secrete a protein called KGF-2 when exposed to a sugar called xylan."
"The point is to bump up the presence of KGF-2, which is a human growth factor that could help heal damage done by inflammatory bowel diseases."
"Why not just give human growth factors directly? Because "they are unstable when administered orally and systemic administration requires high doses, increasing the risk of unwanted side effects," the researchers write in the online edition of the journal Gut."
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Friday, August 21, 2009
Posted on | August 22, 2009 | No Comments
, Aug. 22, 2009: There have been startling losses in microfinance institutions that have wandered too far from their original microfinance mission due to fierce competition or of profit-minded management, writes David MacDougall, Director of Risk Management at Swiss microfinance fund manager BlueOrchard.
Servicing traditional microfinance clients is expensive because loan sizes are small and the number of people required to service clients. But it was caried out with a goal and motivation. When competition deters the MFI from charging higher interest rates and absorb losses more frequently, it leads to higher loses, explained MacDougall in an article written for the August issue ofmagazine.
“I’ll admit that I have my own spreadsheet full of ratios; however, I principally use them to gauge trends. Often the levels they indicate have limited meaning, and analysts must understand when they do and when they don’t. A key consideration is whether the institution is mission-driven, rather than profit-driven. Many MFIs are non-profits or at least not profit-maximizers. They often charge just enough to cover their expenses and build the portfolio,” he wrote.
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Thursday, August 20, 2009
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Cryptosporidium and Giardia are two of the most important microscopic pathogens that can be transmitted via drinking water. Both are present in most surface waters around the world. Infection by either organism is particularly serious for immunocompromised individuals as no effective drug treatment is available. The problem is becoming ever more significant as many of the worldâs highly populated areas are experiencing diminished water supplies, due to greater demand and an increasingly arid climate. Alternative water sources are therefore being sought; including for example treated municipal wastewater. Such alternatives may be more likely to contain higher concentrations of protozoan parasites such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
Water treatment programs are the front line in the defence against all waterborne pathogens. This article presents experimental data that demonstrate an effective technique for maximizing the efficiency of water sanitation methods, involving the measurement of zeta potential to enhance contaminant coagulation.