IRC in the News
The fight against Ebola is taking place on two well-known fronts: on the ground in West Africa, where governments and aid groups are racing to build treatment centers; and inside the lab, where scientists are trying to create vaccines and therapies to halt transmission. A third battleground, harder to track but no less important, focuses on efforts to win trust and change the behavior of the people most at risk of spreading the virus.
Beyond the obvious gaps in funding, health personnel and equipment — the international response is still a far cry from what it should be — little attention has been paid to the logistical challenges and practical difficulties that continue to hinder global efforts to curtail the West African epidemic.
Once seen as a sure-fire way to build dependence on charitable assistance, cash transfers that give people money with or without conditions are making a comeback. So as the United States struggles to reform its antiquated food aid system, other countries and organizations are turning to one of the oldest forms of aid.
Nongovernmental organizations have long called for the use of cash transfers not just as part of poverty alleviation efforts but also in emergency settings. Cash transfers, international relief groups argue, could not only empower beneficiaries to purchase based on their needs but stimulate local economies as well.
"Trafficking is modern-day slavery," said Nicky Walker with the International Rescue Committee. She said this is more common than we think.