In Ghana, clashes over small-scale mining have become a litmus test for China

A new campaign against small-scale mining, known in Ghana as galamsey, has begun to sour the country's relations with China. Chinese nationals are frequently portrayed as funding and accelerating the boom in small-scale mining operations, which has caused widespread land erosion and contaminated vital rivers. Development experts are worried the rift could lead to disruptions in future funding. It has also put a new government in the difficult position of choosing between a key partner and its campaign promises to crack down on galamsey. Read more.


HIV advocates fear U.S. cuts and 'gag rule' could undermine global progress

Even as HIV researchers buzzed about scientific advances and policymakers championed significant gains, the International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science was dominated by concerns over global funding and worries that continued drops might undercut recent progress.

The most acute concerns center around the United States, the largest global donor to HIV care. If Congress adopts President Donald Trump's proposed 20 percent cut in funding for HIV programs in ongoing budget negotiations, the world could see as many as 90,000 additional AIDS-related deaths starting next year, according to some estimates. Read more.


HIV treatment: Strategies to reach the next 10 million patients

The world is on track to put 30 million HIV patients on treatment by 2030 — a critical benchmark to actually end the AIDS epidemic. Yet campaigners know that reaching the remaining 10 million people will be harder in some ways than the 19.5 million who are already accessing life-saving drugs. HIV advocates hope that a combination of scientific breakthroughs and experience-informed social outreach can bridge the final gaps in treatment. Read more.


G20 development pledges overshadowed by climate rift

World leaders at the G-20 summit reached a consensus on an array of development issues, from investment in Africa to pandemic preparedness, during their two-day meeting in Hamburg, Germany, this weekend.

Yet amid one of the most visible policy rifts between the United States and the rich-country grouping, many analysts and advocates are concerned that those areas of consensus papered over broader disagreements on trade, finance and climate that will ultimately have a greater impact on the developing world. Read more.


Germany pushes development for upcoming G20 summit

The German government has expanded the agenda of next month’s G-20 Summit to include development issues that go well beyond the usual subject matter when the world’s richest countries meet. Climate change, global health, partnerships with African countries and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be up for discussion as Germany chairs the meeting in Hamburg. Read more.


Inside Israel's secret program to get rid of African refugees

It begins with furtive promises by Israeli authorities of asylum and work opportunities in Rwanda and Uganda. Once the Sudanese and Eritrean asylum-seekers reach the East African countries, they describe a remarkably similar ordeal: They meet someone who presents himself as a government agent at the airport, bypass immigration, move to a house or hotel that quickly feels like a prison, and are eventually pressured to leave the country. For the Eritreans, it is from Rwanda to Uganda. For Sudanese, it is from Uganda to South Sudan or Sudan. The process appears designed not just to discard unwanted refugees, but to shield the Israeli, Rwandan, and Ugandan governments from any political or legal accountability.

My year-long investigation into Israel's secret scheme to discard Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers. Read more.

Update: I spoke to PRI's The World program on July 5. Listen here.


'U.S. stands to lose as much as Africa if Fogarty closes'

A proposal to cut funding for the John E. Fogarty International Center from the upcoming United States federal government budget by President Donald Trump’s administration has prompted an outcry from academics and educators across Africa.

For decades Fogarty, part of the US National Institutes of Health, has been instrumental in developing medical teaching and research capacity on the African continent. And while its shuttering could have an outsized impact on Africa, academics say everyone – including Americans – would feel the impact of its closure. Read more.


Ebola outbreak in the DR Congo

On May 12, officials declared an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in a remote area of the northern DR Congo. The WHO reported 37 cases of infection, including one confirmed and three probable deaths from EVD. The outbreak triggered a response involving more than 13 international agencies and could prompt the roll-out of an Ebola vaccine candidate, pending government approval of its use. Read more.