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U.S., South Korea Sign International Development Coordination Agreement

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan “on Friday signed an agreement to better coordinate international development aid during a meeting [in Washington] between the two countries’ top diplomats,” Agence France-Presse reports.

Disaster Preparedness To Be Incorporated Into UK Development Programs, DFID Report Says

“Preparing a country for disaster will become a core part of the UK government’s development programmes around the world to ensure a faster and more efficient response to major disasters,” the Department of International Development (DFID) said on Wednesday in an official response (.pdf) to Lord Paddy Ashdown’s independent review of humanitarian disasters that was issued in March, the Guardian reports.

PLoS Medicine Publishes Series On Migration And Health

PLoS Medicine published the latest installment of its six-part series focusing on migration and health. “If internal and international migrants comprised a nation, it would be the third most populous country in the world, just after China and India. … However, policies to protect migrants and global health have so far…

New York Times Examines Evolving Role Of Social Media In Disease Tracking Efforts

The New York Times examines how social media is changing efforts to monitor the spread of diseases. According to the article, “technology is democratizing the disease-hunting process, upsetting the old equilibrium by connecting people through channels effectively outside government control. While the online chatter can be unproductive or even dangerous – spreading fear along with misinformation about causes and cures – a growing cadre of epidemiologists sees social media as a boon. Future hunts for pathogens may rely as heavily on Twitter streams and odd clusters of search queries as on blood tests and personal histories” (Garrity, 6/13).

The Perils Of Aid Group Overexaggeration

“The problem is that U.N. agencies, USAID, its European counterparts (90 percent of relief funding still comes from the OECD countries), and NGOs almost all think that to get attention for a given crisis, they must use apocalyptic language and err on the side of overestimating the death, damage, and displacement that has been caused,” author David Rieff writes in a Foreign Policy opinion piece. When organizations exaggerate, “they up the rhetorical ante that much more,” he writes, adding, “In the name of mobilizing compassion, we are raising the bar to impossible heights” (6/9).