Helen Epstein is a writer specializing in public health and an adjunct professor at Bard College. She has advised numerous organizations, including the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank, Human Rights Watch, and UNICEF. She is the author of The Invisible Cure: Why We Are Losing the Fight Against AIDS in Africa.

IN THE REVIEW

The Strange Politics of Saving the Children

UNICEF’s executive director Jim Grant at the São Martinho children’s shelter, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992

A Mighty Purpose: How Jim Grant Sold the World on Saving Its Children

by Adam Fifield
The United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, was established shortly after World War II to improve the lives of children worldwide, but it was facing hard times when Jim Grant took over as executive director in 1980. In the poor countries where the agency did most of its work, 15 …

Ebola in Liberia: An Epidemic of Rumors

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; portrait by former President George W. Bush from his exhibition ‘The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,’ at the George W. Bush Center in Dallas last spring
Eventually Ebola will be contained in Liberia, and next time people should be ready for it so fewer will die. Maybe none will die if new medicines are developed by then. But the virus has shed light on a far tougher problem. Many Liberians don’t trust their president or her government.

NYR DAILY

Congo for the Congolese

A United Nations vehicle burned out in fighting near Beni, eastern Congo, on May 5, 2015

Beneath Congo’s soil lies an estimated $24 trillion in natural resources, but this wealth is also the source of untold suffering. Today, more Congolese are displaced from their homes than Syrians, Iraqis, Yemenis, or Rohingyas, yet their miseries are all but invisible, in part because the identities and aims of Congo’s myriad combatants are mystified by layers of rumor and misinformation, which serve the interests of those who profit from the mayhem. But pieces of the puzzle sometimes emerge.

Who’s Cheating Kenyan Voters?

Opposition candidate Raila Odinga at a rally in Kisumu, Kenya, October 20, 2017

Two weeks ago, Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga pulled out of the election rerun scheduled for October 26, claiming that nothing had been done to remedy the problems that marred the first one, which was nullified September 1. Why isn’t the US doing more to pressure President Uhuru Kenyatta to address the blatant election issues? America may not be as neutral in Kenya’s electoral contest as it claims to be.

Kenya: The Election & the Cover-Up

Kenyans waiting to vote in the presidential election, Gatundu, Kenya August 8, 2017

Another rigged election in Africa is not news. But that US election observers were so quick to endorse it is shocking. Perhaps they believed that wrapping the election up quickly would prevent violence. A far more troubling possibility is that the US wants Kenyatta to remain in power, at the expense of democracy.

NYR CALENDAR