With a total population of about 750,000, almost 400,000 people in Bagui are displaced and 100,000 people are now huddled in an encampment by the airport, seeking refuge from a vicious cycle of attacks and lawlessness.
Some of the stories that most need telling are not the big-ticket tales of human spaceflight and new exoplanet discoveries. For most people, it's the less flashy things that can mean the most in the lives of people right down here on Earth.
The humanitarian community finds itself looking inward as it confronts twenty-first century emergencies. Some of the old guard worry that the explosive growth of relief and development organizations is diminishing their efficiency and effectiveness and in some cases politicizing aid.
Being able to tap into local populations for real-time country-wide monitoring can be particularly attractive, as trusted international monitors are often few and far apart, but can quickly be relocated to confirm emerging stories.
Despite the militant occupation in the north which bans the creation and enjoyment of music (even Tuareg music is banned in Tuareg land), and despite the widespread shortage of food and water, musicians will continue to sing.
Conventional wisdom has it that our country is turning inward. But with dramatic global events that often unfold on the Internet, the public seems to have a heightened awareness of the risk of genocide and other kinds of mass atrocities -- and want our leaders to act.
Our politicians are consumed with the crisis in Syria and the suffering there, but I would like to draw their attention to the crisis in Sudan, too. I know we can't police the world, but there is a simply solution worth exploring.
Why is it so important that data be widely accessible during a disaster? Imagine that you're in a coastal region reeling from the aftermath of a tsunami. You may be trapped under rubble or in desperate need of medical attention, food and water.
The international humanitarian response system will fail to cope with the expected rise in the number of people exposed to crises unless there are more resources closer to where disasters happen and there is more investment in preventing and reducing the risk of disasters.
If in the last few years you got out your checkbook or credit card and donated to help rebuild Haiti, rescue Pakistanis from floods or fund a school in Tanzania, your contribution did not make its way into global aid figures.
In gut-wrenching testimonies on the economic costs and humanitarian crisis related to mountaintop removal operations, two Appalachian coalfield leaders turned the tables on an EPA-bashing Natural Resources House Committee hearing in Charleston today.
It was a stuffy, windowless broom closet like any other -- replete with empty cardboard boxes, threadbare rags, mops, and of course brooms. "This is where we counsel rape victims," said the center manager.
The sight of families stumbling into the camps after days of exodus through the desert and receiving their first nutritious meals in months is heart-breaking. We will pursue a coordinated, forceful and comprehensive response.