The world as you have never seen it before

April 5, 2007

I know I have been a little lazy with my posts this week, linking to others instead of writing myself (witness to the fact I have been tired and more interested in surfing and reading than writing), but I can’t resist a few more links.

Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest, such as this one showing where the undernourished are in the world:

Malnutrition

Contrast that with this one showing wealth distribution:

Wealth

If you are interested in these maps you will also like the Online Atlas of the Millennium Development Goals. While the World Bank certainly does not usually rank amongst my favourite organisations, I am impressed with this site.

It must be a day for reviewing my impressions of global organisations because I am also impressed by these handwashing stations set up in a poor neighborhood in Jakarta by Mercy Watch. The project was funded through Starbucks subsidiary ETHOS Water, and aims to reduce malnutrition among children under five years old in Jakarta (much of which is caused by diarrhea, the result of poor sanitation). It seems to me to be a very innovative and interesting means of addressing a huge problem. “Building sanitation facilities like the hand-washing station is only a part of the program’s holistic approach to support healthy behavior practices, starting with little things like washing hands with soap.” (Of course the development studies student in me has to note that free public hand washing facilities are needed because people do not have facilities in their home and need to go to a public facility to take a shower or go to the toilet – which costs 1000 rupiah (10 cents) each time.)

water.jpg

Photo: Bunga Sirait/Mercy Corps

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