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Malaka Gharib

Malaka Gharib is deputy editor and digital strategist of Goats and Soda, NPR's global health and development blog. She reports on topics such as the humanitarian aid sector, gender equality, and innovation in the developing world.

Before coming to NPR in 2015, Gharib was the digital content manager at Malala Fund, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai's global education charity, and social media and blog editor for ONE, a global anti-poverty advocacy group founded by Bono. Gharib graduated from Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism and marketing.

A new report shows that the refugee crisis hasn't slowed down — and people don't always end up where you think.

The flow of refugees is steadily increasing, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR). As of mid-2016, there were 16.5 million refugees globally, 5 million more than in mid-2013. More than 30 percent of all refugees as of mid-2016 came from Syria, the largest source of global refugees.

Last month, Nike released a new digital ad targeted to women in the Arab world. It features different women athletes in the Middle East, including figure skater Zahra Lari from the United Arab Emirates; fencer Inès Boubakri from Tunisia and boxer Arifa Bseiso from Jordan.

Women won't be coming to work. That's what Americans may think that International Women's Day means this year.

The event, which has been celebrated for 106 years, has no single organizer or agenda. That's what makes it so effective, says Terry McGovern, professor and chair of population and family health at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "There's not an imposed agenda. It allows women to define what the day means for them, and what needs to happen for them to achieve equality."

Can you capture the energy of a city in just one image?

That's the idea behind Metropolis, a book of photos of the world's megacities by Dutch photographer Martin Roemers. The images illustrate the rapid rise of global urbanization. In 1994, there were 14 cities with a population over 10 million. In 2016, there were 29, according to the U.N.

International humanitarian aid organizations say the travel restrictions issued by President Donald Trump on Saturday could have a dramatic impact on how they operate.

The Trump executive order temporarily bars all refugees and suspends — for the next 90 days — entry to the U.S. by citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The White House says the order was intended to protect the nation from "foreign terrorist entry."

The World Health Organization's next director-general will inherit an ailing institution with funding problems — and a bad reputation for how it's handled global health emergencies.

It's a shocking statistic that caught the world's attention last week: Just eight men own the same wealth as 3.6 billion people living in poverty — that's half the population of the planet.

This weekend, hundreds of thousands of Americans will be taking to the streets — some to celebrate, some to protest the inauguration and others to demonstrate for issues that the president-elect cares about.

If you happen to be one of those people, you might have this nagging question in the back of your mind: Will any of it make a difference?

Charts can seem dull. But not to data scientist Tariq Khokhar at the World Bank. When he looked through a year's worth of charts, graphs, maps and more, he was excited by the numbers.

For example, although the world's population has increased by 2 billion people since 1990, there are 1.1 billion fewer people living in extreme poverty, under $1.90 a day (highlighted in blue in the chart below). "I'm amazed at the progress," Khokhar says.

It's been used to buy drugs. Guns. Child porn. And to launder money.

But high-profile institutions like the World Bank, UNICEF and USAID think it could be a force for good, helping the poorest of the poor.

It's a technology called blockchain — a global, online ledger that's free for anyone to use and that isn't regulated by any one party.

Maybe you've heard of it. And maybe you don't know exactly what it is.

That's because it's not easy to define.

The world of global health and development loves its buzzwords — a word or short phrase that sums up a problem or a solution, like "food insecurity" or "gender equity." The problem is that buzzwords aren't always clear to the average global citizen. And some folks in the development world don't like them either. Here's The International Development Jargon Detector to prove it.

With so much attention paid to high-profile women in 2016, from Hillary Clinton to Wonder Woman, it's easy to lose sight of lesser-known women who are blazing a trail in low- and middle-income countries. In ways big and small, these women have moved the needle on gender equality by being activists, role models or simply taking a stand.

Here's a roundup of some of the many memorable women we profiled on Goats and Soda in 2016.

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