The UN Peacebuilding Commission provides "quick win" interventions in fragile states. But can it prove effective in Africa when confusion about the concept and infrastructure of peacebuilding remains?
A frantic voice came over the radio: a blast had just destroyed Guinea-Bissau's military headquarters. I drove toward the compound and, when I arrived, everyone was still shouting and running through the smoking ruins of the building. Bissau's only ambulance was shuttling back and forth from the hospital, ferrying the bodies of victims. All that four heavily armed soldiers would tell me was that General Batista Tagme Na Wai, head of the army, had just been assassinated.
West Africa, a region that has barely begun to heal from a decade of civil wars, is once again under attack. The new threat grows silently, like a cancer, and the international community appears powerless to respond.
Marco Vernaschi's photography, "West Africa's New Achilles' Heel" showcased in Newsweek Japan.
Since 2007, Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony and one of the poorest nations in the world, has become the new hub for cocaine trafficking in Africa. Drug cartels from South America and the voracious appetite for cocaine in Europe have transformed this tiny country into a living hell.
Standing in the only operating room in the only medical hospital in all of Guinea-Bissau, Marco Vernaschi watched a nurse take an unsterile needle out of her pocket and, without anesthetic, suture a woman's vagina after a difficult childbirth. The woman screamed. Mr. Vernaschi took a photograph. Moments later, she was required to walk out of the filthy room and go home.
She was actually fortunate. So few women have any medical care in the west African country of Guinea-Bissau that the United Nations regards it as one of the world's most dangerous places to be pregnant.
Sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest region on Earth, is a place where more than 600,000 women die in pregnancy or childbirth every year due to lack of proper care and only 30 percent of the population has access to health care at all. Photojournalist Marco Vernaschi is documenting the human costs, beginning with this work from Guinea Bissau.
Cocaine trafficking has turned Guinea Bissau into Africa's first narco-state, and a lucrative source of cash for Hezbollah and al Qaida as well as South American drug cartels. The double assassinations last March of the country's president and army chief of staff may have been the point of no return as this tiny country sinks into a new era of conflict.
Disclaimer: The following contains graphic imagery and content, and may not be suitable for all ages.
Photographed by: Marco Vernaschi / Pulitzer Center
The West African country of Guinea-Bissau is one of the poorest nations in the world, is a base for narcotics heading to Europe and has a big crack cocaine problem.
It has suffered a series of coups and a civil war. Earlier this year the head of the armed forces was killed and, a few hours later, the president was murdered in retaliation.
But are things turning around for Guinea-Bissau? The killings led to elections being held last weekend.
A quarter of all cocaine that comes into Europe is smuggled through Africa. In the past year, Guinea-Bissau has been especially touched by the grip of the Colombian mafia and Al-Qaeda. Italian photographer Marco Vernaschi reports from a country derailed.
Drug traffickers use Guinea Bissau as a base to smuggle drugs to Europe. A journalist from El Pais visited the country: one of the poorest nations in the world, where militaries -- involved in bloody clashes -- hinder drug trafficking investigations and Latin American drug dealers cross Bissau's dark nights in luxury cars.
Sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest region on Earth, is a place where more than 600,000 women die in pregnancy or childbirth every year due to lack of proper care and only 30 percent of the population has access to health care at all. The situation in Guinea-Bissau is among the...
An international network led by Latin American drug cartels and the Lebanese Islamist group Hezbollah has chosen West Africa, among the poorest and more corrupted corners of the world, as the nexus for illegal trade in cocaine, oil, counterfeit medicines, pirated music and human trafficking. International law enforcement officials...
Nearly two dozen Campus Consortium student fellows undertake reporting around the globe in 2013.
Marco Vernaschi's photo essay "Cocaine Coast" published in Virginia Quarterly Review's Winter 2010 edition is a finalist for ASME's National Magazine Award 2011 for News and Documentary Photography.
Marco Vernaschi has won "Picture of the Year" and 1st prize in "Picture Story of the Year" in the Photographers Giving Back (PGB) Photo Award contest. Vernaschi's winning picture shows the chair on which the President of Guinea-Bissau, João Bernardo, was executed just a few hours previously.
The winners of the 2010 World Press Photo Contest were announced February 12 in Amsterdam. Pulitzer Center journalist Marco Vernaschi won first prize for General News in the Stories category for his work on narco trafficking in Guinea Bissau. Vernaschi's photographs will be featured in a traveling exhibition visited by over two million people in 45 countries. The contest is recognized as the world's most prestigious annual press photography competition.
Marco Vernaschi has been named a finalist for the International Center of Photography's Infinity Award in Photojournalism for his 2009 work on cocaine trafficking in West Africa. He was nominated by Karen Irvine of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.
The ICP's Infinity Awards were inaugurated in 1984 to bring public attention to outstanding achievements in photography by honoring individuals with distinguished careers in the field and by identifying future luminaries. The program is well known as the most prestigious photographic awards ceremony in the world!
Pulitzer Center supported journalist Marco Vernaschi has been awarded the top prize in the lens culture International Exposure Awards for his in-depth examination of illegal activity inside Guinea Bissau. Vernaschi's portfolio was selected among more than 6,000 submissions from photographers in 48 countries.
Pulitzer-supported photojournalist Marco Vernaschi was among 10 finalists selected at the Ojo de Pez Award for Human Values, a major international photography competition, for his in-depth examination of the illegal activity within Guinea Bissau, "West Africa's New Achilles' Heel." He and his fellow finalists were chosen from 620 entries.
This is a painting lesson that combines Pablo Picasso's famous 1937 Guernica with current day issues presented from The Pulitzer Center.
Students explore the concept of peacebuilding, then use what they have learned to evaluate peacebuilding efforts in their community and suggest peacebuilding projects of their own.
This is a painting lesson that combines Pablo Picasso's famous 1937 "Guernica" with current day issues presented by the Pulitzer Center.
This is a painting lesson that combines Pablo Picasso's famous 1937 Guernica with current day issues presented by the Pulitzer Center.
This lesson plan outlines a project that allows students the opportunity to connect with a contemporary crisis somewhere in the world.