Listen Now

This Week: Somali Refugees, Plumpy’Nut, and NATO

Senior Editor Taylor Owen runs down the week that was on

By: /
1 February, 2013
Taylor Owen
By: Taylor Owen

Founder and Publisher of and Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at UBC

This week in the Think Tank, Nicholas Bishop explores rising pre-election tensions in Kenya, where there are over half a million Somali refugees, many of whom are being targeted for relocation and expulsion.  In another piece focusing on Africa, Heather Keachie tells the worrying, if fascinating, story of how Plumpy’Nut food aid ends up in markets being sold as candy bars.  We are also trying out new formats for our essays, adding full screen images and custom accompanying graphics.

In the Roundtable, Bessma Momani takes a hard look at the latest round of protests in Egypt, the impact of continuing upheaval on Egyptian society and the collective influences of politics and soccer throughout the conflict. Meanwhile, Steve Saideman examines NATO’s staying power and explains why America’s ‘pivot’ towards Asia is an indicator of U.S. faith in the institution’s continuing success.

Safe Haven No More
The Kenyan government is set to impose drastic measures aimed at Somali refugees. Nicholas Bishop considers the ramifications.

The Plumpy’Nut Story
Heather Keachie on how one person’s emergency food aid can become another person’s candy bar.

A Crisis of Confidence
The latest round of protests reveal the continuing fragility of post-Mubarak Egypt, and the increasing frustration of Egyptians with the current regime, writes Bessma Momani.

Reports of NATO’s Demise…
Steve Saideman on why NATO continues to endure, despite endless predictions of its imminent collapse.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 


Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter