Humanitarian needs are growing worldwide and international donors are not keeping up. So far, only one-quarter of the money requested for 2017 is available to respond to crises ranging from Syrian refugees to the more than 20 million people at risk of famine. More money is needed due to deteriorating conditions in conflict regions and the recent rapid growth of violence in the Kasai province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The months-long surge of Iraqi forces to retake Mosul continues to force people to flee the city and leaves 100,000 children trapped in the city in “extremely dangerous conditions,” warns UNICEF. Aid organizations are being overwhelmed by both the challenge of trying to reach suffering people within Mosul and providing basic needs to half the city’s population who has fled to outside refugee camps.
A new headline-grabbing report shows that despite all of the aid money, remittances sent home from expats and loans sent to Africa, $40 billion more is actually leaving the continent in the form of debt payments, tax avoidance and resource extraction. But some question the figures, and argue that the report doesn’t tell the whole story.
The Disasters Emergency Committee said it raised £50 million in three weeks to support humanitarian aid for people in East Africa. While it is good news in the short term, there is concern that the constant cycle of these emergency appeals fails to help address underlying issues.
South Sudan’s Ministry of Finance has decided to put a hold on a plan to charge as much as $10,000 per aid worker, a plan that aid groups criticized as wrongheaded at a time of great humanitarian need.
Hussein Dirie stands alone in a village he has known and lived in all his life. Outside of Somaliland’s bustling towns and cities, a pastoralist’s life is destroyed by a drought more unrelenting than he has ever known. Across Somalia and Somaliland, the U.N. estimates that 6 million people are in need of help. The drought is more severe and more extreme than any drought on record, and, so far, it shows no sign of ending while the U.N.’s Somalia appeal remains half-funded.
The Trump administration’s federal budget released on Thursday deals a 36 percent cut to the State Department – most coming from foreign aid and humanitarian programs. Faith leaders, politicians and aid groups immediately condemned the budget, saying it harms U.S. national security and endangers the lives of millions of vulnerable people around the world.
As the U.K. prepares to leave the European Union it is reworking trade deals to try to ensure a smooth transition. On the sidelines are developing countries putting some $395 million in annual trade at risk, according to the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). The London-based think tank warned that neglecting the preferential deals could hurt the countries that rely on the U.K. as a trading partner.
Humanitarian groups struggling to keep up with growing humanitarian needs are turning to cash as a way to make every dollar count. Faced with funding shortfalls, U.N. agencies are using more cash-based programs.
The two-week-old cease-fire in Syria has allowed aid groups to reach some areas, but cities under siege by government forces remain cut off from help, officials from Save the Children said on Friday. U.N. agency leaders echoed that concern in a joint statement today.