All Articles Tagged "international aid"
(Christian Science Monitor) — In her recent address before the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to alleviate starvation in the Horn of Africa and build a more secure food supply for the future. Governmental organizations and NGOs are not the only ones supplying innovations and assistance – Secretary Clinton also noted several partnerships with private companies. One of the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) partners is Souktel, a mobile phone service based in the Middle East. Information and communication lines are valuable commodities in a world that is growing more connected every year. The founders recognized the potential for burgeoning mobile phone networks, and began theirJobMatch service in 2006. Souktel creates databases, message surveys, and instant alerts that can be sent out and received via mobile phone. The platform tries to better connect job seekers with employers through basic Short Message Service (SMS) texting.
(AP) — Mohamed Hassan gets emotional when he hears about the famine devastating Somalia, recalling his own months-long walk from Mogadishu to Kenya two decades ago as a teenager fleeing the civil war. Now Hassan and other Somalis here are digging deep to help. ”I’ve lived through starvations, hunger. I’ve lived in a refugee camp,” Hassan said. “Because of my relationship to the people of Somalia back home, but also because of past experiences, I feel the pain. I cannot afford to sit back and watch people go through these experiences.” From Facebook campaigns to car washes and concerts to local collection sites, Minnesota’s Somali community — the nation’s largest at an estimated 25,000 people — is raising tens of thousands of dollars to help the starving masses. Though an overall total isn’t known, Somalis have helped raised roughly $100,000 for the American Refugee Committee, including $47,000 at a single event last week. Another group, Amoud Foundation, reported raising $94,000 from the Twin Cities in less than two weeks.
(Wall Street Journal) — A U.S. aid agency said Tuesday it is halting a $350 million, three-month-old energy project-financing deal with Malawi after the southeast African country’s government responded to protests with a violent crackdown that left 19 people dead. The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation said it is placing an immediate hold on the project, meant to strengthen Malawi’s electricity infrastructure, because it is “deeply concerned by recent events in Malawi,” the MCC said in a statement. Last week, 19 people were killed after police opened fire to quell looting and protests against President Bingu wa Mutharika. The thousands of protesters accuse Mr. Mutharika of mismanaging the economy, leading to acute fuel shortages, and of trampling on democratic freedoms.
(Christian Science Monitor) — In her six years in office, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has restored relations with the western world, rebuilt tattered infrastructure, erased the country’s external debt, and entered the race for the second term she long ago swore she’d never seek, but will likely win. Last night, with 120 days ticking before ballot boxes open in Liberia, the president set another ambitious target for her little country that could: She wants Liberia to wean itself off aid by the decade’s end. ”There’s no reason why we cannot build upon the successes of today to ensure that ten years from now, Liberia should no longer require foreign assistance,” she told a crowd of hundreds of Africa watchers in London. It’s hard to under-state the importance of that goal. An aid-recipient state since 1819 when James Monroe bankrolled its founding, Liberia has risen and fallen by the whims of donors, raking in 771 percent more aid than revenue in 2008.
(Wall Street Journal) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday warned that China didn’t always have Africa’s interests at heart as it invested and offered assistance on the continent, highlighting frictions between the countries as economic stakes on the continent rise. In remarks to reporters after the close of a business conference in the Zambian capital of Lusaka, Mrs. Clinton said China “has not always utilized the talents of the African people in pursuing its business interests.” She added, however, that the U.S. also wanted to work more closely with China, and had instructed embassies to seek “areas of cooperation” with Chinese counterparts in Africa. She told the conference the U.S. was embarking on “a new way of doing business” that seeks to foster grass-roots commercial activity rather than aid. ”Our approach is based on partnership, not patronage. It is focused not on handouts but on the kind of economic growth that underlies long-term progress,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Ultimately, it is aimed at helping developing countries chart their own futures and, frankly, end the need for aid at all.”
(Slate) — Above Port-au-Prince, in the terraced mountains of Kenscoff, 34-year-old Gerard Gilbert is tending his farm, a single acre of land on which he grows lettuce. Gilbert has been farming since he was 12 years old using the techniques his father taught him. Agriculture is his livelihood, as it is for two out of every three Haitians, but these days it barely provides enough to live on. Last year, a Haitian agronomist trained and paid by the United States Agency for International Development visited Gilbert’s farm and taught him how to grow bigger heads of lettuce. “I used to plant the seeds very near to each other,” Gilbert explained. “It was the traditional way to do it.” The agronomist gave the seeds more space and helped Gilbert create an irrigation system to use during the dry season. Since then, when Gilbert takes his baskets of lettuce to the local market, he takes home $5 per basket rather than the old $2.50.