The Success of Humanitarian Aid to KazakhstanHumanitarian aid is one way neighboring communities help each other grow and advance. When a country experiences difficulties socially or economically, others will reach out in the form of financial assistance, medical assistance or help rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. Kazakhstan is a country riddled with tribal conflict, border rewrites and ethnic diversity and a place constantly undergoing significant change in economic and cultural success. Humanitarian aid in Kazakhstan is crucial to the growth of the nation, and the success of humanitarian aid to Kazakhstan is reliant on many factors.


A Middle Income Country

According to the European Commission (EC), Kazakhstan is now considered a middle-income country, which means that it is self-sufficient enough to maintain a stable economy. However, this also means that the rest of the world has less influence and can offer less assistance to the Kazakh people. The EC worked from 1991 to 2014 to help turn Kazakhstan into a less corrupt state through an increase in their judicial efficiency, healthcare reform, more inclusive education and public administration.


Decreased Poverty, Increased Gender Equality

Despite the continuation of growth and economic prosperity in Kazakhstan, there is still need in the region; many countries still attempt to eradicate poverty completely and increase gender equality. Norway is one of those countries. According to the Norwegian government, it is working to stop the influx of illicit and criminal actions, as well as building on existing maternal health in the area.

Until poverty is eradicated (hopefully by 2030), and maternal death rates fall, Norway will not be satisfied with the success of humanitarian aid to Kazakhstan.


Success of Humanitarian Aid to Kazakhstan

Now that Kazakhstan is growing into a strong and independent country, it is time for the success of humanitarian aid to Kazakhstan to be translated into humanitarian aid for others. According to an article by the Astana Times, Kazakhstan, with its strong history of ethnic and religious diversity, provided humanitarian support to Syrians ravaged by civil war.

Kazakhstan is also known to support many other countries, such as Myanmar, Ukraine and parts of the Caribbean. Kazakhstan contains many natural resources, such as oil, mineral and metal reserves, and now with the help and success of humanitarian aid to Kazakhstan, the country has the potential to spread its stability to others.

– Molly Atchison

Photo: Flickr

Humanitarian Aid to Croatia and its Children
SOS Children’s Villages International is providing humanitarian aid to Croatia specifically targeted at children in the context of a struggling economy, high poverty rates and high unemployment levels.

In the wake of the war with the former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia that lasted from 1991 to 1995, Croatia has struggled to recover from the decimation of its economic infrastructure. The six-year-long recession beginning in 2008 also contributed to Croatia’s weak economic structure.

Unemployment remains relatively high at 16.1 percent. The proportion of the population living at or below the national poverty line is 19.5 percent. The historic economic hardships that contribute to these statistics are clear, but how do these statistics affect the most vulnerable population, Croatia’s children?

Children in Croatia took the hardest hit from the 2008 recession, with child poverty rising over 50 percent. Poverty and unemployment have contributed to an increasing number of children being placed in institutions because families living below the poverty line are unable to feed or care for these children.

Children with mental and physical disabilities, behavioral issues or psychological problems are particularly at risk. Croatia’s infrastructure does not have the specialized centers to adequately accommodate and support these children. Their families are offered very little support and the children are often removed from their families and placed in institutions where they are deprived of the parental support and specialized care that they need. With little support from within local communities, SOS Children’s Villages has stepped in to provide humanitarian aid to Croatia and its children living in poverty.

SOS Children’s Villages International was founded in 1949 by Hermann Gmeiner in response to the proliferation of orphaned children after World War II. Gmeiner’s vision was to provide loving care in a family environment for children that were without parental care for whatever reason, and to help families stay together so they could care for their children. SOS Children’s Villages now operate in 135 countries through the support of donors, child sponsors, partners and friends.

SOS Children’s Villages seeks to provide humanitarian aid to Croatia by supporting local children, young people and families. Children in institutions are placed with loving SOS families to receive essential care, attention and support. SOS provides housing for young people where they can learn to live semi-independently. Families also benefit from kindergartens that will look after their children while they work.

Humanitarian aid to Croatia’s children also extends to children affected by the 2015 refugee crisis, many of whom are alone. SOS Children’s Villages works with local organizations to respond to the evolving needs of children affected by the crisis.

SOS Children’s Village has two locations in Croatia, providing support to children, young people and families throughout the country. Humanitarian aid to Croatia from SOS Children’s Village helps support families and children struggling with poverty.

– Sydney Lacey

Photo: Flickr

How the US Benefits from Foreign Aid to FijiThe U.S. is a powerful, stable society that is capable of supporting other communities who need assistance. Providing aid to other nations can benefit the U.S. in return. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Fiji.

According to the U.S. Department of State, assistance from the U.S. to Fiji is focused mainly on humanitarian services, such as hurricane relief and security assistance.


Democratic Assitance

In 2006, a tumultuous coup suspended democratic rule in Fiji. In 2014, the country held elections to restore the democratically elected government. The U.S. was one of 13 countries to oversee the elections to maintain security measures and ensure a peaceful political process. In return, the U.S. received increased access to trade and resources in the region.



One of the most important trades the U.S. and Fiji take part in is the tourism industry. According to the Fiji Bureau of Statistics, 842,884 foreign nationals visited Fiji in 2017. While not all of these were U.S. citizens, the number of Americans visiting Fiji is increasing. In addition to tourism, Fiji’s economy is stimulated by foreign consumers buying Fijian products.



The biggest exports from Fiji to the U.S. are bottled water, tuna and sugar. In return, the U.S. exports transport equipment and food. However, access to Fiji’s tuna is one of the U.S. fishing industries’ most vital investments. The U.S. created a multilateral trade agreement with the Pacific Islands (including Fiji), which allowed U.S. fishers to access the tuna-infested waters in the Pacific Islands. 

The agreement also protects the Fiji fish population from overfishing and other things that may cause harm to marine life in the area. This, along with the trade of other natural products, increases both Fiji’s economy and natural resource protection. It also helps with U.S. relations in the area and product importation.

Fiji is a small island with a large economy, which not only needs the U.S. to help support economic prosperity but also to protect democracy in the region. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Fiji through access to crucial natural resources and through Fiji’s influence as a newly reorganized democracy in the Pacific Island region.

– Molly Atchison

Photo: Flickr

BelizeHistorically, U.S. foreign aid has always been a topic of discussion. The decision to help other countries in times of need incites a lively debate, and that has yet to change. These debates include Belize, a country that greatly benefits from U.S. aid, but the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Belize as well.



The U.S. government helps Belize fight organized crime and drug trafficking while regulating the number of migrant workers coming into America. The U.S. has helped strengthen the police force in Belize as well as improve the capacity to secure its borders. It has also helped improve citizen security and Belize’s ability to confront and disrupt criminal organizations that run rampant throughout the country. This is all in the effort to strengthen Belize as a country which will be beneficial to the U.S. in the long run.


Immigration and Tourism

The U.S. and Belize have always been very close as the U.S. houses the largest number of Belize nationals outside of the country itself. This is partly because of migrant workers that come to the country from Belize. The U.S. is a major source of investment funds and is the principal trading partner for Belize.  The U.S. also helps to promote tourism in Belize. The tourism often results in Americans retiring and moving to Belize permanently. This helps increase the revenue within the country, promoting economic growth while also exposing Belizean culture to Americans that had never experienced it before.


International Relations

Giving help to Belize depicts U.S. diplomacy and also helps with relations among all Latin American countries. The U.S. has operations in over 100 companies located in Belize which helps the Belizean economy while simultaneously assisting corporations in the U.S. All the while, these efforts increase international relations and positive American diplomacy.

These are just a few ways that the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Belize, and as the relationship between the two countries continues to grow, more benefits will become apparent.

Belize has benefited substantially from America aid which has allowed an increase in economic status with attempts to end organized crime and illicit drug trafficking. U.S. foreign aid helped Belize improve the inner-workings of the country as well as citizen relations. Foreign aid has had a positive effect on Belize as a whole, and this is a trend that seems to be continuing as long as the U.S. is there to offer foreign aid to the country when it needs it.

– Simone Williams

Photo: Flickr

The Success of Humanitarian Aid to St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Composed of smaller islands in the southern Caribbean, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is known for its major sailing destinations and white-sand beaches. However, on Dec. 24, 2013, a heavy tropical storm plagued the islands. Heavy rains, flooding and landslides caused at least eight deaths and massive damage to the country. Declared a level 2 disaster by the government, regional assistance was requested seeing that local resources were limited. That’s when Britain stepped in.

Providing Humanitarian Aid

Britain was the first to offer humanitarian aid to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Britain provided about $370,000 in early January 2014. In addition to the funds, London provided essential drugs and medical supplies. Water and sanitation equipment were also supplied in an attempt to curb spreading of water-borne diseases. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) supplied the goods on behalf of the U.K.

Also in 2014, the European Commission’s Department of Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) granted €300,000 to bring relief to locations affected by floods. Humanitarian aid to St. Vincent and the Grenadines was granted due to the severe impact left behind by the low-level trough system. A trough refers to an extended time of relatively low atmospheric pressure that can bring clouds, wind shifts and rain.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines have a history of receiving humanitarian aid. In 2010, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) vowed to provide any and all support to the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines following the destruction of a previous storm, Hurricane Tomas. This including engaging a team from the U.N. to direct macro socio-economic disaster impact assessments in the islands.

Updating Infrastructure

Still rebuilding from years of previous hurricanes and troughs, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) offered $33 million to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and nine other islands to finance proper infrastructure projects. The AFD is a chief agency established by the French government. At least 50 percent of the funding will also go toward climate change adaptation and mitigation projects. Other areas to be funded are:

  • Renewable energy
  • Water and sanitation
  • Waste management
  • Updating infrastructure to combat climate change
  • Protection of coasts and rivers

The success of humanitarian aid to St. Vincent and the Grenadines gave the island hope. Every effort counted and the people of these islands knew they weren’t forgotten in their time of need.

– Tara Jackson

Photo: Flickr

humanitarian aid to MauritaniaMauritania is an impoverished country located on the west coast of Sub-Saharan Africa in the Sahel region. Of its 4.1 million people, 42 percent live below the poverty line. The population faces additional challenges of high youth unemployment rates and low levels of formal education. However, a huge decline in the poverty rate during the 2010s and successful projects in humanitarian aid to Mauritania place the country in a position to grow economically.

Mauritania gained independence from France in 1960 but has since seen two coups creating some political instability. The first occurred in 1978 and the second 30 years later in 2008. The second coup coincided with a time of poverty reduction, and the 2000s, in general, brought GDP growth for Mauritania. The mining industry is large in Mauritania and was a big factor in that growth due to an increased global value of minerals.

Humanitarian aid to Mauritania can help further boost the growth of the country and benefit the people. Below are four areas in which humanitarian aid has been a success.

  1. Finance – The World Bank has been involved with humanitarian aid projects in Mauritania since 1963 and is working on financial projects that benefit the people. There are currently eight projects that total over $370 million in aid to Mauritania. The projects align with the goal of creating jobs, as well as provide analytical work and technical assistance. Also, in 2012 the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) invested $12 million in commercial banks to provide a $127 million two-year credit line so that Mauritania would have a stable source of energy products.
  2. Education – The World Bank is also involved in two educational projects in Mauritania. Mauritania’s population suffers from a lack of formal education and a 44% youth unemployment rate. These World Bank projects (totaling over $30 million) educate the population and increase the relevance and efficiency of vocational training in Mauritania. The projects are also working with training institutions to modernize them and improve their programs. Seven of these institutions already have performance contracts and three will be internationally certified to best prepare the workforce.
  3. Climate – Located in the Sahel region in Africa, Mauritania has a semi-arid climate. Additionally, as a coastal country, Mauritania faces challenges from sea level rise and erosion. Up to 30 meters of coastline is lost in any given year. To combat this, Mauritania is working with other countries, regional alliances and international partners. Mauritania is developing an investment plan based on environmental analysis that will be part of a foundation for its future sustainable development. Also, Britain’s Oxfam is working to help the population affected by recurrent climate crises.
  4. Food – A large portion of humanitarian aid to Mauritania focuses on food security and nutrition. The European Commission is working to prevent malnutrition of those most vulnerable in the population. Additionally, USAID is working with Action Contre la Faim (ACF or Action Against Hunger in English) to prevent malnutrition through cooking demonstrations and nutrition education. Further, they conduct screenings to identify children most at risk of malnutrition so they can be treated. They have contributed over $200 million to ensure food availability in Mauritania.

Despite the improvements in Mauritania in the 2000s, there are still many people living in poverty and the country faces development challenges. Humanitarian aid to Mauritania has been essential to helping the people of the country and will continue to help grow the economy.

– Hayley Herzog

Photo: Flickr

Humanitarian Aid to Djibouti

Djibouti is a relatively small country in eastern Africa bordered by Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The majority of the population lives in urban areas, but this does not mean that the country is immune to problems such as poor nutrition, lack of education and poverty. The success of humanitarian aid to Djibouti has been in addressing these problems and more.

Children and Education

There has been a serious gap in education for females in Djibouti. The literacy rate in 2007 was 81.2 percent for males and only 63.8 percent for females. USAID has been working to specifically address this issue by doing work such as connecting girls with university mentors and revising textbooks using a gender-specific lens. In regard to more general education issues, USAID has also helped to develop a national teacher training plan that has trained more than 1,200 primary school teachers.

The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative has also addressed these issues within Djibouti. Their Integrated Early Childhood Development program addresses girls’ education as well as childhood health with a focus on preventing HIV/AIDS and polio. They are also working to incorporate the principles of the Convention on the Rights of a Child into common practice in Djibouti.

Health and Medicine

USAID has also addressed health in Djibouti with a focus on problems related to tuberculosis, polio and HIV/AIDS. They have worked with the government of Djibouti to enhance the National Tuberculosis Program to maintain quality assurance and the management of multi-drug resistant cases. The organization has also supported the polio surveillance program to ensure the virus does not reenter through surrounding countries and to ensure childhood vaccination. Lastly, with the help of the government and other organizations, USAID has created a 1,600 square foot community health center which provides healthcare to over 30,000 truckers and other vulnerable persons to specifically address HIV/AIDS.

UNICEF also worked to address severe acute malnutrition within Djibouti. They provided treatment to 3,811 children under five and 29,513 children between six and 59 months in 2017. UNICEF was also pivotal in providing care for refugees in Djibouti.

Refugees and Displaced Persons

The success of humanitarian aid to Djibouti cannot be discussed without mentioning refugees and displaced persons. Djibouti has been known as a transit country for refugees fleeing conflict-stricken countries. As of October 2017, there were more than 27,000 refugees in the country, which is 3 percent of the total population. Some of these refugees have been in Djibouti for over 25 years. There are three refugee camps across the country, all of which depend on humanitarian aid.

More specifically, UNICEF has worked to aid refugee and migrant children. In 2017, they provided 632 children with child protective services and 139 children were involved in risk awareness activities. They also provided 4,396 children with access to schooling. The UNHCR also works to aid refugees in Djibouti with resettlement, ensuring refugee children have access to secondary education and providing food and water to refugee camps.

The success of humanitarian aid to Djibouti is an ongoing process. Drought and a lack of fertile land put pressure on the country as it continues to accept refugees while providing for native citizens. With the help of these international organizations and others, the hope is that Djibouti will continue to be a welcoming and safe country for all who live there.

– Megan Burtis

Photo: Flickr

humanitarian aid to the MaldivesThe Maldives is an island country in the Indian Ocean, southwest of India and Sri Lanka. It consists of 1,192 coral islands, of which only 200 are inhabited and the rest are used for farming, industry or just accessible as a private resort.

Since its independence from colonial British rule in 1965, the Maldives gradually improved from least developed country status to upper-middle-income status in 2013. The success of humanitarian aid to the Maldives is notable and contributed greatly to its economic growth.

The country mostly received foreign assistance from Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates before 1980. However, in 1992, it received $11.6 million in foreign aid from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and Japan, which was intended for education, health, transport, fisheries and harbor development.

Although the Maldives is known as a great tourist destination, it is facing a unique danger of potentially disappearing into the ocean due to climate change and rising sea levels. In 2004, the country was struck by a tsunami, leading to massive destruction on its various islands.

Following the tsunami, the U.S. among many other countries provided $8.65 million and USAID contributed $1.9 million in foreign aid for the reconstruction of the damaged areas. Libya sent almost $2 million in emergency humanitarian aid to the Maldives. The U.S also contributed $100,000 after a storm in May 2007 for disaster recovery assistance.

In January 2005, UNICEF, with the help of the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office, provided educational supplies and other basic emergency supplies with a total value of $1 million to children in the Maldives who were affected by the tsunami, with an aim of returning them to school by the end of the month.

In December 2014, when a fire destroyed the generator of the largest water treatment plant in the capital city of Mali, India provided water aid to Maldives residents. Ten planeloads of drinking water and two warships with the capacity of purifying water through reverse osmosis systems were dispatched from India, helping almost 150,000 Mali residents.

The European Union contributed €4 million in humanitarian aid in 2007 and another €4 million in 2013 towards environmental sustainability and poverty reduction. This helped in the improvement of safe water, waste disposal, renewable and efficient energy development and coral reef protection.

Australia contributed almost A$1.3 million through the United Nations Development Program for Integrated Government from 2012 to 2018. This includes strengthening civil society organizations and the transparency of the justice department, as well as improving respect for human rights in the country.

The success of humanitarian aid to the Maldives is evident from the birth of the country up to recent times. It has aided in the development of the country’s infrastructure, increased its economic activity and helped with restoration after natural disasters. These examples demonstrate the short-term and long-term effects that humanitarian aid can have on developing countries.

– Mahua Mitra

Photo: Flickr

Humanitarian Aid to Kiribati

Although Kiribati’s land mass covers 811 square kilometers, its 33 coral atolls are spread over an area the size of the United States and the vast majority rise no higher than three meters above sea level. Kiribati’s small land mass and high fertility rate mean its main centers are severely overcrowded.

Unemployment rates remain high in the island nation and only 15 percent of children attend secondary school. Only two-thirds of the population has access to an improved drinking water source, and less than 40 percent have access to adequate sanitation facilities. Tuberculosis, dengue fever, leprosy and typhoid are major health concerns for Kiribati.

The United Nations lists Kiribati as an “endangered country” because of the dangers it faces from rising sea levels, contaminated fresh water supplies and poor waste management. There is a need for humanitarian aid to Kiribati because of significant development challenges, such as:

  • Limited revenue
  • High cost of delivering basic services, such as education and healthcare, to remote islands
  • Few employment opportunities
  • Climate change

Kiribati’s economy relies on overseas aid, income from fishing licenses and remittances from merchant seamen. Most of Kiribati’s inhabitants are employed in fishing and subsistence farming, but poor soil fertility limits production. Fortunately, new programs are focusing on humanitarian aid to Kiribati.

Caritas Australia implemented The Disaster Response and Preparedness program, funded by AusAID,  in four Pacific Island countries. The three-year initiative expands Kiribati’s capacity to prepare for and respond to disasters. Caritas Australia partnered with the Diocese of Tarawa and Nauru to train local young people to work with communities and raise awareness about the impacts of climate change.

Saltwater contaminates drinking wells and high tides destroy land crops, threatening the food security of communities dependent on subsistence agriculture in Kiribati. The Disaster Response and Preparedness program pairs young people with elders to identify strategies to mitigate these effects.

This initiative has given young people the opportunity to become strong advocates for their small island at international climate change forums around the world. Humanitarian aid to Kiribati has been handed off to the next generation.

– Paula Gibson

Photo: Flickr

humanitarian aid to Suriname
Suriname, officially the Republic of Suriname, is a small country on the northeastern coast of South America. Originally a Dutch colony, Suriname gained independence in 1975. Though Suriname is not a widely prosperous country, its economy has recently endured a variety of difficulties.


The Netherlands

In 2016, Suriname’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was more than $3.6 billion, the unemployment rate was slightly less than 10 percent and the poverty rate was 47 percent.

Despite gaining its independence, the Kingdom of the Netherlands was Suriname’s heaviest financial donor, sending years worth of humanitarian aid to Suriname. In 2012, the Netherlands suspended all aid to Suriname — approximately 26 million — two years after the election of President Desi Bouterse.


The European Commission

The European Commision has also approved emergency funding for Suriname over the years, especially in the case of natural disasters. Suriname is prone to severe flooding, which can wipe out homes and businesses, and increase unemployment and poverty. Usually, this aid is geared toward the population’s health, hygiene and sanitation, food and water.


People’s Republic of China

However, shortly after the Kingdom of the Netherlands completely pulled their funding to Suriname, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) increased its humanitarian aid to the country.

Since the immigration boom to Suriname in the 1990s, China has slowly been giving humanitarian relief to the South American country; in 2011, the Chinese government gifted Suriname with a new Foreign Ministry headquarters.

Also in 2012, China gave Suriname a grant of over 4 million to further the cooperation between both countries; however, it is unclear where this money is going. Since 2009, the Chinese embassy stated that development projects in Surinam — such as help with low-income housing, transportation, seaports and network television — are underway, despite any major initiatives.


Investment and Infrastructure

Within the last 10 years, China has set up various companies, businesses, shops, casinos and restaurants throughout Suriname. While this has vastly helped decrease unemployment, the poverty rate is still high, with nearly half the country living below the poverty line. In exchange for the land, China continues to give Suriname grants, buildings and advancements for the military.


Health-Related Aid

But not all of China’s aid is geared toward infrastructure and employment. In 2016, China provided Suriname with $1 million in humanitarian aid specifically geared toward Zika-related assistance. This included medical supplies and funding for medication and hospitalization for those affected. Zika virus is an infection most commonly found in Central and South America and can be fatal.

Suriname still has a long way to go before it is a completely stable country. The poverty rate still needs to lower significantly and the GDP must increase to be considered a prosperous economy.

Despite these much needed improvements, Suriname has already started distributing humanitarian aid itself. In September 2017, Suriname sent humanitarian aid to Cuba to help with relief efforts after hurricane Irma.

Though the success of humanitarian aid to Suriname is slow, the funds thus far have laid a solid groundwork. The Surinamese now have the tools they need to become a prosperous and independent country.

– Courtney Wallace

Photo: Flickr