World Bank announced they will give $450 million in grants for Yemen to rebuild from the destruction of the ongoing civil war.

The first grant is $250 million to expand the Emergency Crisis Response Project, which began in August 2016. This project, a partnership between World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), helps provide short-term employment opportunities for Yemenis and help provide social services through the Social Fund for Development and Public Works Projects, which have existed in Yemen for over 20 years. This grant is predicted to help about two million Yemenis.

The second grant is $200 million for the Emergency Health and Nutrition Project, which will help about seven million Yemenis by ensuring they have access to health care and nutritional services.

The Yemeni civil war began in spring 2015. It is a fight between current President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s loyalists and Houthi rebels. In winter 2015, the Houthis took over the capital and forced the president to flee. Saudi Arabia and Sunni countries rose to Hadi’s defense when he was forced to flee Yemen. This crisis grew into a civil war. According to the World Health Organization, the civil war has left less than half of the nation’s hospitals fully functional. According to the U.N., at least 7,500 Yemenis have been killed in the civil war and at least 40,000 Yemenis have been injured. In addition, almost 20 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian assistance.

The civil war wracked an already fragile nation. Even in 2012, before the civil war, over 40% of Yemen’s population was malnourished.

In addition to partnering with the World Bank, the UNDP has many other projects to help Yemen through working with the government and private sectors to help Yemen’s humanitarian needs.

These grants for Yemen will make an important impact on a country in deep need for generations to come.

Jennifer Taggart

Photo: Flickr

The Youngest U.S. President: Five Nominants
Next month, when President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in at age 70, he will officially become the oldest U.S. President to take the oath of office. Article two, section one, clause five of the U.S. Constitution states, “…neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of 35 years.”

Since 1789, there have been nine U.S. Presidents inaugurated before their 50th birthday, though none as young as 35. Meet the five youngest U.S. Presidents.

Teddy Roosevelt – 42 years, 322 days (1901-1909)

Roosevelt was sworn in just over one month before his 43rd birthday after the assassination of the 25th U.S. President, William McKinley. After the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt became known for ending a period of isolation and placing the U.S. on the world stage.

Trivia: The Roosevelt Room at the White House was created in 1934 in honor of the youngest U.S. President in the exact location of his original 1902 office.

John F. Kennedy – 43 years, 236 days (1961-1963)

Although only serving two years before his assassination in 1963, Kennedy was the youngest U.S. President ever to be elected to the oval office. In 1961, under Kennedy’s administration, Congress established the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency as a separate entity under the U.S. Department of State’s umbrella.

Trivia: Kennedy attended Harvard University. His application to attend was only five sentences long.

Bill Clinton – 46 years, 149 days (1993-2001)

Clinton was inaugurated in January 1993 on the heels of George H.W. Bush’s peaceful resolution to the conflict between the U.S. and Russia. This made Clinton the first president in nearly a century with little urgency to define U.S. foreign policy with the Soviet Union.

Trivia: Clinton has authored numerous books including his 2007 work about the power of volunteering entitled Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World.

Ulysses S. Grant – 46 years, 311 days (1869-1877)

Taking the oath just shy of his 47th birthday, Grant is the fourth-youngest U.S. President. As the General accredited for leading the Union to victory during the Civil War, Grant is known more for domestic relations than foreign policy. However, he fought in an international conflict under General Zachary Taylor’s command during the Mexican-American War.

Trivia: Both Grant’s mother and father witnessed his inauguration — a first for any U.S. President.

Barack Obama – 47 years, 169 days (2009-2017)

The U.S. President preceding the oldest President-elect also happens to be one of the five youngest U.S. Presidents. Immediately upon taking office, Obama set out to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq. He successfully reduced the total number of troops from 160,000 in 2009 to 150 in 2012. Then, in 2014, he restored diplomatic relations with Cuba. This milestone marked a new beginning toward alleviating economic animosity between the U.S. and its island neighbor.

Trivia: During law school, Obama became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Perhaps this achievement helped set his sights on becoming the first African-American U.S. President.

Ashley Henyan

Photo: Flickr

The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is a Korean organization that promotes global development. In 2015, they launched an initiative known as Creative Technology Solutions (CTS). CTS awards grants to a select number of research projects that could potentially provide innovative breakthroughs in global development.

A rigorous application process is required to select recipients of the grant. First, written proposals are accepted. Among the initial candidates, few are chosen to give presentations on their proposals. Those who pass the presentation stage are then given interviews and tested on their problem-solving ability. Candidates who make it through all stages are promised a grant to fund their research.

In 2015, 10 teams were selected from the 99 that applied. One research project involved designing a portable autorefractor, which provides detailed imaging of the eye, allowing a quick diagnosis of vision problems. According to KOICA, 80 percent of cases of blindness could have been prevented with a routine checkup, so providing a method of quick and efficient diagnosis should be beneficial to combating visual impairment, especially in underdeveloped nations.

Another team has developed a solar energy system that can be cost-effectively installed in houses that do not otherwise have access to energy. This solar home system is being tested in Cambodia. With the help of this device, Cambodia hopes to increase the percentage of rural households with access to electricity from 57 percent to at least 70 percent.

In addition to creating effective technological solutions, KOICA CTS also aims for a widespread outreach. They are planning to be active in various countries throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Latin America. Second round searches for grant recipients have already launched on July 18 of this year.

The practice of awarding grants in this fashion is reminiscent of the Grand Challenges initiative, which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation began in an effort to fund research going towards global development.

In fact, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation considered the launch of the second round of KOICA CTS as the beginning of Grand Challenges South Korea. This means that CTS will be working more closely with other groups involved in Grand Challenges. The likelihood of strengthening these efforts through the addition of CTS, and increasing research is starting to look very hopeful.

Edmond Kim

Photo: Flickr

Ghana NGO Seeks to End Poverty through Education
The Campaign For Female Education (CAMFED), a non-governmental organization in Ghana that seeks to remedy the challenges that girls face in completing their education, is benefiting from a large grant from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development. The project is called “Accountable Grants” and allocates several million dollars to young females in the country’s poorest districts.

The support would cover food rations for girls living in hostels, schooling expenses and fees, and textbooks. The Education Program Manager for CAMFED, Cyril Yabepone, has said that poverty remains a significant factor in the retention of young girls. This is especially true in the country’s northern region.

The £9.5million grant (an equivalent of almost 14.5 million USD) allows for CAMFED to expand to a total of thirty districts across the country and provide support for 20,000 girls who previously risked losing their education due to their family’s inability to pay. It would also provide training for the teachers of the affected girls, and provide them (the grant beneficiaries) with mentoring to ensure their success.

The country’s leaders, in order to ensure the success of the program as a whole, are calling on parents, teachers, administrators, and tribal leaders to support it. As one government official summarizes, “education is the panacea for development.”

– Samantha Mauney

Source: Ghana Business News
Photo: The Peace Blog