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How the U.S. Benefits From Foreign Aid to Iraq
Iraq is located in a volatile region, with war-torn Syria to its west, daily military incursions by Turkish warplanes from the north and covert funding of proxy militias from eastern neighbor Iran. It has undergone dramatic changes in its modern history, most notably the removal of dictator Saddam Hussein by U.S.-led forces in 2003 and the recent crackdown against the Islamic State. The prolonged state of civil war has devastated Iraqi infrastructure.

In a recent conference held in Kuwait, international donors pledged $30 billion, which falls short of the $88 billion required by the Iraqi government. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stressed that “the war on terrorism can be affected by instability in the Gulf.” The current Iraqi regime walks a fine line of stability, brokering a power-sharing deal among its population. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Iraq are momentous, but wholly dependent on a stable and united Iraq.

Stability of the U.S. Dollar

Although the U.S. imports most of its oil from Canada and Latin America, its economic interest is still affected by activities in the Middle East. The U.S. dollar is not backed by gold, meaning that it lacks intrinsic value. However, if European or Asian nations purchase oil from Middle Eastern nations, the only acceptable currency is the U.S. dollar. The constant demand for the U.S. dollar ensures its status as the global reserve currency. Thus, its value largely comes from oil.

Likewise, the U.S. dollar is viewed by oil-rich nations like Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as being reliable and accepted everywhere. The current Iraqi government, which accepts U.S. dollars, has safeguarded the continuance of petrodollars; this is one of the many U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Iraq.

The Security of NATO

A stable Iraq is one of many U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Iraq. The prospect of Iraq breaking up into ethno-religious microstates has kept Turkey, a NATO ally, on edge. Turkish forces have been battling armed Kurdish groups for decades, such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the EU. Washington, Ankara and Baghdad have reached an agreement to establish safe zones along their borders. This is to ensure the protection and accommodation of civilians who have been displaced by armed conflicts.

Profitable Contracts for American Oil Companies

Opening up Iraqi oil to the international market requires international investors building the necessary plants and infrastructure to drill and extract oil. The Iraqi government granted licenses to American-owned multinational oil companies to explore and extract Iraqi oil, including BP, ExxonMobil and Shell. These three companies employ a combined total of 200,000 Americans.

A Reliable Ally Representing Both the Sunni and Shia Sects

Iraq is unique when it comes to its demographics, as it is populated by Shia Arabs, Sunni Arabs and Kurds. The Iraqi forces have proven to be an effective fighting force against the Islamic State. Backed by U.S. air cover, its ground forces have recaptured major cities from the militants. This denied the militants any safe haven to roam freely and plot attacks against the U.S. and its allies next door, such as Jordan, Turkey, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

The exercise of soft powers, such as when the Trump administration removed Iraq from the controversial travel ban, has improved the image of the U.S. among Iraq’s population. Friendly relations between Washington and Iraq’s diverse population encouraged moderate voices in the region to voice their pro-U.S. stance as a result of foreign aid to Iraq from the United States. Continued support will ensure that the U.S benefits from foreign aid to Iraq by maintaining an important ally in a key region of the world.

– Awad Bin-Jawed

Photo: Flickr

How the U.S. Benefits from Foreign Aid to GhanaAccording to Tamela Noboa of the Baltimore Sun, foreign aid makes up less than 1 percent of the U.S. budget. As with many countries around the world, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Ghana, and these benefits could be multiplied if the U.S. contributes more to its foreign aid budget.

The U.S. always had an unofficial relationship with Ghana in supporting refinements of its power sector, strengthening healthcare and expanding access to education. Ghana possesses a level of dependency upon assistance given to it by the U.S., a dependence by which a cut in foreign aid could further hinder the country’s development. Since foreign assistance makes up such a minimal amount of the U.S. budget, increasing the amount of foreign aid would advance both countries.

The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Ghana in these ways:

  1. Epidemics such as Ebola can be minimized and contained away from U.S. borders. According to David Ofori-Adjedi and Kwadwo Koram in an article for the Ghana Medical Journal, the possibility of the Ebola virus appearing in Ghana was high, due to the continuous presence of the virus in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in 2014. The likelihood of Ebola spreading in Ghana stems from its ability to manage an outbreak if it arises. As Bill Gates pointed out in an op-ed for Time, using foreign aid to ensure that countries such as Ghana are prepared to address an outbreak can keep it from spreading globally.
  2. The U.S. Embassy in Ghana believes that foreign aid contributes to strengthening cultural relationships for stable networking. For instance, foreign aid reinforces markets for U.S. products, opening up possibilities for future partnerships.
  3. Continuing foreign aid distribution to countries like Ghana contributes to sustainable change that aims to improve countries on a systemic level, allowing the country to further develop and eventually lessen its need for foreign aid.
  4. Investing in foreign countries creates the opportunity for nations like Ghana to invest back in the U.S., creating jobs across the country.

According to the U.S. Department of State, Ghana is currently facing a $1.5 billion shortfall in its funding for infrastructure projects. Continued support of these needs through foreign aid can ensure that the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Ghana by helping the country reach its potential and become a bigger participant in the global economy.

– Christopher Shipman

Photo: Flickr

humanitarian aid to Cabo Verde

Around 500 kilometers off the west coast of Africa lies the former Portuguese colony of Cabo Verde, a volcanic archipelago republic made up of ten islands and five islets in the central Atlantic Ocean. The country not only lacks in natural resources but also possesses a tiny portion of arable land and is prone to drought.

Despite these prevalent difficulties, Cabo Verde won an international reputation for maintaining economic and political stability, due largely in part to the humanitarian aid sent to the country.

 

Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde is a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy with a high trade deficit, most of which is offset by foreign aid and economic remittances sent by emigrants back to the country. The U.S. State Department praises the country as a “model of democratic governance,” noting the country’s high literacy rates and high per capita income among “the best development indicators of any country in the region.”

Cabo Verde received the notable distinction of becoming the first African state to complete its first Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact in late 2010. The MCC is an independent foreign aid agency established by Congress that works with partner countries around the world to alleviate global poverty.

 

Compact Stipulations

Following this successful $110 million MCC initiative that strengthened the country’s infrastructure and boosted agricultural production, the Cabo Verde government signed a five-year compact in 2012 to institute further water, sanitation and land management reforms. This second compact builds upon the first to establish transparency and accountability to achieve actionable results.

Last year, the government celebrated the end of its second compact and became the first one in the world to benefit from such a remarkable success of humanitarian aid to Cabo Verde.

“We are proud of the partnership between MCC and Cabo Verde that has built a solid foundation aimed at reducing poverty and improving the lives of individuals, families, and communities across the country,” MCC Vice President Robert Blau said at a closeout ceremony held on November 30, 2017. “We are also heartened by the Government of Cabo Verde’s commitment to continuing these programs and reforms in order to guarantee sustainability of the investments.”

Essentiality of Humanitarian Aid

The success of humanitarian aid to Cabo Verde is possible thanks to the united efforts of numerous countries and international aid organizations across the globe. The Cabo Verde government has also managed and administered the aid funds responsibly, entrusting state-owned companies and religious institutions with the implementation of developmental projects.

 

The United Nations

The United Nations (U.N.) has actively worked within the country through many conventions and projects. For instance, in early December, the U.N. held a seminar on social security, economic growth and development in the country. A month earlier, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) worked with the National Directorate of Health and National Sexual Health Program to develop a national strategic plan for improving sexual and reproductive health in the country.

Specialized programs and agencies of the United Nations, such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), have also advised the government on the best ways to make efficient use of humanitarian aid to Cabo Verde.

 

The Success Story

The African Development Bank has highlighted the success story of humanitarian aid to Cabo Verde in a detailed research project report, affirming that the very small island economy has “managed to defy the odds and transform itself from an extremely poor country into one of the better performing economies in Africa in just over two decades,” and thus managed to overcome “severe geographic, economic, and social challenges to become an African success story.”

– Mohammed Khalid

Photo: Flickr

U.S. Benefits From Foreign Aid to Vietnam

Vietnam stirs up mixed emotions in many Americans because of one of the U.S.’ most controversial conflicts. To many it will always be a war that touched their lives in a negative way – a lesson to be learned or a friend never to be forgotten. But as a government does not have the luxury of emotions and must secure the future for its citizens, the U.S. provides aid to Vietnam. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Vietnam in three ways:

  1. Through the process of healing and spreading goodwill
  2. Through a new stable trading partner
  3. As a possible military ally

Since 1989, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. government has been sending humanitarian aid to Vietnam in the hope of developing an important strategic partner in an increasingly contentious part of the world. 

 

Rebuilding a Complicated Relationship

In 1989, the U.S. and Vietnam began the process of healing. A conflict nearly two decades long cost the lives of millions of Vietnamese and thousands of Americans. As a gesture of goodwill, USAID began to send foreign aid to Vietnam through the Patrick Leahy War Victims Fund and the Displaced Orphans and Children’s Fund. The Communist government of Vietnam spent more than a decade healing the wounds of the divided country, and aid from the U.S. helped this process. 

Over the next two decades, how the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Vietnam can be seen. The U.S. and Vietnam began to normalize political relations. With this came increased aid and funding for USAID projects in Vietnam. USAID continues to support cleanup efforts from the U.S. military’s use of Agent Orange, while also allocating funding to health, municipal and education projects.

USAID’s five-year plan (2014-2019) in Vietnam consists of a budget of $344 million and three objectives:

  1. $86 million for sustainable economic growth
  2. $239 million for health, education and climate change
  3. $19 million for addressing the legacy of the war, including funding to help decontaminate areas where Agent Orange was used and combat its effects on people and the environment

The Mutual Benefits of Trade

The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Vietnam were seen through the mutual interests of trade. Within 16 years of the start of new U.S-Vietnam relations, an economic and technological cooperation deal was signed by both nations. President George W. Bush signed the deal in 2005. In 2013, President Barack Obama signed another cooperation deal, further strengthening economic and technological ties. Obama’s deal also included environmental, educational and medical cooperation.

In May of 2017, Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced that he would sign another trade deal with the U.S. This deal is reportedly worth up to $17 billion and will mainly focus on electronic technology. General Electric agreed to a $6 billion deal with the Vietnamese government. Vietnam increasing its imports from the U.S. is a good sign of cooperation and is another way the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Vietnam.

Currently, the U.S and Vietnam have a trade deficit of more than $30 billion, which is the sixth largest deficit among U.S trade partners. The Trump administration campaigned on the promise of reducing trade deficits. Since his election, both the U.S. and Vietnamese governments have agreed to work on terms and deals that would reduce the deficit. The large deficit is caused by cheap apparel imported from Vietnam to the U.S. Over an eight-year period (2008-2016), the U.S. investment in Vietnam grew to almost $10 billion.

 

The Development of a Military Ally

In May 2016, President Obama lifted the ban on the sale of weapons to Vietnam. This was an important step economically and to increase military cooperation. Vietnam has shown interest in buying U.S multi-role fighter jets, specifically the F-16 A/B. The country has also shown interest in maritime reconnaissance aircraft and unmanned drones.

Under the Obama administration in 2014, the first joint training exercise was held between the U.S and Vietnamese militaries. The exercises focused on a joint military response to a humanitarian crisis caused by natural disasters. Afterward, both navies would begin to work more closely together, focusing on maritime defense and security. The development of a potential military ally is another way the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Vietnam.

Also in 2014 was the introduction of monetary aid from the U.S. to Vietnam for its security and defense. More than $45 million was given through the State Department’s Foreign Military Financing and Law Enforcement building programs. Another $425 million was agreed to be paid over a period of five years through the Department of Defense’s Cooperative Threat Reduction Program and Maritime Security Initiative. The U.S. is also helping Vietnam build a peacekeeping training center in Hanoi to help Vietnam increase its ability to take part in peacekeeping missions for the U.N.

The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Vietnam are manifold, and the bilateral relationship is on track to become a shining example of the transition from donor-recipient to a strong partnership. While millions of people spanning generations will have only painful associations with U.S.-Vietnam relations, the past two decades offer hope to new generations for a peaceful and prosperous future.

– Nick DeMarco

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

U.S. benefits from foreign aid to LibyaDespite showing movement towards democratic values in 2011, when an armed uprising stripped longtime dictator Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi of his hold on the country, Libya’s civil and political rights regressed back to a state of chaos. The country is currently plagued by feuding regimes, organized criminals and factions of the Islamic State all fighting over power in the country. This makes it more important than ever that the United States delivers humanitarian aid to the struggling nation. However, such aid stands to improve conditions not only in Libya; the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Libya as well.

Current Efforts

Currently, the United States is set to deliver $31 million in foreign aid to Libya in 2018. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) estimates that half of this will be spent protecting the country’s weakened representative governing bodies and shifting the country’s values towards those of democratic governance and humanitarianism. The United States hopes to spread these values by working with smaller grassroots movements and entrepreneurs in order to establish a stronger civil society that will hold government officials accountable. The vast majority of the remaining half of the $31 million is aimed at stopping the spread of terrorist cells that pose a threat to Libyan citizens and the United States of America.

Protection from Terrorism

One of the primary reasons the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Libya is national security. By fighting the spread of extremist groups and working to create a robust and peaceful civil society, the United States does more than spread humanitarian values; it also protects itself from future terrorist threats. In stopping the spread of terrorist groups such as the Islamic State in North Africa, the United States is halting the further spread of extremism and, with the development of a strong civil society, making it harder for terrorist groups to establish themselves in the region. Weak and vulnerable communities that are already lacking in civil and political rights tend to serve as prime targets for terrorist groups to infiltrate.

By strengthening these communities with foreign aid, the United States removes opportunities for the further expansion of terrorism and reduces the likelihood of violent insurgencies. In the long run, foreign aid to Libya is an investment in the continued security of the United States, and one of the proven strategies for solving the problem of extremism.

Economic Development

The remaining money that is not spent on fighting extremism and promoting humanitarian values in Libya is dedicated to the further economic development of Libya’s private sector. This is important to establish regional security, as a stronger economy helps build communities and promote a representative and accountable method of governance. Furthering the economic development of Libya also serves to benefit the economy of the United States. A Libyan populace with more spending capital, along with a stronger national GDP and a functioning government, promotes global economic development and provides a new market for exports from the United States, strengthening the U.S. economy and spurring the creation of new jobs.

Helping Others Does Not Hurt the U.S.

Americans often worry that spending money promoting the economic and political development of other countries somehow hurts the U.S. economy and the nation’s own citizens. This thinking is deeply flawed. Research shows the opposite to be true. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Libya, as the United States is not only helping Libyans lift themselves out of poverty and political turmoil, but such aid also improves America’s own national security and economic development.  Clearly, continued investment in Libya vital is to future United States efforts at home and around the globe.

– Shane Summers

Photo: Flickr

U.S. benefits from foreign aid to ChinaWhen U.S. citizens are asked to name the percentage of the federal budget they believe is spent on foreign aid and relief, the consensus sits at 31 percent. Only three percent of Americans correctly estimated the federal spending at less than one percent of the total federal budget. Even though its a fraction of the overall budget, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to China.

The Beginning of U.S. Foreign Aid

Secretary of State George Marshall started the first U.S. foreign aid program shortly after World War II. After the war, many countries and cities in Europe were left devastated and needed assistance in rebuilding their infrastructures, charging their economies and stabilizing the affected nations.

Congress realized the stark importance of building an international community of nations where citizens’ security, liberties and right to economic prosperity are sustained by working together. President John F. Kennedy signed the Foreign Assistance Act into law in 1961, embodying the traditional American ideology of humanitarianism. The aim of foreign aid is to reduce:

  • Hunger
  • Poverty
  • Illness
  • Ignorance

Foreign aid fosters relationships with developing countries. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to China, having sent millions over the last several decades. The receiving nation of foreign aid benefits from the resources to advance the quality of life for its people. The U.S. benefits by sharing Western ideology, increasing security and promoting economic interests.

Serving Economic Interests

Investing in another nation’s economy leads to the economic expansion of free markets and encourages global trade. Positively impacting foreign economies provides huge benefits for the American economy as the world moves quickly toward one global economy. Due to U.S. foreign aid to China, China has risen to the second largest economy in the world. This makes China a key contributor to growing and rebalancing the global economy after the financial crisis of 2008. China’s economic interests closely align with the West as it strives to grow its GDP and bring economic opportunity to its people.

In 2017, the U.S. spent $20.2 million on foreign aid to China. The third largest spending category for that foreign aid is in economic development at $2.98 million. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to China are seen through improvements to private sector competition, contribution to free Chinese markets and the global trade economy. U.S. economic interests, markets and trade benefit from these investments in the Chinese markets.

As millions of Chinese citizens move out of poverty and into a growing middle class, companies see emerging markets in the untapped potential consumers of American goods. Boeing is an American aerospace company that has quickly become the largest in design and manufacturing for international commercial jetliners. In recent years, China’s Aviation Supplies Holding Co. has ordered 300 commercial aircrafts to be manufactured and delivered through 2020.

Boosting Security

The economic expansion of free global markets not only improves the American economy, due to the interconnectedness of global markets, but it also works to ensure the growth of stable democracies. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to China through the fostering of long-term relationships with developing nations. In the process, the U.S. creates loyal allies who directly benefit from the interests and social ideologies on individual liberties that lead to the formation of stable democracies.

The presence of stable democracies around the globe prevent dangerous vacuums that can be filled by extremists who do not share American interests and ideologies of individual freedom. In 2010, fifty U.S. generals met with Congress to express the need for increased spending in foreign aid to protect the lives of American troops.

In 2017, China spent more than $700,000 on preventing the development, spread and use of weapons of mass destruction. The relationship between the U.S. and China is necessary for effectively combatting global terrorism. In addition, China consistently sides with the U.S. on foreign issues related to North Korea and Iran. Continually, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to China through U.S. soldiers overseas by working to reduce the threat of harm and to stabilize regions.

Increased growth, development and productivity shows how the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to China, as does the rest of the world. Financial aid works to strengthen international relations while reducing global threats of violence by preventing power vacuums where radical ideologies can take hold. Furthermore, financial aid to China facilitates the spread of American and Western ideologies and empowers the global economy by the growth and spread of free markets.

– Kelilani Johnson

Photo: Flickr

How the US Benefits From Foreign Aid to El SalvadorEl Salvador made the transition to democracy in 1992 following the end of the civil war. Despite making leaps in social and economic development and achieving free and fair elections, gang-related crime and violence and a lagging economy have significantly impeded El Salvador’s progress. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to El Salvador through the economy and security.

Immigration

In 2014, the U.S. pledged to invest $277 million in the economy of El Salvador as part of a program called the Millennium Challenge Corporation. This funding was accompanied by a contribution of $88.2 million from El Salvador’s government. The economic investments aimed to develop coastal areas, fight poverty and stem the flow of illegal immigration to the U.S.

The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to El Salvador because increasing economic opportunity for Salvadorians encourages them to stay in the country rather than migrate to the U.S. illegally. Thousands of young Salvadorians attempt to migrate to the U.S. illegally every year due to the rising insecurity and lack of economic opportunity. Economic aid programs like the Millennium Challenge Corporation attempt to stimulate El Salvador’s economy and provides the incentive for young Salvadorians to stay.

Economic Growth

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) also provides assistance to El Salvador through the Expand Broad-Based Economic Growth program. The program provides resources to improve local economic development, adopt sustainable agriculture practices and encourage higher education and job training programs.

Economic growth in El Salvador would also open up new markets for the U.S. economy. Thus, the economy of the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to El Salvador when it is progressing and growing.

Gangs

Gangs are also a major problem for the country. El Salvador had the highest homicide rate in the world in 2015.

These gangs were shaped by the decade-long civil war that began in 1980. Leftist groups battling the government materialized as gangs when hundreds of thousands of young Salvadorians fled to Los Angeles, California. They formed gangs to protect themselves from other marginalized minority groups in the city. Many members were deported from the U.S. years later and brought the gangs with them back to their home country.

In order to combat gang-related crime and violence, USAID provides aid and support to the government of El Salvador through the Improved Citizen Security and Rule of Law program. The program provides technical assistance to professionalize and strengthen the Salvadorian civil service and to enhance the public’s confidence in the Salvadorian government.

The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to El Salvador in terms of the economy and security, by providing assistance to strengthen the Salvadorian government and to aid economic development. By stemming the flow of illegal immigrants, the U.S. relieves some of the increasing political pressure domestically to strengthen its borders and curb immigration. By aiding El Salvador’s economic development, the U.S. opens up new potential markets which would, in turn, strengthen the U.S. economy.

– Sydney Lacey

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.

 

Tourism

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.

 

Exports

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