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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

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

The Success of Humanitarian Aid to St. Vincent and the GrenadinesComposed 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 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 KiribatiAlthough 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

humanitarian aid to Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor and officially known as The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, is a sovereign state made up of a small cluster of islands in maritime Southeast Asia. After gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, Timor-Leste struggled through a quarter of a century under occupation, mass conflict and United Nations transition before finally being granted full independence in 2002.

As a result of the struggle Timor-Leste faced while gaining independence, the country was left with little infrastructure, an unstable economy and widespread poverty. Due to the country’s high instability, Timor-Leste is one of the most malnourished countries in the world. This results in a lack of food security, lack of hygiene and sanitation and an increase in poverty.

Despite receiving an abundance of humanitarian and transition relief since gaining its independence in 2002, Timor-Leste is still considered one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. However, in the past five years, there has been a resurgence in the success of humanitarian aid to Timor-Leste. The main donor to Timor-Leste is the nation of Australia.

In 2014, the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) began sending regular humanitarian aid to Timor-Leste. HART is a small aid organization originally founded by the United Kingdom but has since branched out into Australia and the United States. The aid organization focuses on working with communities in conflict zones, post-war zones or areas were people are exploited for cultural or political reasons.

On World Food Day 2014, HART released a detailed briefing on malnutrition and its consequences in Timor-Leste, such as high infant and child mortality rates. Shortly after releasing this briefing, HART worked with its partner, HAIM Health, to create programs and teaching centers to better educate the Timorese on proper nutrition. Programs focus on understanding nutrition, a balanced diet, preparing and cooking food and healthy sanitation practices. HAIM Health also follows up with the families enrolled in its education programs and has an 80 percent success rate of children gaining or sustaining weight.

Humanitarian aid to Timor-Leste does not stop with HART and HAIM Health. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Australian government signed the East Timor Strategic Planning Agreement for Development in 2011, which establishes a shared vision of economic stability and growth between Australia and Timor-Leste. Since the signing of this agreement, Timor-Leste has seen many improvements in its development and further success toward a stable economy. In 2017-18 alone, Australia is expected to give approximately $96 million in humanitarian aid to Timor-Leste.

Thanks to Australia’s humanitarian aid to Timor-Leste, the Timorese have already seen positive results, including more than 40,000 people being provided the education and skill set needed to join the growing workforce. Also, over 21 thousand people now have access to clean water and hygiene programs and over 90 percent of primary schools now have a new and innovative curriculum, geared toward giving the students the skills they need to succeed.

Despite these improvements from humanitarian aid to Timor-Leste, the country still has a lot of room for improvement. The poverty rate in 2014 was 41.8 percent, which is still very high. With this groundwork laid, the Timorese will be able to build a brighter and more stable future.

– Courtney Wallace

Photo: Flickr