humanitarian aid to Turkmenistan

The authoritarian rule in Turkmenistan, led by Gurbanguly Berdimuhamediv, has led to a more isolated state for the citizens of Turkmenistan. There is oppression on freedom of speech, the press, association and religion. This level of totalitarian rule is comparable to North Korea, Sudan and Syria. It has left the country largely closed to foreigners and has restricted travel outside the state.

This isolation in a time of need creates a problem for the Turkmens. When inflation occurs, as it did in 2015, food scarcity causes the population of Turkmenistan to suffer from increased malnutrition and infant mortality. Turkmenistan’s infant mortality rate was reported in 2015 as being at 44 per every 1,000 births.

Mortality rates and health concerns are intended to be monitored, but the World Health Organization is denied full access to data in Turkmenistan, causing limited accurate data and an inability to study the situation in order to find solutions. Issues such as these present a problem in delivering humanitarian aid to Turkmenistan. However, recent laws passed by the Turkmenistan government show some advancements in charitable acts and humanitarian rights.

In 2017 the Parliament (Mejlis) of Turkmenistan adopted the Law on Charitable Activity in order to support activities by financing charitable projects and programs developed by philanthropists. This law made it easier for public associations to register and report the use of foreign aid. This law still limits and restricts civic freedoms in the forms of speech, association and press, but allows for the beginnings of humanitarian aid to Turkmenistan.

While foreign aid to Turkmenistan may be limited, USAID has been working in Turkmenistan since 1992. Through a partnership with Chevron, USAID provides technical assistance to the agriculture sector in the development of livestock and horticulture, teaches practical skills to young people in the oil, gas and tourism fields for use in economic and entrepreneurship development and builds outreach centers for at-risk youth.

The restrictions in Turkmenistan supply an interesting case for humanitarian aid to reach within its borders. However, through persistence and governmental laws shifting to reform the current isolation state aid can benefit those suffering from food shortage, drug trafficking and disease.

– Bronti DeRoche

Photo: Flickr

As the smallest country in the world, Nauru is home to about 1,600 refugees. Close to 200 refugees will emigrate to the United States during the month of January 2018. The country relies on international aid to support various programs. The local population has been positively impacted by humanitarian aid to Nauru from various international donors.

Australian Humanitarian Aid to Nauru

From 2016 to 2017, the total estimated outcome provided by the Australian Official Development Assistance (ODA) was $22.4 million. For 2017 to 2018, the total estimate increased to $25.4 million.

As Nauru’s largest donor, Australia aims to promote security and prosperity in the Pacific area. It has an ongoing objective of developing Nauru as a fiscally responsible and stable government, including necessary infrastructure services. It also aims to assist with human development.

Results of Australia’s aid program include establishing the Intergenerational Trust of the people of Nauru and introducing the taxation system successfully. It contributed to maintaining primary school enrollment at 100 percent since 2013-2014.

Furthermore, the aid program worked to broaden roles for women in leadership while addressing domestic violence and reaching 100 percent coverage rate of vaccines for newborns against tuberculosis and hepatitis B.

Aid From New Zealand

From 2016 to 2017 New Zealand gave $1.7 million in humanitarian aid to Nauru. New Zealand aid projects focus on investing in skill development and education. Its goal is to create an able workforce and strengthen the justice system in Nauru.

Recent achievements include building a Legal Aid Office that has refined the efficiency of the courts, legal representation and increased residents’ knowledge about their equal rights. A skill course was also created for court clerks to improve the quality of paralegal representation.

In addition, correctional officers received conduct, discipline and human rights training. As a result, there were managerial improvements in many prisons.

The aid provided by New Zealand for education improved enrolment rates for secondary schools to 79.8 percent. In addition, the number of teachers obtaining a certificate, diploma or degree is up by 40 percent since 2005.

Thanks to these two countries, Nauru can continue to develop and prosper. Although poor health and education difficulties persist, the government, with the help of humanitarian aid to Nauru, is working to alleviate the problems its citizens face.

– Tara Jackson

Photo: Flickr

With an estimated 59 percent of its population living in poverty, Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in South America. Combined with its vulnerability to severe weather, humanitarian aid to Bolivia is essential.

Due to its high plateau 3,000 meters above sea level and valleys at mid-altitude with tropical plains, Bolivia experiences a diverse climate. This kind of diversity creates risk for weather events such as floods and droughts. In Bolivia, approximately four out of ten people live in flood-prone places. Upwards of 16 percent of the entire population living in areas that are at risk for droughts.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

The weather conditions of Bolivia have made its rural population vulnerable. The FAO works with Bolivians to help reestablish their livelihoods and increase their resilience to weather disasters. FAO focuses on establishing a strong disaster risk management program that includes early warning systems. This would warn Bolivian residents before disasters strike.

The FAO is also restoring embankments that will be built at two meters from the surface of the earth. This sole infrastructure would survive two severe disasters (floods or droughts) at different times throughout the year.

Additionally, FAO is helping individual families and farmers. For struggling families, the FAO is providing animals to struggling families to establish herds and the production of protein because animals are often essential for vulnerable families to make a living.

For farmers, FAO is distributing species of seeds such as rice, maize, beans and cassava in order to establish a routine crop production. With FAO’s direction, farmers will practice post-harvest conservation. This way, farmers decide what seeds are the best for sustainable production in the years to come.

World Food Programme (WFP) Providing Humanitarian Aid to Bolivia

Throughout the years, the WFP has been a crucial example of the success of humanitarian aid to Bolivia. Specifically, WFP contributed necessary emergency aid after a severe drought in the Bolivian Chaco and the Southern region of Cochabamba. It provided humanitarian assistance to approximately 10,000 families, or 50,000 people, for six months.

The interventions took place across 12 districts in the four most damaged areas. Food and work were provided as well as vouchers for work. The main goal of this assistance was to restore the food security to the families that were vulnerable because of the post-flood conditions.

Given that this country is so prone to floods, droughts and other severe weather conditions, humanitarian aid to Bolivia is essential in order to sustain living conditions and the livelihoods Bolivian residents. Although weather conditions are constantly proving to be unpredictable and dangerous, the assistance that Bolivia receives helps keep the country resilient regardless of the struggles it faces.

– McCall Robison

Photo: Flickr

humanitarian aid to chad

The sub-Saharan African nation of Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world. Nearly one-half of its 13 million inhabitants live in poverty, with that number reaching 87 percent in rural areas. Chad ranks 184 out of 188 on the Human Development Index, a measure of achievement in three essential elements of human development: life expectancy, education and standard of living. Given these statistics, humanitarian aid to Chad is imperative.

Issues Faced in Chad

Chad faces the overlapping crises of food insecurity, malnutrition, human displacement, epidemics, climate change, drought and chronic poverty. It has one of the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality, high infant mortality and a life expectancy of under 50 years. Over one-third of the population is undernourished, and less than one-third is literate.

Approximately 4.7 million citizens require humanitarian assistance, including 900,000 in need of emergency food. Conflict in neighboring countries has also led to an influx of 409,000 refugees into Chad, which has an extremely limited capacity to shelter them.

International Organizations Providing Humanitarian Aid to Chad

Thankfully, a number of international organizations are providing humanitarian aid to Chad.

The European Commission (EC) is one of the main donors. It focuses largely on food assistance, malnutrition, epidemics, internally displaced people and refugees. The EC has helped 750,000 people through food programs. It has also provided healthcare and education for internally displaced people, protection for those fleeing Boko Haram violence and agricultural programs for refugees.

Solidarites International

Solidarites International assists farmers and herders, whose livelihoods have been in decline for several years. It provides them with resource management to combat lack of income and malnutrition, and risk reduction activities to better handle natural disasters.

Solidarites also establishes agricultural cooperatives, credit facilities and various income-generating activities. Joining the fight against malnutrition, it feeds therapeutic meals to children under five and leads campaigns for nutrition and hygiene awareness. To reduce the usage of unsanitary water, Solidarites rehabilitates water points and helps communities better manage their water supplies.

UNICEF Providing Aid For Children

In 2018, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) plans to provide treatment for 169,200 young children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, measles vaccinations for 147,000 children and clean water for 182,500 conflict-affected people. It estimates that there are 4.4 million people and 2.5 million children in urgent need. Of these, UNICEF hopes to reach 763,800 and 502,650 respectively.

Its multi-faceted humanitarian strategy encompasses a broad range of solutions. It includes children’s rights, psychosocial support for refugees, care for unaccompanied children, family reunification services and mine-risk education. To meet the need, UNICEF is requesting $54 million in funding for 2018.

Humanitarian aid to Chad is essential yet underfunded. The international community bears the responsibility of intervening on behalf of the Chadian people. While many organizations are doing amazing work on the ground in Chad, more help is urgently needed to combat the complex crises facing the nation.

– Anna Parker

Photo: Flickr

NigerNiger is known as one of the poorest countries in the world. According to the World Bank, 45.5 percent of Nigeriens live on less than $2 a day. With the highest birth rate in the world, averaging 7.4 births per woman, the growing population struggles to feed and educate its people without humanitarian aid to Niger.

This African country, located on the edge of the Sahara, is prone to major climate-induced hardships such as extreme droughts and floods. These affect economic growth, agriculture and cause major food shortages, something this already impoverished country does not have the means to deal with properly.

Flooding of the Niger River

The most recent heavy rainfall, between early June and late September, triggered flooding in all eight regions of Niger. These floods have resulted in at least 56 deaths with more than 194,000 affected by the damage. With 22,200 acres of crops, 700 wells and 16,000 livestock ravaged by the floodwaters, the Niger population along the Niger River, and Dosso particularly, were displaced and in hardship.

The Niger government deployed personnel to flood-affected areas to respond to efforts and distribute food to communities. The humanitarian needs, however, pushed the government into overdrive, calling upon international assistance for humanitarian aid to Niger.

Humanitarian Aid to Niger from USAID

In response, USAID and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance provided $50,000 to support the distribution of emergency relief supplies, including shelter materials, to affected people in Dosso and Niamey. This is not the first time USAID has been called upon to assist Niger. According to the organization’s website, “USAID/OFDA continues to support the U.N. Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in Niger, providing nearly $1 million in FY 2017 funding for UNHAS operations in Diffa.”

For the approximately 50,000 people that were affected by the torrential rains and floods from the Niger River, the Government of Niger, with the support of USAID, is working to find sustainable solutions to recurring floods. As part of these efforts, they have created a protective dike that should defend about 30,000 people from floods in several of the city’s neighborhoods.

A Country Moving Forward

Niger and USAID’s partnership is providing life-saving humanitarian aid to Niger in a courageous effort to assist this nation and pull it out of its many hardships. With more support like this, there is a chance Niger can ascend from its impoverished status.

– Kailey Brennan

Photo: Flickr

After being occupied by the Soviet forces in 1940, the country of Moldova became independent approximately fifty years after the second world war. In 1992, Moldova was declared an independent republic. Even though the invasion took place over fifty decades ago, Moldova still suffers the consequences of the fall of the Soviet era today.

Out of all the Eurasian countries that were affected by the war, poverty-struck Moldova the hardest. The country was, in fact, in a better economic situation in 1991 than after its freedom. The now democratic country is one of the poorest on the European continent. Up to 34 percent of the population lives below the poverty rate.

Environmental issues are also affecting Moldova, thus leaving the country with unsuitable ground to cultivate on. The European country mostly relies on agriculture in order to create economic profit. But such activity contributes to a decline in the quality of land due to soil erosion.

The Polish government has taken a big step forward with the success of humanitarian aid to Moldova. With a contribution of PLN 1 million, or almost $300,000, the Polish government has helped the Moldovan population to lower the level of starvation during droughts and other environmental issues that greatly affect the agriculture sector.

These and many more related issues have increased the flow of humanitarian aid to Moldova. The independent humanitarian organization Help Moldova has been a pioneer in aiding the nation. Rebuilding hospitals, helping families living in poverty and providing medical attention to those in need are just some of the initiatives carried out by the organization.

Caritas Czech Republic is also one of the many NGOs assuring the success of humanitarian aid to Moldova. The organization has been helping Moldovan families for fifteen years. By providing job opportunities, agricultural machines to provide more profit and food and creating school opportunities for disadvantaged children, Caritas Czech Republic is leading Moldova into becoming a better country day by day.

While Moldova is in the process of rebuilding itself, it is still not part of the European Union. But help and humanitarian aid to Moldova from nonprofits and government organizations alike are building a better, more developed country. Moldova still has a long way to go to become a fully developed country in terms of economic and social aspects, but the success thus far has been and still is, undeniable.

– Paula Gibson

Photo: Flickr

Sao Tome

Located off Africa’s western shore, Sao Tome and Principe is home to about 200,000 people. According to the World Bank, almost 62 percent are living in poverty. With a moderate-to-weak economy, humanitarian aid to Sao Tome and Principe is essential to improve social and health-related issues.

The Economy of Sao Tome and Principe

The economy of Sao Tome and Principe consists mostly of cocoa exports and tourism to showcase its diverse wildlife and tropical forests.

The Portuguese-speaking islands currently struggle to provide educational, as well as economic, opportunities to its children. Approximately 44 percent of the population is made up by children under 14. While about 97 percent of children attend primary school, the rate of secondary school attendance falls drastically to 38 percent.

Programs Providing Humanitarian Aid to Sao Tome and Principe

The International Development Association (IDA) aimed to improve education attendance rates by providing more than $4 million in educational assistance. The program, Quality Education for All, strengthens the educational system by improving teachers’ training and enriching student’s curriculum. By improving primary education, the IDA is building a foundation for secondary education down the road.

Another program contributing to humanitarian aid to Sao Tome and Principe is the Entrepreneurship Curriculum Programme for the Youth of Sao Tome and Principe. Funded by the Trust Fund for Youth Employment, $34,333 was devoted to teaching entrepreneurial skills in secondary education in hopes of better preparing students for the workforce. The program’s goal is to impact at least 1,500 students with entrepreneurial training.

Combatting Diseases in Sao Tome and Principe

Other issues that plague Sao Tome and Principe are personal health and protection from diseases such as malaria and HIV. In 2009, malaria was reported in a total of 33.8 percent out of 1,000 people. However, thanks to relief efforts, this number had drastically declined to 9.7 percent per 1,000 people by 2014.

Along with the decline of reported malaria cases, Sao Tome and Principe reported a total of zero malaria-related deaths in 2014. To further prevent the threat of malaria, the UNDP has worked with the Global Fund. Together, these organizations have provided a $6 million grant that finances the purchase of mosquito repellants along with bed nets. The grant’s goal is to eliminate all threats of malaria and other illnesses by 2030.

Sao Tome and Principe continues improving with help from organizations like the Global Fund and the UNDP, as well as others. By addressing core issues like citizen’s health and education, humanitarian aid to Sao Tome and Principe is providing opportunities for continued growth.

– Austin Stoltzfus

Photo: Flickr

humanitarian aid to armenia

Humanitarian aid to Armenia has been continuously growing in large part due to the United States Agency for Intentional Development (USAID). Since 1992, USAID has been a crucial humanitarian aid donor to Armenia and its overall development as a country. Last year marked 25 years of diplomatic relations between USAID and Armenia.

USAID’s Commitment to Provide Humanitarian Aid to Armenia

USAID plays a significant role in helping Armenia overcome the challenges it faces as a developing country. USAID has provided “over $1 billion to improve the lives of the Armenian people, supporting their efforts to strengthen democratic, economic, and social governance.”

A few ways USAID has been vital with humanitarian aid to Armenia is by:

  1. Improving access to quality healthcare for Armenian citizens by extending free primary healthcare and maternity services.
  2. Establishing the “114” hotline that provides social service resources assistance to Armenians.
  3. Equipping and renovating two-thirds of Armenia’s neediest rural health facilities.
  4. Creating the American University of Armenia that trains Armenia’s future leaders, encourages civic engagement and promotes democratic values.
  5. Modernizing the Armenian American Wellness Center to become a state-of-the-art diagnostic facility now providing a host of health services to men and women.

USAID has implemented several humanitarian aid programs that help economic growth in Armenia. The Advanced Science and Partnerships for Integrated Resource Development program supports sustainable water resource management. Furthermore, the Partnership for Rural Prosperity promotes rural economic development in Armenia. Lastly, the Advanced Rural Development Initiative develops competitive rural value chains to increase incomes and improve livelihoods. It has been implemented in 48 rural communities in Syunik, Shirak and Lori marzes of Armenia.

USAID also provides humanitarian aid to Armenia in the form of developmental programs that assist in helping Armenian people acquire healthcare and skillsets for work. One such program provides Armenian tech students with training and research opportunities to prepare them for engineering projects.

Another program is the USAID-supported Center of Excellence for the Prevention of Childhood Blindness in Armenia. This initiative helps prevent lifelong blindness in premature babies and Armenian children.

The World Food Programme in Armenia

Another worthy mention is the World Food Programme (WFP), which is the biggest humanitarian organization in the world. It provides hot meals to 60,000 Armenian children in 587 schools in six of Armenia’s ten provinces for 180 days out of the school year.

New heating systems have also been implemented in Armenia’s rural communities to utilize solar energy and meet present-day demands of energy efficiency and environmental protection.

With the continuous help of organizations such as USAID and WFP, Armenia can continue on its path to becoming a developed country.

– Kennisha L. Crawford

Photo: Flickr

humanitarian aid to argentinaThree key issues were addressed following the implementation of newly-approved efforts for humanitarian aid to Argentina. These issues include the AIDS/HIV epidemic, poor water sanitation and limited housing options.

As of 2016, the World Bank recorded that Argentina, a country located in South America, had a total population of 43.85 million and a national poverty headcount ratio of 30.3 percent. This indicated that 30.3 percent of the population lived in poverty at that time.

Humanitarian Aid to Argentina for HIV/AIDS

In 2014, the nonprofit organization UNAIDS approximated that 110,000 living people suffer from HIV/AIDS in Argentina. Of that number, about 5,400 new infections occurred. There were an estimated 2,300 deaths due to HIV/AIDS in that same year.

Increasing Disease Prevention

Humanitarian aid to Argentina has increased efforts for disease prevention. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation program partners with local hospitals and universities to educate and train health professionals in HIV treatment and services.

According to the World Bank, about 30 percent of those infected with HIV/AIDS are unaware of their condition. Fortunately, Argentina’s National AIDS Law required improved access to healthcare as HIV/AIDS treatment became accessible for free.

In 2016, UNAIDS recorded that the cases of HIV/AIDS-related illness increased to about 120,000 living people, 2,400 HIV/AIDS-related deaths and 5,500 new infections. Despite growth in cases, relief programs like the Aids Healthcare Foundation furthered efforts by operating in five clinics in Argentina.

Improving Water Sanitation

From 1991 to 2015, between 16 to 19 million diarrhea-related illnesses were linked to inadequate access to clean water and water services. This limited access mainly impacts Argentina’s northern regions which include Catamarca, Formo and Tucuman, among others.

In March 2017, the World Bank indicated approval of the Belgrano Water Supply and Sanitation Development Project. The project aims to provide humanitarian aid to Argentina by making clean water available to all. It also aims to create “75 percent access to wastewater services for those living in urban areas by the end of 2019.” This will make sanitary water available to 8.2 million people.

Recently Approved Housing Project

A 2017 report by the World Bank indicates a rise in the lack of affordable housing provided by the public. Approximately 18 percent of the population lives in informal housing with limited, or lack of, access to clean water and wastewater services. In this informal housing, residents also do not have adequate access to healthcare and schools.

The Integrated Habitat and Housing Project was approved and includes a $200 million commitment until 2022. The project aims to increase formal housing while also improving living conditions for households in selected precarious urban settlements.

Developing projects by both the World Bank and nonprofit organizations deliver humanitarian aid to Argentina, especially in regard to HIV/AIDS prevention, water sanitation and housing conditions. These concerns indicate that poverty takes many forms and still exists today. However, the continued efforts in Argentina are promising in the global mission to alleviate poverty.

– Christine Leung

Photo: Flickr

refugee aid in ThailandThe history of humanitarian aid in Thailand is considered a success story. In recent times, there has been a specific increase in refugee aid in Thailand.

The History of Humanitarian Aid in Thailand

Over the past four decades, economic growth has been significant, with the formerly low-income country becoming an upper-income state. Poverty declined to 7.2 percent in 2015 from a high of 67 percent in 1986. This was in part because of the high growth rate and increased agricultural prices.

Seeking Asylum in Thailand

As of July 2017, 102,000 refugees from Myanmar have found asylum in Thailand. Many families have sought, or continue to seek, refuge in Thailand.

Nine camps situated along the border house refugees and provide basic needs such as healthcare, food, shelter, water, sanitation, education and protection. These camps function as small communities, limiting the livelihoods of the refugees to these areas but supplying protection from the state they fled.

In many circumstances, individuals get married, bear children and spend extensive time in these larger camps. Mae La is the largest refugee camp in Thailand.

Increasing Refugee Aid in Thailand

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) Support Center provides refugee aid in Thailand. Its programs help families and individuals locate documents to allow them to further their citizenship paperwork.

This foundation also supplies food, water and healthcare to people that live in the camps. Economic wellbeing is also one of the goals on the organization’s agenda to help displaced people.

Economic wellbeing, according to the International Rescue Committee, is meeting individuals’ basic needs and allowing individuals to find employment. Allowing refugees to work and earn an income encourages prosperity within the family unit and society.

Through the work that the IRC accomplishes, refugee aid in Thailand will benefit not only the refugees but allow for a country to gain further economic strength.

– Bronti DeRoche

Photo: Flickr