humanitarian aid to Malawi
Malawi, a country in eastern Africa, has long battled with issues of governmental corruption, famine and widespread disease. However, in recent years, Malawi has seen vast improvement in important areas of societal life, with most of that improvement being a result of focused effort of international aid programs that increase the successful return of humanitarian aid to Malawi.

With 2017 having drawn to a close, the success of humanitarian aid efforts and investments to the country of Malawi are most noticeable in two distinct categories: technological advancements and food security.


In regard to technology, the most recent “hot-button” word in Malawi is drones. As of this month, UNICEF has reported the completion of a corridor for testing drones, the first of its kind in both the country, region and in the continent of Africa as a whole.

The corridor was built in the Kasungu district of Malawi, in the Kasungu Aerodrome, and according to UNICEF officials, the drones piloted in and out are planned to be used to further humanitarian causes and programs.

In a press release, UNICEF said that the drones would focus on aerial imaging, Wi-Fi and cell phone signals and transportation of goods, food and medical supplies — much like the drones that were built and piloted in the 2016 testing of the program. The early machines were put through various trials such as transporting dried blood samples from infants for HIV testing in remote clinics.

Malawi’s Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango said that the Malawi government was already looking into using the drones to respond to natural disasters like floods and fires.

Food Security

With food sustainability, numbers have improved dramatically from September and October’s low statistics. In late 2016 and early 2017, the majority of Malawian households reported a minimal to crisis level of food security, meaning that families didn’t know where their next meal was coming from, or if it was even coming at all. Malawian crops in recent years have been affected by both an unstable economy and a surge of armyworm infestations, as well as a long-lasting and regional-spanning drought.

Humanitarian Aid to Malawi

According to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network, humanitarian aid to Malawi has caused an 87 percent decrease in low food security for households in the Malawi districts of Balaka and Machinga.

Project Concern International (PCI), Feed the Future and Concern Worldwide distributed more than 22,800 crop storage bags, trained 225 households across 45 communities on the use of the bags and collectively raised over $500,000 to improve food security and agricultural sustainability in Malawi in 2017.

In addition, USAID/OFDA provided a total of more than $3.5 million in 2017 to partner organizations to aid in the recovery of water sanitation and hygiene interventions.

Heading into 2018, Malawi’s food sustainability and security is on the rise, the country has embraced new technological solutions to humanitarian crises and the future looks brighter than it has in years past.

– Arianna Smith

Photo: Flickr

humanitarian aid to vanuatu

Vanuatu is an island nation located in the South Pacific, west of Fiji. One of the major problems Vanuatu faces is cyclone storms, which are tropical storms that create a heavy circulation of strong winds, thunderstorms and severe rain. Following such disasters, humanitarian aid to Vanuatu is critical.

Recently, in 2015, Vanuatu suffered one of the worst cyclones yet. Cyclone Pam was the second most intense cyclone in the South Pacific Ocean and one of the worst natural disasters in Vanuatu to date. During Cyclone Pam, winds exceeded 185 miles per hour, destroying 90 percent of the country’s infrastructure. As a result of this disaster, the success of humanitarian aid to Vanuatu was essential during this time and thereafter.

The Airbus Helicopters Foundation

Following the natural disaster, helicopters carrying aid was one success of humanitarian aid to Vanuatu. Having most of the infrastructure completely destroyed, helicopters were the best way to reach the communities in need. The Airbus Helicopters Foundation worked with the French Foreign Affairs Ministry Crisis Center. Together, they distributed humanitarian aid to people affected by the cyclone, including medical supplies and food.

The Airbus Helicopters Foundation also worked with numerous stakeholders to send helicopters to humanitarian workers. These workers would then get the supplies to the communities in the most desperate areas. They partnered with Garden City Helicopters from New Zealand in order to provide even more helicopter assistance to Vanuatu people in need.

Australian Government Assistance

One of the main humanitarian aid contributors during this disaster was Vanuatu’s neighbor, Australia. The Australian government committed $35 million after Cyclone Pam, between 2015 and 2018. The aid focuses on long-term recovery support and is delivered through the assistance of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu. The recovery plans include:

  • Supporting economic recovery, livelihoods and the private sector
  • Rebuilding affected infrastructure for public administration
  • Reestablishing health and education facilities
  • Assisting disability inclusion

These improvements will be focused on Shefa and Tafea, the provinces where nearly 90 percent of damage and destruction occurred after Cyclone Pam.

Israeli Assistance

Israel also helped the success of humanitarian aid to Vanuatu by sending food to feed 2,000 of the Island’s residents for the length of one month after Cyclone Pam hit. Food scarcity became a problem after the disaster as approximately 70 percent of Vanuatu’s crops were destroyed.

The food was a porridge in powder which was high in nutrients and helped people retain a healthy diet during the crisis. Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation in the Foreign Ministry sent food aid, which was then delivered locally by the Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid.

In addition to the food aid, volunteers from Israel stayed behind to help the local population. They renovated water systems and reestablished medical and mental health systems for the community.

The success of humanitarian aid to Vanuatu is just one of many examples where aid has helped thousands of people recover after a crisis occurs.

– McCall Robison

Photo: Flickr

Humanitarian Aid to Paraguay Manifests as Disaster Risk Reduction
Towards the end of 2015, Paraguay experienced the worst flooding in 50 years as a result of the El Niño climate phenomenon. Heavy rains that began in late November 2015 spurred widespread flooding of the Paraguay and the Parana rivers.

On December 12, 2015, the Paraguayan Government’s National Emergency Secretariat (SEN) declared a state of emergency in the capital city of Asunción. By December 30th, 150,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes and the situation in Paraguay became officially declared as a disaster.

The flooding of the Paraguay River (which flows by Asunción) was so severe that many homes were almost completely submerged by flood waters. About 90,000 people had to seek temporary shelter in parks, public spaces, schools and military buildings across Asunción.

Even after the rains had abided in January 2016, more than 65,000 people remained displaced, approximately 41,000 of which remained in the temporary shelters of Asunción. The floods in Asunción caused at least six deaths and damaged houses, schools, roads, various other infrastructure and agricultural land throughout the regions of central and western Paraguay.

What is El Niño?

The El Niño weather phenomenon is part of what is known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, and is the scientific term that describes the fluctuations in temperature between the ocean and the atmosphere.

El Niño is the “warm phase” of ENSO, when sea surface temperatures in the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific rise periodically. This ocean-atmospheric climate interaction along with a weakening of easterly trade winds creates conditions of increased rainfall and flooding in South America as well as Australia and Indonesia. El Niño episodes occur every few years usually around December and typically last between nine and twelve months.

The El Niño episode at the end of 2015 and the resulting climate extremes were the worst in more than 15 years, according to the United Nations weather agency.

Recovering from the Floods

In response to the disaster declaration, the United States’ Agency for International Development’s Office for Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) provided $50,000 of humanitarian aid to Paraguay, directly to its Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) for the local procurement and distribution of emergency relief commodities of hygiene kits, mattresses and shelter supplies. USAID/OFDA provided an additional $600,000 of humanitarian aid to ADRA to expand emergency relief commodities and services, including the implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene programs in areas affected by the floods.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has also provided about $1 million to approximately 6,000 families in the wake of the disaster; however, humanitarian aid to Paraguay has taken forms other than cash assistance. The WFP has furthermore worked to strengthen local and national governments’ capacities for emergency preparedness and response through European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) trainings, simulation exercises and logistics management trainings.

Improving Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience

One project in particular, implemented by the WFP and the UNDP, is the Disaster Preparedness Program (DIPECHO) Action Plan 2015-2016, which aimed to “build response capacities at the local, community, authorities and public institution levels to face disasters more efficiently in the world’s riskiest regions.”

The plan also aimed to strengthen the SEN’s logistical capabilities to improve agreed protocols for civic-military cooperation for emergency responses.

In the Chaco Central Paraguayo region, didactic material has been developed to integrate disaster risk management strategies with the culture, customs and livelihoods of indigenous populations that are most effected by natural disasters and threats. This approach resulted in a more effective method of articulating disaster risk reduction customized to indigenous culture and customs.

Since the country is particularly prone to seasonal flooding and droughts and hosts an economy heavily dependent on agricultural products, the disaster risk reduction programs like DIPECHO are essential forms of humanitarian aid to Paraguay that will help the country’s overall recovery in the wake of future extreme climate events.

– Sydney Lacey

Photo: Flickr

humanitarian aid to micronesia
Micronesia — also known as the Federated States of Micronesia — is a country in the Pacific Ocean made up of more than 600 islands. The country contains four island states named Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap, and its capital, Palikir, is located on Pohnpei.

Micronesia is at risk of typhoons and super typhoons, which can cause widespread disaster through the islands. In 2008, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) took over humanitarian aid to Micronesia. Previously, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided humanitarian assistance to Micronesia.

Foreign Assistance

USAID, along with the International Organization for Mitigation (IOM), has introduced many programs to help bring humanitarian aid to Micronesia. In an effort to help the most people, the agency is focusing on disaster mitigation. Specifically, in regards to typhoons.

Shortly after taking over funding for humanitarian aid to Micronesia, the United States Agency for International Development funded the Hybrid Mitigation, Relief, and Reconstruction Program which ran through 2013. The International Organization for Mitigation (IOM) also managed and implemented various planning and pre-positioning efforts in Micronesia in areas that are most likely to be hit by natural disasters.

In 2012, the United States Agency for International Development and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) funded the Climate Adaptation, Disaster Risk Management, and Education (CADRE) Program. The program was implemented by the International Organization for Mitigation and works with local government and communities to increase emergency response capacity; this program is still in effect today.

Efforts After Typhoon Maysak

Since Typhoon Maysak, which passed through Micronesia in the spring of 2015, more than $6 million has been spent on humanitarian aid to Micronesia. Most of this funding went towards the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which helps households affected by typhoons. Their efforts include shelter coordination, sanitation, clean water and hygiene interventions.

Also in 2015, in the wake of multiple typhoons and super typhoons from 2013-2015, the United States Agency for International Development, introduced the Disaster Preparedness for Effective Response (PREPARE) Program. Again, this program was implemented by the International Organization of Mitigation. This program pre-positions humanitarian relief supplies, reconstruction and housing infrastructure. The goal of the program is to quickly bring relief to those affected by typhoons in Micronesia and increase the resilience of the nation by mitigating the effects of natural disasters. Thankfully, this program is still in effect, as of 2017.

Through the past several years, the United States Agency for International Development partnered with the International Organization for Mitigation has had many successes in humanitarian aid to Micronesia. In addition to funding mitigation efforts, the United States Agency for International Development has also provided over $4 million to the International Organization for Mitigation, specifically for reconstruction efforts such as housing and utilities.

Most of these efforts are spread through the entirety of Micronesia, but Chuuk and Yap, the most western island states, receive more aid since they are more likely to suffer from a natural disaster. As these programs continue, Micronesia has a great chance of recovering faster and suffering far less damage from any future natural disasters.

– Courtney Wallace
Photo: Flickr

Mauritius is one of the developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa that over the decades has become a middle-income country providing good health care and education systems, a stable governance, good communications and a functioning infrastructure.

Although poverty in Mauritius is not as severe as in other parts of African, minor poverty does exist in rural parts of the country. In 2006, about 8 percent of the country was under the poverty line and humanitarian aid to Mauritius isn’t much compared to other countries; despite this, there are consistent allies that have helped the country get to its current status.

From 1966 to 2015, the nation received a total of $76.6 million in humanitarian aid that has since been distributed to development projects and various improvements.

Mauritius became a member state of the International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD) in 1979. Since their admission into IFAD, $23.1 million has been put into projects and programs to improve the quality of life within Mauritius. IFAD currently works to address rural poverty with a collaborative approach with the government to reduce the frequency of poverty. This approach involves knowledge management and sharing, partnership-building and policy dialogue. Rodrigues Island, an island on Mauritius, receives special attention from IFAD on improving incomes and livelihoods for poor rural areas.

In 2014, Britain gave more than $24 million in humanitarian aid to Mauritius that helped towards the nation’s building of gated communities, shopping centers and an elite boarding school by Wellington College, based in the Berkshire.

Mauritius also received $500 million from India in 2017, an amount provided after the two countries decided to reinforce maritime security in the Indian Ocean region. Mauritius Prime Minister Pavind Kumar Jugnauth and India’s Narendra Modi both agreed that the successful management of any and all threats in the Indian Ocean was imperative to secure people of both countries and pursue economic opportunities.

With vigilant eyes focused on the success of Mauritius, humanitarian aid will help in keeping the island safe, modern and prosperous.

– Tara Jackson

Photo: Flickr

What Has the U.N. Done?The United Nations has been working towards world peace, security and good relations in an attempt to solve economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems globally since 1945. Since then, it has aided the world countless times and accomplished immense goals. Specifically, what has the U.N. done? These programs illustrate what the United Nations has achieved and its top accomplishments.


UNICEF is an agency that was created by the United Nations that stands for the United Nations International Children’s Fund. UNICEF protects the rights of children throughout the world and works towards increasing their standard of living. UNICEF works in 190 countries.


The United Nations has been highly successful in the global battle against HIV/AIDS. They raise awareness, funds and create programs for prevention and treatment. The most recent UNAIDS update states that it plans to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

World Food Programme

The United Nations’ World Food Programme is one of the most successful agencies created by the U.N. thus far. The U.N. World Food Programme feeds 104 million people across 80 countries every year, focusing on war zones, natural disaster areas, health emergencies and poor countries.


Another success of the United Nations is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, founded in 1949. The leaders of the UNHCR work with refugees and ensure that governments take responsibility in regards to refugees. UNHCR has received two Nobel Peace Prizes for work done in Europe and worldwide assistance to refugees.

Peacekeeping Missions

The United Nations has 16 peacekeeping missions underway across the world. The purpose is to encourage peaceful relations between countries. The peacekeeping missions have saved many lives and are one of the most successful projects the U.N. has undertaken throughout history.

Among the accomplishments of the United Nations, it is clear how important they are and what a large impact they have made throughout the world. In addition to these five accomplishments are countless others that are just as crucial to the groundbreaking aid they have provided. The question “What has the U.N. done?” starts with these five important things and continues with many other forms of aid.

– Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr

Humanitarian Aid to The GambiaThe Gambia occupies a small portion of West Africa and surrounds the Gambia River. Although only encompassing 4,491 total square miles, The Gambia is home to a population of almost 2.1 million. The success of humanitarian aid to The Gambia has only improved the lives of its citizens. These are three organizations that have worked to provide this aid.

Project Gambia

Project Gambia has been working since 2010 to bring volunteers to The Gambia and better the lives of its citizens, mainly in the Gunjur region of the country. The organization is based out of the United Kingdom. Their projects do not address one specific issue but cover a wide variety of societal needs.

Related to health, the organization has trained 420 people in emergency first aid as well as providing them with fully stocked first aid kits and reference books. In addition, the organization worked to refurbish a community health center with supplies, furniture and health information. They have also specifically addressed the problem of malaria by organizing a malaria awareness event, attended by 200 community members, and created a short film to raise awareness about malaria in the U.K.

In relation to general well-being, they have also built four wells and provided supplies for a women’s garden plot. The organization also refurbished two local schools, including playgrounds with newly planted trees. They have also done work in the U.K., such as collecting over 20 tons of recycled goods that they then shared within Gambian communities.

Foundation Humanitarian Aid Gambia (FHAG)

The Foundation Humanitarian Aid Gambia was founded in 1996 by a couple from the Netherlands who added a Gambia-based board in 2003. Their work has been focused on specific projects revolving around family and social issues.

The FHAG Orphan Project is their largest undertaking. The project involves finding safe foster families for orphaned children but also works to ensure that orphans receive the same opportunities as other children in their area. This includes ensuring food security, housing and education for orphans in The Gambia. One beneficiary of this project was able to earn a bachelor’s degree in agriculture with their help and now volunteers with the organization to repay them. The foundation still does work in health and education in addition to this project, including donating 75 desktop computers to the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education.

Power Up Gambia

Power Up Gambia (PUG) specifically focuses on health in The Gambia, but in a unique way. They work with the Ministry of Health to bring electricity to medical centers with solar power. This humanitarian aid to The Gambia not only provides light but also life-saving water, heat and refrigeration for medication.

Power Up Gambia has brought electricity to 23 hospitals and clinics so far. The Gambia has over 60 health clinics in rural communities that provide healthcare to farmers, but most do not have access to electricity. PUG has partnered with We Care Solar to bring 58 portable solar power kits to these locations, which have been crucial during nighttime health emergencies. PUG also keeps spare parts for these kits on hand and trains Gambian technicians to complete any potential repairs. These technicians are trained at the Gambia Technical Training Institute where Power Up Gambia has implemented a curriculum on solar energy and solar technology to ensure the sustainability of the health centers the organization has provided power for.

The success of humanitarian aid to The Gambia provides a very bright future for the country. With the help of these organizations and others, the Gambian people’s lives will only continue to improve and grow.

– Megan Burtis

Photo: Flickr

Debate Over the Success of Humanitarian Aid to EgyptSince 1978, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has cumulatively provided more than $30 billion in humanitarian aid to Egypt. Certain groups, however, have brought to attention the fact that the majority of that aid goes directly to supporting the military state. They question the effectiveness of the aid in actually helping the country’s economic situation.

In early 2017, the misery index, which consists of the rate of annual inflation plus unemployment, climbed to around 45 percent in Egypt. For young Egyptians in particular, experts estimate the misery index at anywhere from 60 to more than 80 percent, according to Michele Dunne, director and senior fellow of Carnegie Endowment for National Peace’s Middle East Program.

While Dunne acknowledges the fiscal steps President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has taken toward boosting the economy, she points out that he has not done much to generate jobs. With 600,000 Egyptians entering the workforce per year, the country simply does not foster the right conditions to sustain employment for its population.

“The major issue is that countries have to be productive,” Mohamed Serat, President of Bel Egypt, said. “Recently we have faced deterioration here in agriculture. In terms of industry, I don’t think the quantity and volume is covering the needs of our people.” With a population of nearly 100 million, Egypt continues to rely increasingly on imports to cover the population’s demands.

President el-Sisi’s economic policies, according to Dunne, do not focus on creating jobs or developing the labor force. The focus of economic policies in Egypt consists of maintaining “insider privileges” for members of the president’s regime, especially the military. Instead, policies should support productive, labor-intensive companies that would generate jobs for citizens, according to a 2014 World Bank Report.

USAID’s website claims that its policies and humanitarian aid to Egypt address these sorts of sustainable programs, such as increasing productivity in agriculture, boosting the quality of life of rural communities and providing the necessary tools for Egypt’s youth to succeed through strengthening higher education. Still, only 16 percent of U.S. humanitarian aid to Egypt goes to economic development, according to Alexis Sowa of the Center for Global Development (CGD). The rest goes to military funding.

In response to alleged civil rights violations of the Egyptian military, the U.S. has recently cut back its aid to Egypt by around $295 million. Those in support of cutting the aid have claimed its ineffectiveness for humanitarian purposes, pointing out that most still goes to the military anyway.

Advocates for humanitarian aid to Egypt suggest that rather than reducing aid, reallocating it to the development of a more sustainable country would prove more effective. Creating a more economically-focused aid program in Egypt could more directly support the people and work to lift the country out of its current job and population crisis.

– Francesca Colella

Photo: Flickr

Humanitarian Aid to Morocco Contributes to Counterterrorism Efforts
As the U.S. continues to send humanitarian aid to Morocco, the Moroccan government works to protect its country from terrorist threats.

“Morocco has a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy that includes vigilant security measures, regional and international cooperation, and counter-radicalization policies,” the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism reported online. A 2013 report revealed several steps Morocco has taken that have successfully led to the dismantling of terroristic plots.

A founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), Morocco also participates in the U.S. Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program. These preventative efforts and partnership with the U.S. and the U.N. have contributed to the country’s leading role in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East.

“Morocco is number one in its national security, but that’s not the main reason for the safety of our country,” Zakaria Hamzaoui, Moroccan citizen and political advocate, said. “We take great steps to improve the quality of life for all people, especially young people, so that people are satisfied with their freedom.”

Indeed, providing hope and opportunities for the most marginalized population reduces a community’s rates of conversion to extremism. Because a population’s youth remains the most likely demographic to cause unrest, targeting this group through youth programs effectively redirects energy and attention to more positive outlets.

According to the U.S. Department of State’s website, a 2016 study showed that U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs have helped to directly improve the lives of more than 12,000 marginalized, at-risk youth since 2012. These programs include a career development system that increases employability and various civil development initiatives that address the roots of unrest.

USAID has also provided humanitarian aid to Morocco in the form of police training, border security, military funding, women’s empowerment and business development.

These initiatives are not limited to U.S.-funded aid; Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have also contributed humanitarian aid to Morocco in the form of a five-year agreement. This deal, totaling $5 billion in aid, will expire at the end of 2017, and its benefactors intend its use for counterterrorism and economy-building through the promotion of new infrastructure and increased tourism.

By combatting the sources of unrest that lead to the growth of extremist ideologies, Morocco and supporting countries have committed to taking preventative actions that help build the country and strengthen its national security. As a result of these efforts, Morocco remains at the forefront of the counterterrorism fight in the Middle East.

– Francesca Colella

Photo: Flickr

The Success of Humanitarian Aid to RomaniaLocated in the far east of Eastern Europe, Romania borders the Black Sea along with its closest neighbor countries, Bulgaria and Moldova. Romania’s economic stability failed to maintain its status during and after World War II.

The events that occurred after the war had a lasting impact on Romania’s social and economic wealth. It became a communist-ruled country led by the Soviets, leading its society and economy into a crisis that is still taking place today. By exploiting its land and population, the Soviet occupation directly fed Romania’s decline.

Regardless of such a crisis, the country has tried to stay afloat. In 2007, the European Union accepted its request to become part of the E.U. This political move had a great impact on Romania, which became unified with 26 other countries willing to support the nation. The E.U. began taking action for Romania by increasing the number of medical centers and hospitals in the country.

Alongside the E.U., humanitarian aid to Romania has also been a success for the far eastern country’s population. The organization The Family International has been working toward the improvement of Romania, as well as other countries in need, for the past few decades. It has worked to aid Romania by shipping multiple medical sources and equipment to the nation.

The Family International also worked to ship clothes to Romania and provide them to those in need. The success of this NGO was, and is, undeniable. More than a hundred families received attention and care, improving their living situation. The organization has also helped through the distribution of food products, as well as clothes, shoes and other necessities that reached more than 1,500 people.

The organization Charity Baptism Mission has also pushed efforts for humanitarian aid to Romania. It provided the nation with containers full of items meant to help alleviate poverty, such as socks, shoes, blankets, sweaters and more. The same organization has also built the success of humanitarian aid to Romania by helping create 27 homes for homeless children around the world, eight of them in Romania.

The organization Clovek v Tisni has also been a pioneer for humanitarian aid to Romania. Investing in infrastructure, creating job positions and building schools to extend education to more people are just some of the many successful actions taken toward alleviating poverty in the European country.

Romania needs help, undeniably. Despite the various NGOs willing to help the poorest country in the E.U., poverty is still an issue. Thus, donations toward organizations such as Clovek v Tisni can go a long way toward assisting the country. Romania is becoming a better country day by day, and with continued effort, it won’t be long until poverty in the nation is reduced to a thing of the past.

– Paula Gibson

Photo: Flickr