Global issues: development assistance, humanitarian aid, military aid, debt forgiveness, and control of international institutions such as the World Bank
This section of Hunger Notes includes
World Bank, in a changed economy, pushes focus to building a middle class Howard Schneider Washington Post April 19, 2013 World Bank chief says global poverty is a bigger challenge than action on HIV—calls 1.2 billion people living on under $1.25 a day a 'stain on our conscience' Larry Elliott The Guardian April 4, 2013 World Bank chief says global warming threatens the planet and the poorest Howard Schneider Washington Post April 2, 2013
The annual large request for humanitarian assistance in the Sahel is a clear sign that development there is not working IRIN News March 4, 2013 Understanding resilience Jaspreet Kindra IRIN News March 4, 2013
UN poverty panel meets in Liberia to debate world goals as Millenium Development Goals near end Patrick Wintour The Guardian February 1, 2013
IMF support to poor countries gets needed boost from gold sale profits IMF Survey October 4, 2012
Ethiopian leader's death highlights gap between US interests and ideals Jeffrey Gettleman New York Times August 21, 2012
Hired gun fight: Obama's aid chief takes on the development-industrial complex (opinion) John Norris Foreign Policy July 18, 2012 Statement on divisive Foreign Policy piece (opinion) Coalition of International Development Companies July 20, 2012
Pakistan jails doctor who helped to find Bin Laden BBC News May 23, 2012 Fallout of Bin Laden raid: Aid groups in Pakistan are suspect Declan Walsh New York Times May 2, 2012
Firms to invest in food production for world's poor Stephanie Strom New York Times May 17, 2012
Doubling direct foreign aid could hurt US contractors Nick Taborek Bloomberg News/Washington Post May 20, 2012
Dire poverty falls despite worldwide slump, World Bank finds Annie Lowrey New York Times March 6, 2012 See related commentary Have we really achieved goal one of the Millennium Development Goals? Bill Abrams TrickleUp March 15, 2012
Amid criticism, UN food agency to elect new chief Raphael Minder New York Times June 24, 2011
G20 summit to address the world food crisis barely addresses key issues including biofuels, safety nets and trade restrictions IRIN News June 24, 2011 See G20 report See Hunger Notes special report: The world food and hunger crisis
Egyptians desperate for democracy, but wary of US assistance in part because most past US aid has gone to the military and been interpreted by Egyptians as support for a regime that oppressed them Kathy Lally and Mary Beth Sheridan Washington Post March 5, 2011
As food prices soar, most developed countries ignore 2009 promise to fund food security initiative Howard Schneider Washington Post February 18, 2011 World leaders at UN summit vow to aid farmers in bid to help starving [though past record of assistance has been dismal] Richard Owen Times Online November 16, 2009 G8 pledges to increase assistance to developing country agriculture BBC News July 10, 2009 There has been a record of overall failure of governments to address world hunger. In spite of the 1995 World Food Summit commitment to reduce world hunger by half from 824 billion then to 412 billion by 2015, the number of hungry people has in fact increased to over 1 billion. Two recent studies address this failure: the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2009 by Fian International and others and Bridging the Divide by Oxfam. See Hunger Notes special report: Food is a human right--or is it?
U.S. Foreign Aid Explained Lane Vanderslice June 5, 2005
This article describes the four principal components of U.S. foreign aid:
Official Development Assistance. How much are developed countries contributing to developing countries? What is official development assistance--what is counted and what is not?
Half of total assistance, $9.7 billion in 2005, is development and humanitarian assistance that goes to poor countries. (Some development and humanitarian assistance goes to countries that are not classified as poor, such as many countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.)
Official development assistance (ODA) measures how much each developed country gives to developing countries, both in terms of United States dollars and as a percentage of each countries gross national product. The United States gives the largest amount of development assistance, but it only gives .17 of one percent of its gross national income (GNI), substantially below the average country contribution of .41 of one percent of GNI, and far below the agreed upon target of .7 percent (in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit). For more information see How much are developed countries contributing to developing countries??
Official development assistance (ODA) is slightly broader than development assistance to developing countries--the $9.7 billion mentioned above. It is difficult to find a good explanation of what exactly ODA is and what it counts. Hunger Notes provides two: What is official development assistance? (based on information from the United States Agency for International Development) and a fuller explanation, "Foreign aid: understanding data used to compare donors" (six page pdf file) by Larry Nowells, a researcher with the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. This article was originally done for Congress.
Why aid workers are targets Abby Stoddard The Globalist May 14, 2013
Helping aid workers build meaningful careers Anna Jefferys IRIN News May 13, 2013
Humanitarian workers unprepared for decades of conflict, UNHCR warns Annie Kelly The Guardian April 30, 2013 Afghanistan - the world’s most dangerous place for aid workers IRIN News April 18, 2013
Proposal for changes in food aid sets off infighting in Congress Ron Nixon New York Times May 2, 2013 Kill the Food for Peace program? What a horrible idea from our own government! (opinion) Dan Shaughnessy World Hunger Education Service April 27, 2013 A food fight over Food for Peace David Rodgers Politico April 24, 2013 Obama proposes end to monetized food aid IRIN News April 11, 2012 Obama administration seeks to overhaul international food aid Ron Nixon New York Times April 4, 2013 Aid groups push Obama administration to shift the way US helps feed starving people abroad Associated Press Washington Post April 5, 2012
A compelling reform of United States food aid Michael Gerson Washington Post April 15, 2013 (opinion)
As Syrian refugee population nears 1 million, relief agencies cannot keep up Taylor Luck Washington Post March 4, 2013
Briefing: New food treaty thin on substance IRIN News October 4, 2012
World failing on Mali emergency, UN humanitarian chief says BBC News August 30, 2012
Uganda: Weaning Karamoja off food aid IRIN News August 9, 2012
Global humanitarian needs declined in 2011 but funding shortfalls continued to widen, report says IRIN News July 23, 2012 See report.
Aid policy: The rise of the new donors IRIN News October 19, 2011
Drone base in Niger gives US a strategic foothold in West Africa Craig Whitlock Washington Post March 21, 2013 At Pentagon, ‘pivot to Asia’ becomes ‘shift to Africa’ Craig Whitlock Washington Post March 14, 2013
Militant threats test role of a US command in Africa Eric Schmitt New York Times February 11, 2013 US will establish base for drones in North Africa Eric Schmitt New York Times January 28, 2013
U.S. expands secret intelligence operations in Africa Craig Whitlock Washington Post June 13, 2012 Contractors run US spying missions in Africa Craig Whitlock Washington Post June 14, 2012 See airbase location graphic.
US trains troops for Somali fight Craig Whitlock Washington Post May 14, 2012
US special operations forces are engaged in “more than 100 countries worldwide,” commander says Stephen Aftergood Secrecy News March 7, 2012 See testimony
Online, Joseph Kony and the Lords's Resistance Army soar to topic number one Josh Kron and J David Goodman New York Times March 8, 2012 See video Kony 2012
US troops now in 4 African countries to fight Lords Resistance Army Jason Straziuso Associated Press/ABC News February 22, 2012
Pentagon commander says US special forces in India and four other Asian countries BBC News March 2, 2012
US aid plan for Pakistan is floundering Jane Perlez New York Times May 1, 2011