GEOPOLITICS

Washington to UN Refugee Agency: If You Want Our Money, Put Our Name on It

The United States is the biggest donor to the UN Refugee Agency, and the Trump administration wants the world to know it. A new framework, or agreement, signed by the State Department and the refugee agency (UNHCR) requires it to acknowledge US contributions in most — and eventually all — of its public-information materials. What … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

In Year 2 of Trump Presidency, the US Is Still Eroding Both the UN and Women’s Rights

After a year of bombast and threats by Ambassador Nikki Haley and the ever-evolving Donald Trump administration, the tone appears to be turned down a few notches in the second year of the Trump presidency. But efforts to undermine the United Nations and what it stands for have not stopped, at least for now, even … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Trump Team Wants to Slash Funds for Global Women’s Health by Half

There has yet to be a decision in United States Congress on what funds for global women’s health, if any, will survive in the current 2018 national budget, a decision that is nearly six months overdue. But Donald Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence, a hard-line social conservative who is playing a larger role … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

The UN World Food Program Boss, Mixing Work With Religion?

David Beasley, the head of the World Food Program, visiting Sanaa, Yemen

David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Program, based in Rome, posted a prayer at the top of his Twitter page in early January, reading: “My prayer for 2018: Peace. Our path to Zero Hunger begins with peace.” The page, @dbeasley1, is a hybrid of personal tweets and professional news about his work … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Tackling Sexual Violence in Humanitarian NGOs

Nearly three years ago, Megan Nobert, a humanitarian worker in South Sudan, was drugged and raped by an employee of a United Nations agency, according to her account, made public six months later. That was when Nobert decided to form the advocacy group Report the Abuse to encourage others to tell their stories and rally … Read more

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WORLDVIEWS

UN Day: Another Day, Another 34,000 Refugees

Oct. 24 is not just another day on the calendar. It is United Nations Day, an excellent time to take note of one of the accomplishments the world body has achieved in its 72-year history. The global institution has made it possible for the economic and social development for people worldwide. There is, however, one … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Flung Into Mosul, Stopping the Bleeding, Slowing Death

MOSUL, Iraq — For two weeks in early April and again in June, I was embedded in Mosul with an emergency-response division of the Iraqi army, which is fighting to retake the city from ISIS. The nonprofit organization I work for, NYC Medics, was contracted by the World Health Organization to run a trauma stabilization … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The Debate on Trump’s Budget Ignores Serious Global Cuts

When the White House sent its proposed 2018 budget to the United States Congress on May 23, it was apparent that not only would a hawkish, nationalistic focus on military expenditures come at the cost of international aid and support for the United Nations. Worse, the Trump plan would also sideline discussions on global issues, … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

The US Tightens Rules on NGOs in Global Health, Hurting Poor Women

While trying to make the case that the United States remains committed to global health programs, the Trump administration has issued orders to nongovernmental organizations and others working in women’s health that could cripple some of their international operations by demanding contractual compliance with US anti-abortion policies. The new rules have been written under the … Read more

A Poverty-Easing Plan to Help Displaced People and Their Host Countries

WASHINGTON, D.C. — One year ago, almost 1 percent of the world’s population, about 65 million people, had been forcibly displaced from their homes. That is a population size that would constitute a nation larger than Britain or would be the world’s 21st-largest country. But instead of creating their own country, the majority of the 65 … Read more

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As Conditions Worsen in Humanitarian Crises, Aid Workers Also Feel the Pain

The images of refugees washing up, living or dying, on the southern shores of Europe leave no humanitarians unmoved. Behind those images and others from Asia, Africa and Latin America are scores of mostly unseen relief and aid workers whose efforts to meet crises are being squeezed to the point of triage. Militants have put … Read more

The UN’s Demands to Stop the Violence in Yemen Fall on Deaf Ears

While the regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia continues its aerial bombardment against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and as ground troops — from Bahrain, Sudan and United Arab Emirates — join the Saudis in the fray, the pain dealt to civilians, especially children, has been rising ever since the war began in March. In … Read more

Saudis Say They Will Send Aid to Civilians Suffering in Yemen Soon

Four months after Saudi Arabia pledged to donate $274 million to the United Nations to fully cover an emergency humanitarian appeal for Yemeni civilians desperately hungry for food, medicine and water, the money has not materialized, the UN has said. The country is under siege by a local rebel group, the Houthis, who are being … Read more

Vanuatu Women Track Cyclone Pam’s Damage on Subsistence Lives

On March 13, a cyclone of historic proportions struck the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu with winds equivalent to those of a Category 5 hurricane. The story of this disaster briefly occupied the international media and then disappeared, perhaps because the death toll was surprisingly low. The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs … Read more

With a New UN Resolution Approved, More Aid Could Get Inside Syria

Attempting a second time this year to ease the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria as a result of its three-year civil war and no political solution in sight, the United Nations Security Council has displayed a rare unified front on the matter by passing a resolution to better ensure that aid can get through conflict lines … Read more

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The UN Has Lost the Aid-Effectiveness Race: What Is to Be Done?

A UN-supported market in Lebanon.

Recent events have confirmed that the United Nations has a deep reservoir of good will worldwide. But its reputation is undermined by the ineffectiveness of its development assistance. UN agencies could improve their performance by implementing effective evaluations. However, the UN cannot be judged solely on the basis of its development assistance because the organization … Read more

UN Security Council Votes a Surprising ‘Yes’ on Syria

Valerie Amos

The United Nations Security Council approved a breakthrough resolution to demand humanitarian-aid access in Syria, after debating the language of the text for at least a week, as Russia lobbied hard for changes to soften wording or delete passages as well as tried to postpone the vote while the Olympics are taking place in Sochi … Read more

Gates and the British Government Seize the Lead for Family Planning

Birthing in Nepal

With the world population now growing faster than predicted only two years ago by the United Nations Population Division, a campaign to make family planning and the wider provision of contraceptives higher priorities in foreign aid policy after years of neglect has taken off. But it is largely being done outside the UN system, a … Read more

A Tale of Sierra Leone and Striving for Transparency

Britain, the world’s major center for investment in the extractive industries, is reviving the international debate on how open management of mining can prevent conflicts. The issue was raised in a Security Council meeting on June 19, after a seven-year hiatus on the subject in that setting. It was also discussed at the Group of … Read more

The Real Test of Mali? Holding a Presidential Election in July

Malians-bathing-in-Gao

BAMAKO, Mali — Here in the capital, far from the fight against the Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants in the north of the country, people are still overwhelmingly supportive of the French military intervention, which began early this year to oust the jihadists. They are also still comfortable with the presence of French and African-led troops … Read more

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