foreign aid

Pakistan announced last week that it received a $1.5 billion grant from Saudi Arabia, which it termed a “friendly gift” and an “unconditional grant." Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have long had warm ties, but the no-strings-attached gift sparked immediate concern from Pakistani journalists, security experts, and opposition politicians, who question whether the grant is part of a behind-the-scenes deal for Pakistan to provide weapons for Syrian rebels.

The only help Obama has offered the Ukrainian military are military rations, but those haven’t even been sent yet, as Russian forces begin to attack Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea. As the crisis in Crimea reaches its “military stage,” and Russian troops have begun firing on Ukrainian soldiers, American promises of limited help to the Ukrainian military have not yet been fulfilled.

Japan has pledged more than $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority, as representatives from 22 nations reiterated their support of the Palestinians' quest for their own state. The pledge was announced Saturday at the second Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development, held in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

So, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni doesn’t like gays. In fact, he thinks they’re “disgusting.” Oh, and he doesn’t think much of the West either. And he says Uganda would be just fine without Western aid. So why haven’t we halted — in a New York minute — the $450 million a year or so in foreign aid we give this clown and his country?

The United States, hoping to avert economic chaos in Ukraine, is prepared to send financial support to supplement aid from the International Monetary Fund, the White House said on Monday. "The United States, working with partners around the world, stands ready to provide support for Ukraine as it takes the reforms it needs to, to get back to economic stability," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a news briefing.

UN officials lashed out as violence threatened efforts to help civilians. 'We understand that a war is going on. But even wars have rules,' the UN humanitarian chief said angrily. It has not been a promising 24 hours for mediation and humanitarian efforts in Syria. The UN's humanitarian chief lambasted the effort to provide aid to the Syrian city of Homs Thursday night, and today, UN special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi warned that the failure of ongoing negotiations was "staring us in the face."

The philanthropist Howard G. Buffett—eldest son of multibillionaire investor Warren Buffett—and Rwandan President Paul Kagame go back a long way. Buffett’s foundation has been active in Africa for years, investing more than $140 million in central Africa’s Great Lakes region, which includes Rwanda. Almost every time Buffett visits Africa, he stops by the Rwandan capital of Kigali to see Kagame.

Besides goodwill, another major motivation behind humanitarian assistance is exerting influence. Influence can emerge through cultural, economic, or political means. Political means seeking to resolve a conflict through humanitarian assistance and institutions practicing humanitarian efforts can be identified as ‘humanitarian diplomacy’.