humanitarian assistance

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised that the UK will accept up to 20,000 more Syrian refugeesby 2020. To help fund this, Chancellor George Osborne says that money should be used from the foreign aid budget to provide support for local councils. He said there should be a "fundamental rethink" of how the aid budget is used.

In the past few years, Turkey has taken upwards of two million Syrian refugees into the country and provided large quantities of aid to them as well. Aid to Syrian refugees has increased the overall humanitarian aid Turkey gives each year and this spending is seemingly aimed at increasing Turkey’s soft power internationally, and regionally with the Middle East. Often we in Turkey hear ideas from major media outlets about supporting the Middle East based on shared culture and religion, or a shared historical Ottoman legacy.

Between 2002 and 2013, approximately US$42.6 billion was given in foreign aid by the world’s richest countries to support higher education in developing countries. That may sound like a lot, but the total amount spent on foreign aid in that period was US$1.6 trillion – dwarfing higher education to just 2.7% of the total.

The International Organisation for Migration has predicted that migrant deaths in the Mediterranean might be as high as 30,000 this year (EU emergency summit will offer safe haven to only 5,000 refugees, 23 April). (...)There is a humanitarian solution. 

With budgets so squeezed, neither party cares to tout its gilt-edged record on foreign aid. But they should be proud of what we give, and have the courage to say so.

The U.S. government plans to donate $1 billion over the next four years to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, to fund immunizations for millions of children in developing countries.

Before going out of session this December, Congress both approved a number of key international development and humanitarian assistance measures and built vital momentum that will be crucial in passing food security legislation in the 114th Congress.