Mark Canavera is an old classmate of mine from Furman University in South Carolina. After college, I headed to grad school; Mark headed to Africa to begin a career in aid work. We caught up recently over email.
Archived posts from category ‘NGOs’
When hundreds of thousands of Darfuri refugees flooded across the Chad-Sudan border in 2003, fleeing a campaign of ethnic cleansing orchestrated by the Sudanese government and its militia proxies, the U.N. and various aid groups raced to help. Humanitarian workers built a vast and sophisticated network of refugee camps to house as many as 300,000 people. The European Union and, later, the U.N. deployed peacekeepers to protect the camps. By 2008, the refugee camps in eastern Chad had become a self-contained society, one of the biggest and seemingly most permanent in all the world.
War Is Boring pal Jessica Stone was in Haiti during Easter to report on the recovery efforts for Fox Radio and other media. Dropping by Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral in Port-au-Prince for Easter services, Stone spoke to survivor Joel Samson.
In Defense of Military Aid Work
Using the military for humanitarian purposes raises all sorts of red flags across government and aid organizations. “The distribution of aid by the military gives a very difficult impression to the communities and puts the lives of humanitarian workers at risk,” said Robert Watkins, the deputy special representative of the U.N. secretary general.
“If we’re going to talk about work as important — and expensive — as international aid, the least we can do is use accurate language,” my friend Alanna wrote in a recent guest post for Aid Watch. I could not agree more. In fact, I think we need to go a step further. It’s not just that there are many kinds of aid — it’s that some things we call aid are not aid at all.
by DAVID AXE In August, fighters from the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group rampaged through Ezo, a county of autonomous South Sudan that borders the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The rebels burned and looted homes, churches and health facilities, killed an undetermined number of civilians and kidnapped as many as [...]
Norman Borlaug, Food Savior, Dies
by DAVID AXE For nearly two decades starting in 1944, future Texas A&M prof Norman Borlaug helped Mexican farmers use improved wheat strains to boost food production. His “green-revolution” techniques were eventually adopted across the world. “More than any other single person of his age, he has helped to provide bread for a hungry world,” [...]
by DAVID AXE Ten years ago, Catholic East Timor voted to break away from Muslim Indonesia. Subsequent fighting killed hundreds and flattened the tiny country’s infrastructure. The U.N., plus Australian and New Zealand peacekeepers, stepped in to provide security and funnel aid to East Timor’s 1 million people. But just 10 percent of the $8 [...]
Columbia City Paper: Dark Trade: Aid-for-Bases, Failed Development Reveal the Dark Side of U.S. “Soft Power”
by DAVID AXE In August last year, the senior officer aboard USS Kearsarge, a U.S. Navy ship deployed to Latin America, issued an unusual order. Capt. Frank Ponds ordered the hundreds of sailors, Marines, soldiers and airmen under his command to avoid using the term “troops” when describing themselves to Latin American reporters. At the time [...]
Due to the global recession, the six-nation Central African Economic and Monetary Community — Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Republic, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon — is anticipating economic expansion of just 2.8 percent in 2009, versus 4.4 percent last year. That’s not bad, considering Germany could contract by as much as 7 percent, and [...]
F-22s to Darfur? Not So Fast …
U.N. officials and aid workers are gathering in eastern Chad to discuss preparations for an alarming contingency. With the recent arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Bashir and his subsequent ejection of foreign aid groups from Darfur, the U.N. and Chad’s humanitarian community are worried that thousands of Darfuri refugees currently living in camps in [...]
Who Watches the (Pirate) Watchers?
Who makes sure that Somali pirates, captured by the U.S. military’s Combined Task Force 151, are treated right? Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), that’s who. This according to defpro: NCIS Special Agent Keith Allen brings more than 15 years of local and federal law enforcement expertise to CTF-151. “NCIS is making sure the proper guidelines [...]