World
US juggling 'too many' humanitarian crises worldwide
Publish Date: May 02, 2014
US juggling 'too many' humanitarian crises worldwide
The US is coordinating some $67 million in humanitarian aid for Central African Republic this year. PHOTO/AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

WASHINGTON - The United States is contending with too many global humanitarian crises at once to comprehensively fund relief efforts, the State Department told Congress Thursday, urging other nations to step up.

The aid landscape this year looked particularly challenging given the emergencies in South Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR), where brutal rebellions and ethno-religious violence have left thousands of people dead, displaced millions and pushed countless more to the brink of famine.

"Thanks to Congress, we have appropriations to do more this year, but as you know we are contending with too many humanitarian emergencies," Assistant Secretary of State Anne Richard, who oversees population, refugees and migration issues, told a House hearing on the CAR.

Some 2,000 people have been killed and nearly a million displaced since ethnic and religious strife swept the Central African Republic in late 2013, according to the State Department.

It is coordinating some $67 million in humanitarian aid for CAR this year, and in mid-April the United Nations called for $274 million to address humanitarian needs in the region related to the crisis there.

But the donor community risks its aid being spread too thin on the ground.

"Unrest in CAR is happening at the same time as upheaval and violence in South Sudan and widespread conflict in Syria," Richards told a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa and global health.

Other major crises demanding world attention: continuing unrest in Ukraine, Mali's refugees, the aftermath of the Philippines' devastating typhoon, renewed violence in Darfur, and war-weary Afghanistan.

"It's a very difficult situation," with key aid groups like World Food Program stretched thin, said Richard, who travelled to CAR in April and heard testimonies from victims of brutal, spiralling violence.

Congressman Christopher Smith, who chairs the subcommittee, complained that some aid groups operating in CAR were doing so on an "absolute shoestring," and that it was imperative to boost funding to such groups.

Richard said expanding the donor pool -- such as in the Syria conflict, when Gulf states engaged on the humanitarian front -- was a priority.

"We would like to see more countries who haven't been traditional donors join us," she said.

Congress appropriated $1.3 billion for total US Agency for International Development operations for 2014, about $215 million less than the 2013 level.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
US doctor beats Ebola, will leave hospital
The American doctor who fell ill with the dangerous Ebola virus while working in Liberia has recovered and is being released from an Atlanta hospital, an aid group has said....
French baby
A four-month-old baby boy is in hospital after a circus camel bit him on the head, French police said on Thursday....
Man gets 10 million dollars for wrongful conviction
A New York man was awarded $10 million after spending 16 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, his lawyer said Wednesday....
Parents of executed journalist praise their
Friends, relatives and colleagues have paid tribute to American journalist James Foley, executed by Islamic State jihadists, with his parents praising their "fearless" son....
Liberia
Violence erupts in an Ebola quarantine zone in Liberia's capital when soldiers open fire and use tear gas on crowds....
Vietnam tests two Nigerians for Ebola
Vietnam is testing two Nigerians for the deadly Ebola virus after they arrived on a flight to Ho Chi Minh City showing symptoms of fever, the health ministry said....
Will strict traffic laws reduce road accidents?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter