Foreign aid for development projects is cut as African economies grow

Commentators on Britain's recent announcement of the end of direct aid to South Africa noted wryly that the aid cut roughly corresponded to the US$22 million President Jacob Zuma spent on 'security' upgrades for his home. Photo: Xinhua

Last year Western aid to sub-Saharan Africa quite literally decimated. Rich countries making up the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) reduced assistance to the region by 10 per cent, the largest drop in 16 years.

Monday, 27 May, 2013, 5:59am

How to make charity dollars count

Relief efforts and aid are most effective when disaster-hit communities are invited to help plan, carry out and monitor the reconstruction. Photo: AFP

Since the Yaan earthquake on April 20, Oxfam staff have often been asked how to best ensure donations are well spent in the community. This is a healthy reminder that keeps pushing us to refine our monitoring systems.

12 May 2013 - 4:00am

Beijing has learned lessons about quake relief since 2008

Beijing has learned lessons about quake relief since 2008

At 2.28 this afternoon countless families will be savouring lunch in honour of Mother's Day. But it will be a poignant moment for thousands of mainland mothers still mourning children who died in the catastrophic Sichuan earthquake that struck at that moment five years ago. The day after, this column closed its first comment with the words: "A great disaster has befallen China."

12 May 2013 - 4:00am 1 comment

China rivalled US for aid to Africa since 2000

China rivalled US for aid to Africa since 2000

China committed more than US$75 billion to Africa in the past decade, coming close to the level of US money although the nature of Beijing's support was far different, a study said.

1 May 2013 - 4:03am

Don't let concerns about corruption halt quake aid

Relief aide and charity donations for the Sichuan earthquake are good ways to show our love and care for the country and its people. Photo: AFP

Hong Kong has a good reputation for charity donations. From the Japan earthquake to the tsunami in Southeast Asia, we have shown exceptional generosity in helping our neighbours. When it comes to disasters on the mainland, our response is even more enthusiastic. Billions of dollars were raised after the Sichuan earthquake five years ago. So when the region was hit again over the weekend, it was only natural that relief aide and donations followed. Today, the government's HK$100 million funding request will be tabled to Legco for approval.

24 Apr 2013 - 3:14am 6 comments

Volunteers rush to aid quake victims in Lushan but end up clogging roads

Residents of Longmen collect fresh water from a supply station. Photo: AFP

Volunteers have rushed to the quake-hit county of Lushan to donate supplies, lend a helping hand and do whatever good they can, despite calls by authorities not to come.

22 Apr 2013 - 7:54am 1 comment

Victims of quake in Yaan, Sichuan, complain about lack of relief aid

Three-year-old Zheng Bing, with a swollen left eye and a wound to her head, sits on her father's lap in a Lushan hospital. Photo: Simon Song

Authorities in quake-hit Yaan city expect most relief materials to reach local people today, amid complaints of not enough government-provided aid.

22 Apr 2013 - 7:53am

Experts warn about problems in sending aid to Myanmar

Myanmar President U Thein Sein. Photo: Xinhua

Governments and agencies must be wary of flooding Myanmar with well-intentioned but ill-targeted aid, experts warned on Thursday, admonishing the global community to “first do no harm.”

15 Mar 2013 - 11:01am

Sluggish relief a blow to typhoon-hit Philippines

Typhoon Bopha wreaked devastation in Mindanao. Photo: AFP

Two months ago, Typhoon Bopha struck Mindanao in the southern Philippines. It's hard to explain the devastation that such a storm can wreak but, when I arrived there as an aid co-ordinator, I was met by scenes of devastation: palm trees splintered like giant toothpicks; mud, trees and debris from broken homes scattered everywhere.

18 Feb 2013 - 1:55am

UN hopes to have aid access to northern Mali within days

Governments and international organisations met at EU headquarters in Brussels to find ways to reinforce military gains against rebels in northern Mali. Photo: Xinhua

"We now have access back into central Mali," said David Gressly, who steers humanitarian operations in the region for the UN.

7 Feb 2013 - 4:17am

A measurement of success in helping the world's poor

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contribute much to the United Nations Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Photo: EPA

The lives of the world's poorest people have improved more rapidly in the past 15 years than ever before, and I am optimistic that we will do even better in the next 15 years. After all, human knowledge is increasing. We can see this in the development and declining costs of new medicines like HIV drugs, and in the creation of new seeds that allow poor farmers to be more productive.

7 Feb 2013 - 2:41am

City's first aid skills could use some emergency intervention

Most Hongkongers would be at a loss to provide the correct first aid in even the most common emergency situations, according to a Red Cross survey released yesterday.

11 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

China's wealth gap not a case for foreign aid

Foreign aid is, by its nature, political. While it is targeted at other countries' needs, it also reflects the donor country's interests. Humanitarian donations aside, donors assist development where it promotes political ties and serves their economic interests. China, for example, has emerged as a major donor to African nations with whom it does resources deals.

12 Oct 2010 - 12:00am

China's science experiments can only benefit Africans

This week, representatives of dozens of African nations have gathered in Beijing to launch a broad programme of scientific initiatives with China. Besides addressing the usual issues about trade, finance and concessional loans, details of the first large-scale Sino-African joint research programme will also be ironed out.

1 Apr 2010 - 12:00am

Plan to widen access to legal aid unveiled

The government plans to widen people's access to legal aid by lowering the bar for eligibility in a major review.

27 Mar 2010 - 12:00am