Humanitarian Aid

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.

Monday, 18 February, 2013, 1:55am

Microlending is well-aimed aid

The international community has failed to help many of the world's poor. Could you or I do better without even spending a dollar? Around this time of year, many of us think about how we can make a tiny slice of the world a better place through giving to those in need. Too often, a disaster is required to persuade us our money won't be wasted.

2 Jan 2013 - 2:52am

UN errors in Sri Lanka war's climax revealed in damning report

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) receives a report from Charles Petrie, the head of an internal review panel on UN action in Sri Lanka, at the UN headquarters in New York. Photo: AFP

The United Nations failed in its mandate to protect civilians in the final months of Sri Lanka's civil war, according to a draft of a damning internal UN report seen by the BBC.

"Events in Sri Lanka mark a grave failure of the UN," the draft said, adding that the world body should "be able to meet a much higher standard in fulfilling its protection and humanitarian responsibilities".

15 Nov 2012 - 2:40am

Briefs, October 20, 2012

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai lying in her bed after receiving treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital/University Hospitals in Birmingham on October 19, 2012. Photo: AFP

Schoolgirl shot in head by Taliban can stand

LONDON - Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban, has been able to stand with help for the first time. She is also communicating by writing notes, said an official at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, central England, where she is being treated. AFP


20 Oct 2012 - 11:57am

Mainlanders keen to volunteer abroad, says medical charity chief

The interest in humanitarian work is huge on the mainland and the number of Chinese volunteers seeking to work abroad is bound to rise, says the president of a big international aid group.

2 Sep 2012 - 3:04am

They were cleaned out

Nine homeless people are suing the government. They say government workers threw all their belongings away during a clean-up. The judge has asked them to see if they can reach an agreement with the government before the case comes to court again, on June 21.

The street sleepers say that among the goods they lost were identity cards, phones and bank books.

28 May 2012 - 12:00am

Street sleepers urged to seek settlement

Nine homeless people suing the government were urged to seek an out-of-court settlement yesterday at a preliminary hearing into the case.

Adjudicator Brian Mak urged the claimants and the Secretary for Justice to try to negotiate a settlement before the court hearing resumes on June 21.

25 May 2012 - 12:00am

A safety net ripped apart

The issues

Getting the budget wrong

The government has been wrong about its budget forecast - twice. When it thinks it has a budget deficit, there is instead a surplus. Critics say the underestimation is troubling.

21 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

U.N. aid chief looks to HK for donations

If you want to raise funds for a good cause you follow the money.

That is why Catherine Bragg, the United Nations' assistant secretary general for humanitarian affairs, made her second visit to Hong Kong this year.

27 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

70pc grab HK$6,000 handout and forgo bonus

More than two-thirds of people eligible for the government's HK$6,000 cash handout have opted to take the money now rather than wait and collect a HK$200 bonus. But this is less than the expected number, leaving the Treasury with a surplus in its coffers for the year.

22 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Shippers rock boat with security fees

Hong Kong's exporters have urged container lines to explain the level of security surcharges imposed to pay for armed guards and other anti-piracy paraphernalia on ships transiting the Indian Ocean and other nearby pirate-infested waters.

31 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

A healthy meal can be had by all, including the poor

In these times of spiralling inflation in Hong Kong, low-income workers and their children are struggling to eat nutritionally balanced meals.

11 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Simple, effective ways to save children's lives

When the United Nations declares a famine, the world, rightly, snaps to attention. But after the immediate crisis recedes from public attention, the primary cause of the tragedy remains. Those now suffering from famine in Somalia have already suffered greatly from hunger and malnutrition.

10 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Charity boss held in abuse probe

The owner of Shenzhen's Family of Love charity house, once named a 'civilised citizen' and 'ambassador of love' by the city, has been accused of sexually abusing a girl aged nine.

6 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Prisoners in line for HK$6,000 handout

First they won the right to vote, now Hong Kong's prisoners look set to receive the HK$6,000 cash handout promised by the government.

But they won't be getting the money until those in more need are taken care of first, said a source familiar with the government's plans.

29 May 2011 - 12:00am