Top of the Morning: Aid Groups Sound Alarm on Yemen; A Tale of Two Shrinking Foreign Aid Budgets

Top stories from DAWNS Digest. 

Aid Groups Sound Alarm on Yemen

Security and counter-terrorism are much higher on the international community’s agenda for Yemen than are humanitarian concerns. And it shows: “Over the last two months, nearly 95,000 people have been forced to leave their homes as a result of two new conflicts. Since mid-February, an estimated 56,000 people (8,000 families) have been displaced in the south from Abyan Governorate, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In the north, an estimated 38,000 people (5,500 families) have been displaced in Hajjah Governorate alone…Raul Rosende, the head of OCHA in Yemen, told IRIN: ‘In 2011, the humanitarian situation in Yemen was bad. In 2012, things are worse. We have seen deterioration in the main indicators, and this is why we need to improve our humanitarian response.”  According to OCHA, some 44 percent of Yemen’s population – over 10 million people – are food insecure. Of that number, five million cannot produce or buy enough food. In Al Bayda Governorate, over 60 percent of the population are food insecure.’ (IRIN

A Tale of Two Shrinking Foreign Aid Budgets

1) US Congress Edition: “House Republicans on Tuesday released a $40.1 billion spending bill for foreign aid and other State Department programs that cuts funding by $2 billion — or 5 percent — from the previous year’s levels. The bill “significantly cuts” payments to international organizations, eliminating support for the Clean Technology and the Strategic Climate funds and zeroing out funding to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) after it voted to admit Palestine last year.” (The Hill


2) Australian Parliament Edition : ”Foreign aid will be stripped of almost $3 billion with Labor breaking its pledge to spend more on overseas development. The government had promised to devote 0.5 per cent of Australia’s gross national income to foreign aid by 2015 — raising total spending to potentially as much as $8 billion. But that increase will now be delayed another year to 2016, despite Labor renewing the 2015 pledge at its national conference in December.” ( SMH