Top of the Morning: UK Hits Aid Target; Food Emergency In Mali; Syrian Aid Drive Launched

UK to Hit 0.7% Aid Target

The UN set the target for rich countries to spend 0.7% of their gross national incomes on aid. The UK will become the first G8 country to hit that mark this year, announced George Osborne. “Britain is sticking to the target despite austerity measures elsewhere, which has angered some Tory backbenchers, who argue that the Department for International Development’s budget should not be protected when other government departments are suffering. However, Osborne said DfID’s budget will be adjusted to ensure that Britain does not spend more than 0.7%. ‘We should all take pride in this historic moment for the country,’ Osborne told MPs in a rowdy budget session.” (Guardian

Oxfam Alarmed by Food Situation in Northern Mali

The NGO says that a spike in food prices is causing the majority of adults to reduce their food intake in order to feed their children. “Recent surveys in the Bourem area of the Gao region found that the price of basic foodstuffs had increased by up to 70% as a result of the military operation, Oxfam said. Cereals such as sorghum, millet and corn are now not available on the market, it said.” (BBC

UK Charities Launch Syria Aid Appeal

The Disasters Emergency Committee launched an appeal for member NGOs to respond to the humanitarian situation caused by the two-year-old conflict in Syria. “Chief executive Saleh Saeed said: ‘Despite the efforts of our member agencies and others there are huge and urgent unmet needs, both in Syria and the surrounding countries.’ In Syria, the greatest challenge to meeting those needs remains the barriers to delivering aid which are faced by impartial humanitarian agencies such as our members. ‘The lack of funds are also a critical constraint though – both for work in Syria and the surrounding countries.  (BBC

Photo Credit: Heb