All tagged aid

“It was the toughest moment of my life.  I was pregnant against my wishes as a result of rape, going to an unknown country, with no support. But I had to face reality.” Speaking from the coffee shack she runs in Nairobi, Jenet recalls the day she stood alone on the border of Ethiopia and Kenya, aged 17.  It was just one critical moment on a traumatic journey that would see her subjected to multiple sexual assaults over the next four years.

Is there one word that sums up what the world needs more of?  That’s the question posed by the UN for this year’s World Humanitarian Day, when it pledges to “turn those words into currency”.  Change, peace, hope and teamwork (the latter as favoured by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon) spring instinctively to mind.  Along with justice and equality, they are among the trending suggestions in the run up to 19 August.  But just how realistic is it to think that words have the power to accelerate global change to the extent that is needed? 

“There is nothing like a disaster to boost an aid agency’s profile.”  It’s a truism evidenced by every humanitarian crisis in recent history, from the Sudanese famine captured by Kevin Carter’s iconic photograph as described in The Bang Bang Club, to the crisis now gripping West Africa.