Stories: Aid

  • Show Us the Aid: Anger in an Ancient Nepali Town

    Where is the aid? That's what the people of the ancient city of Bhaktapur want to know. A grandmother and her grandson sit on the belongings that they have salvaged from their collapsed homes on April 29, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Photo: Omar Havana/Getty Images The historic gate to old Bhaktapur is about the only thing still standing...

  • The Environmental Cost of the Construction Boom in Haiti

    The construction boom in Haiti--driven by Diasporan money, UN [MINUSTAH] and government funds--is destroying the local environment around the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Hillsides are being cut away and river beds decimated to feed the huge demand for rock and gravel for personal homes, warehouses and post earthquake reconstruction by the government–in short everything but low cost housing. I...

  • Leaving Unfinished Business in African Villages

    Today I visited a One Acre Fund farmer training meeting in Magulilwa village in Iringa District in Tanzania. You might of heard of the One Acre Fund from Roger Thurow’s groundbreaking book, The Last Hunger Season. In fact, I personally learned about the One Acre Fund from his book, and I readily admit I...

  • From Tanzania With No Government

    Having spent more than two years serving as USAID’s supervisory program director it’s probably safe to assume Craig Hart has fielded some interesting questions from journalists. Rocked back in his chair at the end of a long conference table today inside the American Embassy in Tanzania’s capitol, Hart, a big guy with an...

  • Haiti and the White Saviour Industrial Complex

    Make a cursory online search of mobile clinics in Haiti and you will come up with thousands of results. I searched the first three pages and found clinics operated mainly by US faith-based charities and a couple of international medical NGOs such as International Medical Corps, the International Red Cross and Médecins Sans...

  • Today Was a Lesson in Humility

    Today was a lesson in humility. It will not be the last one in this trip. There’s so much to learn. And like almost everything related to development and aid, getting a clear picture is often complicated.  Let’s take apps. Today we visited KINU, an innovation tech space for start-ups in Dar Es Salaam....

  • Rajiv Shah of USAID: How to Modernize Foreign Aid to Build a More Resilient World

    Your agency funds projects around the world to promote health, improve food security, and so on. About a year into your tenure, in 2011, you said that USAID is “no longer satisfied with writing big checks to big contractors and calling it development.” So why are the funds still going primarily to big organizations? We have actually...

  • Fear and Loathing in North India’s Sugar Cane Town

    Zareena Khatun, 45, covered her head and part of her anguished face in a white scarf and her sun-battered hands worried a string of white prayer beads. Ms. Khatun sat on the floor of a madrasa in Bassi Kalan in Shamli district of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, which had been converted into a refugee camp. On Sept. 7, riots...

  • What Pakistan’s Release of the Afghan Taliban’s No. 2 Means for Peace

    Pakistan has said it will release the Afghan Taliban’s former deputy from its custody as the new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tries to repair frayed ties with the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai. Sartaj Aziz, Sharif’s top adviser on foreign affairs, said Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar could be freed...

  • Bondye From the Mountaintop

    Last Sunday, I took a trip up to the highest point overlooking the city of Port-au-Prince and took a few photos – it wasn’t particularly inspiring.   Until I saw this little girl in luminous green – I missed the full body shot.   Whilst being harassed by street vendors all selling the same old same...