Political arrangements, humanitarian aid and the World Food Program

In the face of a humanitarian disaster, do political sympathies determine the acceptance of international aid? After the earthquake in Morocco, the state authorities did not accept many proposals from around the world. They only singled out “offers of support from friendly countries: Spain, Qatar, Great Britain and the United Arab Emirates.” Moroccans did not respond to aid from France, the USA, Tunisia, Turkey, Taiwan and Algeria.

Meanwhile, in Libya, two rival authorities cooperate to aid victims of the disastrous flood. The first centre of power is the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU), supported by Turkey and controlling the country’s northwestern part. Eastern Libya is ruled mainly by the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by General Khalifa Haftar. According to the UN, both hostile governments asked for international assistance and sat down for joint talks.

According to the World Food Program, cuts in funding for humanitarian aid by national governments are forcing the UN agency to drastically cut food rations for people most in need of help. Every 1% less aid threatens 400,000 people with starvation. As a result, the World Food Program has had to reduce food rations in almost half of its operations, including in the hardest-hit places such as Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia and Haiti. This means another 24 million people could suffer from extreme hunger in the coming year.

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