Monday, October 5, 2009

Wave of Disaster in the Asia Pacific Strains Aid Groups

A wave of disasters including two typhoons in the Philippines, a series of tsunamis in the South Pacific, and a 7.9 magnitude earthquake on the island of Sumatra have aid groups scrambling to deliver humanitarian aid.  Aid workers are clearing rubble from urban areas and struggling to provide clean water in urban areas. Aid organizations continue to scout rural areas to asses the damages and determine the level of aid necessary.  Workers in Sumatra are rescuing people trapped in rubble while acknowledging that utilities need to be restored to avoid severe sanitation problems as the rainy season begins.

US Fears Somali Aid May Be Helping Terrorists

The US has delayed the delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia amongst fear that the aid may be diverted to support Al-Shabab, a Somali terrorist group believed to have ties with Al Qaeda.  The US has delayed an estimated $50 million in aid as it develops new rules to better police aid delivery.  Most of the aid in question is related to disease prevention, and the UN confirmed that the US has not delayed any food aid to Somalia, many parts of which are on the brink of famine.

Somali Gunmen Release Three Kidnapped Aid Workers

On Saturday, rebels in Somalia released three aid workers with Action Against Hunger that were kidnapped in northern Kenya  in July.  The aid workers are reported to be in good health.  According to Aljazeera, the three workers were an American, a Zimbabwean, and a Pakistani, and they were released after the payment of bribe of an estimated $2.5 million.