Issue 65

Open Society Foundations: Request for Proposals for grant supporting bilateral partnerships between think tanks


2011-08-08 – 2011-09-30

The Think Tank Fund and the East East: Partnership Beyond Borders Program of the Open Society Foundations announce a Request for Proposals to launch a grant competition which will support bilateral partnerships between think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union and Southeast Asia, and between think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union and Latin America. The objective of this competition is to connect policy analysts and experts to promote global peer cooperation in analysis, debate, and comparative policy solutions.

For more information visit this website.


World Humanitarian Day: Honouring the people helping people

European Commission – Press release

Brussels, 18 August 2011

19 August is World Humanitarian Day and as every year since 2008, tomorrow the European Commission will honour those who dedicate their lives to preserving and improving the lives of others who need assistance to survive.

“Humanitarian workers are humble but their achievement is not: each of them can make a difference for hundreds of human beings and this could be the difference between life or death, between starvation and deprivation or promise and self-sufficiency,” pointed out Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

Collectively, the EU is the world’s largest humanitarian donor – since the start of this year it has delivered over 37% of global humanitarian funding. The Commission is actively engaged in ensuring that Europe’s leadership in the humanitarian sphere delivers concrete results. Its Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Directorate General (ECHO) has more than 400 people working in 47 field offices anywhere in the world where humanitarian aid is needed.

The Commission collaborates with over 200 relief organisations. Its humanitarian partners include 14 United Nations agencies, 191 non-governmental organisations and three international organisations (The International Committee of the Red Cross/Red Crescent, The International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent and the International Organisation for Migration).

In 2010, the Commission funded the activities of the world’s most efficient humanitarian aid operators with €1.115 billion. This support is translated into relief and hope for 151 millions of suffering people in 80 countries.

This is the fourth time that World Humanitarian Day is marked around the world, honouring humanitarian staff who lost their lives and raising awareness about humanitarian assistance worldwide. The UN has chosen “people helping people” as the motto of this year’s campaign. The World Humanitarian Day was established in 2008 by the UN General Assembly which picked 19 August in memory of the 22 UN humanitarian workers who were killed by the bomb explosion in the UN office in Baghdad, Iraq, on 19 August 2003. One of them was the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello.

“World Humanitarian Day marks a time of remembrance and regret – and of resolve to continue to help those most in need despite the dangers,” Commissioner Georgieva said.

Humanitarian workers pay a high price for their commitment. Kidnappings, shootings and death threats are part of the job description in Afghanistan and Somalia, Darfur, Sri Lanka and many other places. According to the UN, in the last ten years it has become increasingly dangerous for aid workers to deliver assistance to those in need. Attacks on humanitarian posts have tripled, resulting in about 100 deaths per year. In 2010 there have been 129 security incidents targeting humanitarian workers; 69 of them were killed, 86 were injured and 87 were kidnapped.

The EU is dedicated to continue helping humanitarian aid workers in their combat against misery and to keep up its advocacy for the respect of humanitarian principles.

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