Over the last week the ever more shrill criticism of international aid found a new target - the practise of giving money directly to some of the poorest and most vulnerable people, otherwise known as cash transfers. The allegation made was that this amounted to setting up UK-funded cashpoints for the poor. However the reality is somewhat different... Giving cash directly to women like Julum and Elphine is not wasteful but it is empowering and effective. We need to be vigilant to always ensure aid money is not being misspent.
This remains a recurrent problem for Europe. We'll undoubtedly see this combination of bad timing, aid fatigue and an empathy gap rear its ugly head the next time disaster strikes in the developing world. The age-old blame game between journalists and readers cannot continue in this vein and Europeans must proactively step outside of the bubble. If not, we risk losing our sense of humanity altogether.
When the hurricane struck, communities banded together to ensure the most vulnerable - children and the elderly - were carried to safety. Once in temporary shelters it was women who mobilised to pool resources and ensure everyone was fed. They also made sure that teenage girls and single women slept away from the men, to ensure their safety.
Our first stop is North America, but not the USA. Instead we head further north into Canada, or Nova Scotia to be more precise. Here you will find Christmas Island, a place where the Post Office does a nice little sideline in postal markings for those people who like their festive letters to have an extra seasonal sprinkling.
With the Formula One season in full flow, you could be forgiven for thinking that my life at the moment is focused on non-stop training, qualifying and racing. It's often difficult to find time for anything else, but earlier this month I was able to visit Haiti with Unicef, the world's leading children's organisation, to make an appeal film for this year's Soccer Aid, which returns for the fifth time on Sunday 8 June.... No child, no matter where they live in the world should go hungry or lose their life because they or their family don't have enough to eat. That's why I'm asking everyone to tune in on June 8 and give what they can.
The world looked on in horror as a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on 12 January 2010. More than 200,000 people were killed in the capital alone, along with countless thousands of animals, including beloved pets and vitally important livestock. Just 72 hours later, the WSPA, rushed to aid the animals of the devastated nation...
The human trafficking industry - already the most profitable international criminal enterprise after the drugs and arms trades - is posting higher profits than ever. In 2005, UN estimated that it was a $32billion per year industry, based on International Labor Organization estimates that 20.9 million people suffered from forced slavery.
Imagine being born in a country where your parents and grandparents also grew up and then one day being told you are no longer eligible for nationality there. This means you will no longer have access to education, healthcare, a formal job, social security, or even be able to marry or register the births of your children...
The eyes of the world may now be turned elsewhere, but Haiti remains one of the most vulnerable places on earth, battered repeatedly by earthquakes, cyclones, floods, landslides, drought, and epidemics. Hurricanes routinely knock up to 15% from GDP. The total volume of humanitarian aid to Haiti since 2001 exceeds $4billion. The challenge ahead is stark.
As nature gets more ferocious in this changing climatic era, our antidote to an increasing number of disasters has to be DRR which for the experienced Caribbean engineer, Tony Gibbs means that "great hurricanes and earthquakes (can) be experienced as fascinating and awesome events which, nevertheless, do not lead to disasters."