A blog by Grant Montgomery, co-founder of a 501c3 that provides emergency services and sustained development for communities, families and children on 5 continents. Articles and commentary on Philanthropy, Global Aid and Development.
At least 45 migrants died in an August 17 shipwreck off the coast of Libya, the deadliest such incident this year. The boat’s engine exploded off the coast of the city of Zuwarah.
More than 300 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Libya this year, according to the United Nations, but the real figure could be much higher.
On Wednesday, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees and the International Organization for Migration called for international search and rescue efforts to be stepped up. The European Union has shied away from launching its own rescue operation.
Today, World Humanitarian Day, the world honors all humanitarians – many working in their own communities – who are going to extraordinary lengths in extraordinary times to help women, men and children whose lives are upended by crises and the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Amid a global pandemic, unprecedented needs and growing insecurity, aid workers and health-care responders are staying and delivering to the world’s most vulnerable people.
The dedication, perseverance and self-sacrifice of these real-life heroes represent the best of humanity as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis and the massive increase in humanitarian needs it has triggered.
Last year was the most violent on record for humanitarians, with 483 attacked, 125 killed, 234 wounded and 124 kidnapped.
Humanitarian workers are being tested like never before, struggling with unprecedented movement restrictions and insufficient resources as needs are outpacing funds. And all too often, they risk their own lives to save the lives of others. Read more
International leaders at a virtual summit Sunday pledged $298 million in aid to help Lebanon in the aftermath of the catastrophic blast that killed at least 158 people and devastated large swaths of Beirut.
In his opening remarks, French President Emmanuel Macron — co-host of the summit along with the U.N. — said “Lebanon’s future was at stake” and urged attendees “to come together in support of Lebanon and its people.”
Reuters quotes Macron’s office as saying the approximately $298 million would not be conditional on governmental reforms in Lebanon, but longer-term support would be. During Sunday’s summit, Macron urged Lebanon’s leaders to act in the best interest of the country, making apparent allusion to outrage at the country’s ruling class following the blast.
Unrest in Lebanon has been at a high following last week’s explosion at Beirut’s port. Anger over the blast has been directed at corruption and negligence by the country’s politicians. A day ahead of the virtual summit, massive demonstrations drew thousands into the streets of downtown Beirut, with protesters even assembling a mock gallows for cut-outs of prominent politicians.
Prior to the explosion — caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored at Beirut’s port — the country had already been undergoing a major economic collapse. Lebanon had also been struggling under the COVID-19 pandemic.
The European Commission — the executive body of the European Union — pledged some $35 million on top of an already promised $39 million. The United Kingdom also pledged $26 million during the summit.
Earlier on Sunday, the acting administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development specified that the agency would pledge $15 million that would instead go through universities trusted by the United States, rather than the Lebanese government.
Doris Buffett, a self-styled retail philanthropist, who once declared that her billionaire younger brother, Warren Buffett, “loves to make money and I love to give it away,” has passed away at age 92.
When Doris inherited millions in Berkshire Hathaway stock from a family trust in 1996, instead of clinging to it like a security blanket, she dedicated the rest of her life to giving it away—all of it—mostly to individuals in trouble through no fault of their own. She gave away well over $100 million of her own money. She said she wanted to give it all away; that she wanted the last check she wrote to bounce due to “insufficient funds.”
She began the Sunshine Lady Foundation, helping battered women, sick children, and at-risk kids who otherwise would never have had the chance to go to college. She also funded college programs for prison inmates, lowering recidivism. And she did it through “retail philanthropy,” often making personal phone calls to those who needed help, one by one.
Doris shunned what she called “the S.O.B.’s” — symphonies, operas and ballets — and instead concentrated on the underprivileged.
Despite a life filled with negative experiences, Doris kept her heart open, focusing on the needs of others. She’d been knocked down repeatedly, only to get up, brush herself off, and go on. So there was no greater joy for her than knowing she had given someone else a hand up.