‘Operation Damayan’ takes shape in storm-ravaged Philippines
November 13th, 2013
04:49 PM ET

‘Operation Damayan’ takes shape in storm-ravaged Philippines

By Barbara Starr

The U.S. military relief effort in the storm-struck Philippines is expected by Sunday to have more than 30 land-based aircraft ferrying relief supplies, in addition to dozens of additional ship-based helicopters and heavy vehicles, according to military officials.

A third amphibious ship, the USS Denver, is now also on its way to the region devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, along with the USS Ashland and USS Germantown.

It is anticipated about 500 Marines will be on board the three ships to help with moving material to Philippine distribution points.

The ships, however, are not expected to arrive before November 19. The bulk of the Marines are expected to move back and forth from their ships as needed.

There are another 300 U.S. military personnel on the ground in Manila, Tacloban and Cebu assisting in operations.

All of the ships, including the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, which is expected to arrive Thursday, will help with critical water purification needs, officials say.

August 19th, 2013
10:36 PM ET

Why Obama is not cutting aid to Egypt

More than 900 people have died in the violence across Egypt over the past week. And now, 51% of Americans say the United States should cut off the $1.3 billion in military aid we give that country each year.

But the Obama administration said Monday it hasn't yet decided – its review of the situation is still "ongoing."

Egypt on edge amid questions about U.S. aid

One, incredibly powerful group wants to keep the money flowing to egypt.

CNN's Chris Lawrence reports for Erin Burnett OutFront.

Billions in aid on the line: What will the U.S. do about Egypt?
August 15th, 2013
05:23 AM ET

Billions in aid on the line: What will the U.S. do about Egypt?

When Egypt's first democratically elected president was tossed out earlier this year, the White House stopped short of calling it a coup.

Doing so would force an end to the $1.3 billion that the U.S. sends in military aid every year - and change the course of its relationship with one of its strongest Arab allies in the region.

But that was before Wednesday when the military-led interim government stormed two camps full of former President Mohamed Morsy's supporters. More than 300 people were killed and close to 3,000 wounded in the bloodiest day in Egypt's recent history.

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Filed under: Egypt • Foreign Aid • Mohamed Morsey
As diplomacy hits a snag, U.S. eyes future with Egypt
August 7th, 2013
08:23 PM ET

As diplomacy hits a snag, U.S. eyes future with Egypt

By Elise Labott

International diplomacy hit a dead end Wednesday when the interim Egyptian government broke off talks to defuse the political crisis.

Egypt declared efforts to broker an agreement between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military-backed government a failure, putting an end to an intense effort by the United States, the European Union and other countries to end the stalemate sparked by the military's ouster of President Mohammed Morsy.

"These efforts have not achieved the hoped for results," the Egyptian presidency said in a statement on the end of the mediation. The statement placed blame on the Muslim Brotherhood.

The president thanked diplomats for mediation efforts but didn't take kindly to warnings from key U.S. senators in the region. FULL POST

Aid experts warn U.S. aid to Syrian rebels blurs lines
March 2nd, 2013
12:50 PM ET

Aid experts warn U.S. aid to Syrian rebels blurs lines

By Allison Brennan and Elise Labott

The decision by the Obama administration to provide nonlethal aid to Syrian rebel forces seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad is drawing fire from some in the aid community, saying it politicizes aid and violates principles of neutrality which governs aid delivery.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday announced the United States would give aid to armed opposition, including medical supplies and meals. The aid marks the first signs of direct and vocal American support for the rebels in the nearly two-year bloody conflict, which the UN estimates has claimed more than 70,000 lives and forced millions more from their homes.

Washington hopes the aid will bolster the credibility of the Syrian opposition, peel away supporters from al-Assad and curb a growing allegiance to radical Islamic groups gaining favor among the population by providing basic services to citizens in rebel-controlled areas.

But some aid workers worry al-Assad’s regime could punish all humanitarian groups for the U.S. decision, thus hampering efforts to deliver aid. FULL POST

March 2nd, 2013
11:08 AM ET

US foreign aid on budget chopping block

CNN's Elise Labott looks at how U.S. foreign aid could be affected by the forced spending cuts.

Kerry: Diplomacy is cheaper than no diplomacy
Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the University of Virginia.
February 20th, 2013
04:57 PM ET

Kerry: Diplomacy is cheaper than no diplomacy

By Jamie Crawford, reporting from Charlottesville, Virginia

Even in an era of budget austerity in Washington, continued investment in foreign aid and American diplomacy will benefit the economy, and is cheaper in cost and risk than requiring future overseas military deployments, Secretary of State John Kerry said.

Just days before departing on his first overseas trip as the nation's top diplomat, Kerry chose his first foreign policy address on Wednesday to lay out out the case for continued American engagement.

"How we conduct our foreign policy matters to our everyday lives – not just in terms of the threats we face, but in the products we buy, the goods we sell, the jobs we create, and the opportunity we provide for economic growth and vitality," Kerry told a University of Virginia audience.

"It's not just about whether we'll be compelled to send our troops into another battle, but whether we'll be able to send our graduates into a thriving workforce," he said.

January 25th, 2013
05:29 AM ET

The Syrian crisis: Where's U.S. aid going?

It has been more than a year since the United States government withdrew its ambassador to Syria and closed its embassy in Damascus.

On Thursday, that ambassador returned to the region along with a U.S. delegation, touring a Syrian refugee camp in Turkey to bring more attention to the growing humanitarian crisis. As the civil war has intensified in Syria, hundreds of thousands of people have sought refuge in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and other neighboring countries.

Ambassador Robert Ford gave an exclusive interview to CNN's Ivan Watson and described what the U.S. is doing to help the refugees and the Syrian opposition.

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Filed under: Foreign Aid • Robert Ford • Syria • US Ambassador
U.S. declines Pakistani radical's offer to help Sandy victims
An overview of the fire damage in Queens, New York, following Hurricane Sandy. Residents in hard-hit areas sifted through the wreckage of Sandy on Wednesday as millions remained without power.
November 1st, 2012
07:47 AM ET

U.S. declines Pakistani radical's offer to help Sandy victims

By Saima Mohsin

As residents of the U.S. Northeast grapple with the destruction wrought by Superstorm Sandy, an offer of assistance has come from an unlikely quarter: the leader of a radical Muslim group in Pakistan that Washington has branded a terrorist group.

"We offer our unconditional support and help for the victims" of the storm, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, head of the Islamic charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa, said in a statement late Tuesday. "If U.S. government allows, we will send our doctors, relief and rescue experts, food and medicine on humanitarian grounds."

India accuses Saeed of masterminding the 2008 terrorist assault on Mumbai that killed 166 people - an allegation he denies.

The United States, which has declared Jamaat-ud-Dawa a terrorist organization and put up a $10 million reward for information leading to Saeed's arrest and conviction, declined the offer.

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Filed under: Foreign Aid • Terrorism
January 25th, 2012
03:51 AM ET

U.S. forces free aid workers in nighttime raid in Somalia

By CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - U.S. forces in military helicopters freed two hostages, an American and a Dane, in a nighttime raid in Somalia that left at least seven gunmen dead, local authorities said.

Kidnappers seized American Jessica Buchanan and Poul Thisted in October after they visited humanitarian projects in the northern part of the country, according to the Danish Refugee Council they worked for.

Both are unharmed and at a safe location, the aid group said.

President Barack Obama said he authorized the raid , and thanked the Special Operations Forces for "the extraordinary courage and capabilities, " but did not provide details on the fatalities.


Filed under: Africa • Diplomacy • Foreign Aid • Military • Somalia
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