USAID Weighs Political Priorities, Branding For Humanitarian Aid Deliveries, Delaying Some Assistance During Pandemic Response

New York Times: At USAID, Juggling Political Priorities and Pandemic Response
“The coronavirus was spreading around the world, and officials at the United States Agency for International Development were anxious to rush humanitarian aid to nations in need. But first, they had to settle a debate over American branding and whether it should be displayed on assistance headed to conflict zones. … At the end of the debate this spring, relief workers were allowed to distribute aid without the branding in a handful of countries in the Middle East and North Africa. But the discussion, as described by a half-dozen current and former officials at the aid agency and relief workers who were briefed on it, delayed assistance for several weeks to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities as the pandemic began to peak. It was a cautionary example of the political intervention that has roiled an agency that prides itself as leading the humanitarian response to disasters, conflict, and other emergencies around the world…” (Jakes/Verma, 9/13).

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