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Emerging donors chip away at aid industry’s status quo

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By Alex Whiting

Jan 26 (AlertNet) – Where most expat aid workers fear to tread in Mogadishu, recently arrived Turkish aid workers have been driving in the streets, swimming in the sea and praying in local mosques.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan visited Somalia in August, the first head of a non-African state to do so for nearly 20 years. The Turks have since opened an embassy, started work on the international airport, offered Somalis university places in Turkey and made plans to build a new hospital.

“Turkey is an animating force in Somalia … The people honestly love them,” said Mustakim Waid, who worked in Mogadishu for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — the second-largest intergovernmental organisation after the United Nations.

From Turkey to Brazil, India to Saudi Arabia, a growing number of non-Western donors are bringing fresh funds, a different mindset and their own experience of managing natural disasters to the global humanitarian aid scene.

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