YOUR TURN TO ASK: Karel De Gucht, EU humanitarian aid chief
** This post is from Alertnet, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global humanitarian news Web site.**
Earthquakes, floods, the global recession and recurrent famines have been keeping aid professionals across the world as busy as ever. Such crises hit poor countries the hardest, focusing increasing attention on preventing and preparing for disasters rather than dealing with their devastating aftermath.
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, is one of the biggest sources of humanitarian and development aid in the world. For emergency response to recent earthquakes in Indonesia, it has provided $4.4 million – more than any other donor so far.
To help the Philippines currently recovering from two typhoons, the European Union and some member-states have contributed a total of $5.6 million – again, more than sent or promised by any other foreign donor.
How to help the developing world, not just when they are disasters, will be at the core of debates among heads of states, top European Union officials, Nobel Prize winners and other experts at an international conference in Stockholm between Oct. 22 and Oct. 24, called European Development Days.
Ahead of the conference, European Union Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Karel De Gucht will take questions from readers on this year’s topics for discussion: the impact of the economic crisis on developing countries, climate change and the link between democracy and development.
You can participate by using the comments section below or by using the #askEUaid tag on Twitter. Please post your questions by Thursday, Oct. 15.
We will get as many of your questions to De Gucht as possible and will publish his replies by the end of the week, so keep checking back!
New to Twitter? If you aren’t using Twitter already but want to post a question or see what other people are asking De Gucht through Twitter, just get yourself a Twitter account, search for the #askEUaid tag and view all questions. You can post a 140-character question yourself, making sure you use the #askEUaid tag somewhere in your post so it sits with all the other posts from people across the Twittersphere.