|The Courier No. 136 - Nov-Dec 1992 - Dossier Humanitarian Aid Country Reports Sao Tomé-Principe-Senegal (European Community, 1992)|
AFRICA-CARIBBEAN-PACIFIC - EUROPEAN COMMUNITY
MEETING POINT: Peter Pooley and Santiago Gomez-Reino
The European Community contributes ever growing quantities of humanitarian aid to countries in need. But until this year, no single body was responsible for coordinating or publicising the aid. Now the Commission has set up the European Community Humanitarian Office, known by its striking initials ECHO. ECHO's first acting Director, Peter Pooley, launched the Office, and its newly appointed Director Santiago Gomez-Reino has now taken the helm. They talk about ECHO's work and the EC's humanitarian aid.
SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE: An ex-Portuguese colony off the Gulf of Guinea, Sao Tomnd Principe consists of two of the most beautiful islands in the world where the natural vegetation - still largely intact - is particularly luxuriant. The country derives 90% of its revenue from a single product, cocoa, but this has been declining for the past 20 years. Finding alternatives to this monoculture is, therefore, a priority.
SENEGAL: A country with a fascinating culture and people, Senegal is currently at a crucial phase in its economic and political history. Largely dependent on external aid, the Senegalese economy is suffering in the international crisis. As for its democratic system, which has existed for 20 years, this needs to find a 'second wind' if it is to retain its distinctive place and not be left behind by the new democracies which are - albeit with difficulty-springing up on the continent.
DOSSIER: Humanitarian aid
In many parts of the world, 1992 has seen a sharp increase in the suffering and disorder caused by natural disasters like famine, flooding and drought and man-made catastrophes like civil war and invasion. As whole populations are starving or being displaced, aid donors, including the EC, are having to think seriously about their response. This dossier reports on where humanitarian aid is going and considers the underlying questions.