March 23, 2023

What Next for Life-Changing Support?

The cover image shows the effects of flooding in Bangladesh. Photo : Pixabay/Maruf Rahman

Editor’s note: This article is a reprint of a page that appears in print in Appropriate Technology Magazine, Vol 48, No. 3. It is published here with permission as a part of our collaboration with the magazine. For more, please see the magazine’s site:

Expressing an appropriate reaction to everything that has happened in Afghanistan in recent weeks has been a daunting process. While the international media has justifiably focused on the desperate plight of those involved in the evacuation from Kabul Airport, we have concentrated on a few simple accounts of how the lives of ordinary Afghans have been changed by aid-backed projects over the past 20 years.

Providing a mother of six with a micro greenhouse so she can finally afford to heat the family home, enabling her to sell surplus produce for the first time in her life, captures the heartbeat of development aid (pages 28 & 29).

Irrigation projects which have revitalised rural communities are equally impressive, alongside training pioneer farmers so they, in their turn, can share knowledge and techniques with their neighbours.

As previously supportive governments and international development agencies absorb the sudden change of circumstances in Afghanistan, the clear message from many such organisations is that the people themselves need our support ‘now more than ever’ (page 5). Translating that core desire into ongoing and sustainable action will not be easy, but the alternative is clearly unacceptable.


The other key concern we’ve sought to highlight in this issue of Appropriate Technology is climate change. With just a few weeks to go until world leaders gather in Scotland for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), the need to shine a spotlight on the environmental impacts of global warming could not be greater.

We take a detailed look at the newly published report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and examine how climate-smart agriculture might enable smallholders in Rwanda to cope with future extreme weather shocks (pages 18-21).

Our pages also reflect food security issues caused by drought in some parts of the world and the loss of land and vegetation to raging fires elsewhere. This is a challenge for all nations, of course, but most drastically for developing countries where the margin for error is so small. Hopefully, as the Presidents, Prime Ministers and Chancellors of the world’s most powerful nations meet in Glasgow on October 31, they will determine to implement an agreement that truly reflects the accelerating gravity of climate change.

AidEx returns

It is a delight to devote a run of pages to the return of AidEx to live action in Brussels on November 17 and 18. A hugely important humanitarian aid event, AidEx has been greatly missed during its enforced Covid-19 postponement. Now back for its 10th anniversary appearance, AidEx is accompanied this time by the debut presence of Development2030.

Our preview features an early guide to some of the key topics to be explored during both events. The list includes a headline debate on the global growth in authoritarian and populist governments and their possible impact on the delivery of humanitarian aid.
The first Development2030 programme, meanwhile, is headed by a debate on the impact of Covid-19 on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

A key question for speakers and delegates concerns the extent to which the pandemic will affect delivery of the SDGs over the next decade.
We also take an AidEx-inspired look at a few new product ideas and innovations, very much in tune with the energy and enthusiasm which is always generated within the Brussels exhibition hall.

Welcome to DIHAD 2022

And finally, a very warm welcome to DIHAD 2022, the Dubai-based conference and exhibition event which serves the International Humanitarian Aid and Development Community in the Middle East, Africa, and the world. Appropriate Technology is pleased to announce the agreement of our Media Partner status with DIHAD 2022, which is due to be held in Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE, from March 14–16, 2022.

Find this and other commentary in Appropriate Technology Magazine’s profile on our site. 

Appropriate Technology Magazine is a print publication by Research Information Ltd in Burnham, Buckinghamshire (UK). The magazine is a conglomeration of three, the original Appropriate Technology that was first published y Intermediate Technology Publications, International Agricultural Development and Gate Technology.

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