Alwaleed Philanthropies donating $1m for Sri Lanka flood relief

A boy carries water bottles near a flood affected area near Colombo. (AP)
Updated 24 May 2016

Alwaleed Philanthropies donating $1m for Sri Lanka flood relief

RIYADH: Alwaleed Philanthropies (AP), chaired by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, is donating $1 million to provide support to those affected by the recent floods and landslides that have caused devastation in Sri Lanka.
The announcement comes as delegates from 175 countries gather in Istanbul today for the opening of the first ever World Humanitarian Summit.
At the summit, global leaders are discussing how to effectively respond to major humanitarian challenges like the one in Sri Lanka, and how to be better prepared to meet challenges of the future.
The disaster in Sri Lanka has claimed the lives of dozens of people, with hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes.
Though Sri Lanka frequently experiences severe monsoons and flooding, this year’s devastation was unusually fierce for so early in the rainy season.
 AP’s funds will be used to provide vital relief to victims of the disaster, through the foundation’s partnerships with the UN World Food Programme, Habitat for Humanity and International Medical Corps.
The UN World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. In emergencies, it gets food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After the cause of an emergency has passed, it uses food to help communities rebuild their lives.
Habitat for Humanity works with the poorest and the most vulnerable to help provide them with a decent place to call home and the opportunity for a life built on hope and potential, self-reliance and dignity.
International Medical Corps works to relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease by delivering vital health care services that focus on training, helping devastated populations return to self-reliance.
 “This crisis reinforces just how important this week’s discussions are at the World Humanitarian Summit. One of the core aims of the Summit is to enable countries and communities to better prepare for and respond to crises just like this one in Sri Lanka,” said Nauf Al-Rawaf, executive manager of Global Initiatives at AP.
For over 35 years, Alwaleed Philanthropies has supported and initiated projects in over 120 countries regardless of gender, race, or religion.
Alwaleed Philanthropies collaborates with a range of philanthropic, governmental and educational organizations to combat poverty, empower women and youth, develop communities, provide disaster relief and create cultural understanding through education.

US regulators target Facebook on discriminatory housing ads

Updated 18 August 2018

US regulators target Facebook on discriminatory housing ads

  • Facebook says company does not allow discrimination
  • US complaint alleges violation of fair housing laws

NEW YORK: Federal regulators are alleging that Facebook’s advertising tools allow landlords and real estate brokers to engage in housing discrimination.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development said in an administrative complaint this week that Facebook violated the Fair Housing Act because its targeting systems allow advertisers to exclude certain audiences, such as families with young children or disabled people, from seeing housing ads.

“When Facebook uses the vast amount of personal data it collects to help advertisers to discriminate, it’s the same as slamming the door in someone’s face,” HUD Assistant Secretary Anna María Farias said in a statement Friday.

Service providers such as Facebook typically aren’t liable for the actions of their users. In a separate, civil lawsuit filed by housing advocates, the Justice Department said Facebook doesn’t fall under that category because it mines user data, some of which users have to provide, and customizes ads for specific audiences. The government said that counts as being a content creator, rather than merely a transmitter of user content.

Facebook said the company doesn’t allow discrimination and has strengthened its systems over the past year to prevent misuse. The company added that it is working directly with HUD to address its concerns. Facebook has an opportunity to respond to the HUD complaint before the agency determines whether to file formal charges.

The HUD action is separate from the federal lawsuit, filed in March in New York by the National Fair Housing Alliance and other organizations. The lawsuit says investigations by fair housing supporters in New York, Washington, D.C., Miami and San Antonio, Texas, show that Facebook continues to let advertisers discriminate even though civil rights and housing groups have notified the company since 2016 that it is violating the federal Fair Housing Act.

It seeks unspecified damages and a court order to end discrimination.

The Justice Department’s position came in a filing in that case. Facebook said it plans to respond in court.