The Sphere standards have been devised to ensure that people affected by disasters will receive an adequate level of assistance; these standards are used across the world and apply both to natural and complex emergencies. The latter tend to be lasting events that often create a displacement of the population and it is argued that in such situations, where prolonged assistance is required, the Sphere standards may be counterproductive. By using examples of water supply interventions, it is highlighted that in some circumstances the Sphere standards for water quality may only be achieved with systems too complex for the displaced population to operate and maintain on their own. The case of two war-affected areas of Eastern Chad are presented to illustrate the importance of the temporal aspects of the Sphere standards in complex emergencies, and raises important questions regarding the long-term sustainability of adopting such standards for displaced populations.
The forced displacement of 2.2 million persons during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was not a by-product of war but served the purpose of ethnic cleansing. An important aspect of redress for forced migration and displacement is the right of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to freely choose among three durable solutions: repatriation/return, integration, and resettlement. In the context of post-Dayton BiH, this right has been an artificial one as it has been exercised in a political environment that prioritises return. The goal of reversing ethnic cleansing through return has dominated what should be a neutral humanitarian process focused on the needs of individual refugees and IDPs. Weak conditions for sustainable return combined with the absence of alternatives to return have left many Bosnians without access to any durable solution. There is an urgent need to depoliticize the humanitarian space and to provide refugees, IDPs and returnees with genuine options.
This study aimed at examining the fuel supply mechanisms in Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) camps of Northern Uganda. About 1.2 million IDPs in Northern Uganda have put a lot of stress on the wood resources (major source of fuel) resulting into forests depletion, making firewood scarce, expensive and not affordable by many IDPs. The conditions related to or resulting from cooking fuel scarcity have an impact on food security, health, environmental protection and, also enhance gender-based violence. Although fuel shortage impacts in camps are known, the fuel issues are rarely thought of by the government, NGOs and other relief agencies. The main objective of the study was therefore, to gain an insight into how fuel supply in the IDPs’ camps can be made reliable, secure and adequate.
This paper is about an archetypal organization for delivering a new form of emergency aid. Locally-Led Advance Mobile Aid (LLAMA) is to be deployed when civilians trapped in conflict are dying and the chance of reaching them in time with conventional relief and protection is unlikely.
The magnitude of many recent complex emergencies has compelled UNHCR to consider the issue of conflict prevention. Such emergencies pose important questions about how to protect human life and human rights in crisis situations. Human rights abuses and violent conflict are the main reasons why people flee. Grappling with these problems can draw outsiders into areas traditionally seen as internal affairs. Countries in crisis want to preserve their sovereignty. Yet sovereignty should not be a shield, hiding abuses that might lead to major movements of people. Increasingly, international organizations, national governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and local leaders are working together creatively to address the abuses that can lead to refugee outflows and internal displacements.
Complex emergencies require the international community to respond quickly and efficiently with a variety of services. Experience has demonstrated that effective emergency response depends on coordination between nongovernmental organizations, governments, and international organizations. The increasing burden in recent years has prompted international organizations and states to reconsider how best to use the considerable capacity of the NGO community.
NGOs play an increasingly important role in humanitarian assistance and protection activities. In complex emergencies, national governments find it more and more difficult to provide, by themselves, the range of relief needed. Many situations present not only logistical difficulties, but political barriers to action. Nongovernmental organizations can, and do, help to fill the gap, playing a wide range of roles from early warning of human rights abuses to education and training for long-term self-sufficiency.
Norway provides an instructive example of one way to manage highly effective cooperation between government and the national NGO community. When I assumed my functions as High Commissioner, I identified emergency preparedness and response as one of the principal pillars of my office. Within this context, UNHCR and Norway entered into a new and closer relationship, through an emergency staff standby arrangement managed by the Norwegian Refugee Council. Through this arrangement, my office has been able to witness very directly the important and cooperative relationship between governments, international organizations, and NGOs.
Such creative arrangements are one of the tools that UNHCR can use to accomplish its key task of protecting people in peril. This report highlights the challenges posed by complex emergencies and suggests some ways in which the rights and well-being of vulnerable populations can be better safeguarded.
This paper argues that the armed conflict in Kosovo illustrates that forced displacement resulting in both internally displaced persons and refugees is an intentional, deliberate strategy of the parties to the internal conflict, and not just a consequence or unintended effect of the hostilities between ethnic Albanians and Serbs. The escalation of hostilities was also framed by the international community’s lack of coherent conflict management strategy for Kosovo. The two principal assumptions guiding the international community’s policymaking – that separation and independence for Kosovo was not a legitimate objective and that Kosovar Albanian armed resistance was considered terrorism – generated incentives for both parties to use force to achieve contrary objectives. This created considerable difficulties for the international community to effectively protect non-combatant civilians and forcibly displaced persons.
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