Based upon a wide literature that shows little evidence of linkages between terrorism and poverty this paper suggests that the US government’s efforts over the past eight years in redirecting its aid to tackle terrorism through the lens of poverty alleviation are doomed to ineffectiveness on both counts. Instead the paper suggests emphasizing the means by which aid is delivered, focusing on appropriate grassroots mechanisms, community engagement and ownership over the current obsession with measurable metrics. Implemented accordingly, foreign aid can both reduce poverty and be an effective tool against violent extremism. What follows are four key recommendations to transform US foreign assistance into a more effective tool in the fight against poverty and violent extremism.
This paper explores the science and politics of counting excess Iraqi civilian casualties of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. The exact number of Iraqi civilian deaths as a result of the war is not known, and perhaps will never be known. The deaths of nearly one million Iraqi civilians remain disputed by governments and non-governmental organizations worldwide. The first part of this paper analyzes the reasons behind this dispute, and argues that the counting of excess Iraqi civilian casualties has not been treated as an unbiased scientific endeavor, but rather, as a means of reinforcing political agendas. The dispute over deaths is further adding to the injustice already experienced by the Iraqi people. Therefore, the second part of this paper calls for greater accountability by states to civilian populations during war to prevent a repeat of such injustice from occurring to civilian populations of future wars. The aim of this paper is not to provide practical suggestions for improving counting methodologies. Rather, this paper takes a broader view of the issue and calls for greater accountability by the US and its allies is response to Iraqi civilian deaths as a result of the 2003 invasion.
This article examines separately two different incidents of accidental bomb blast at Ikeja Cantonment, and ethnic conflict between the Yoruba and Hausa at Idi-Araba, Mushin in the suburb of Lagos. These incidents which took place at two different locations at Lagos in Nigeria were fundamental and painful because of the magnitude of displacements caused by these two incidents by rendering thousands of people homeless, sent hundreds to the grave beyond, destroyed many properties including buildings and besides, they called for government attention to give succour to the plight of the affected people. The paper further points out that forced/involuntary migration can be responsible for human displacement without people necessarily crossing international boundary. This became the fate of scores of Nigerians who were forcefully displaced through the accidental bomb blast which occurred on 27 January, and ethnic conflict which occurred on 2nd and 4th February 2002.
According to the World Health Organization and Inter-Agency Standing Committee, mental health needs arising from a humanitarian disaster are best addressed by accessing the existing mental health services, and by capacity building initiatives that improve and extend these, rather than by setting up separate services for disaster survivors. Capacity building of primary health care (PHC) workers on mental health issues is an important part of a humanitarian assistance, but also an essential prerequisite for closing the treatment gap for mental disorders in low and middle-income (LAMI) countries. Effectiveness of interventions to change health professionals’ behavior and practices should be a priority area for researchers in developing countries. Still, there is a limited evidence on effectiveness of mental health training for PHC workers in emergency and post-emergency settings in LAMI countries.
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.
In the past century, the number of world-wide NGOs has ballooned from roughly 400 to over 25,000. Though efforts have been made to professionalize the field of humanitarian engagement, serious flaws still exist in the ways NGOs develop and respond to emergencies. For instance, many funders require that international NGOs work with community-based organizations or local NGOs. In many situations, however, local organizations may be non-existent or ill-qualified to administer programs. As a result, services provided through hastily created local partners can be detrimental to the host community and can waste substantial amounts of time and money. A case study from eastern DRC will illustrate some of the pitfalls inherent in responding to disasters in an under-developed conflict environment. A basic set of guidelines are developed to outline the criterion for healthy partnerships between international and national NGOs.
This article analyzes imagery and representation in humanitarianism. It focuses on ethical dilemmas aid agencies face in advertizing: on the one hand, photos of distant victims are necessary to inform and to raise funds; however, the risk is that these representations dehumanize and devalue the very individuals they are intended to assist. There are two central arguments. The first is that humanitarian actors engage imagery as a “recipe,” or means, of bridging distance, thus transporting the distant victim to donor publics. Second, the paper argues that these marketing acts raise essential ethical questions as they derive emotional force through their reliance on human misery. If images of suffering and want are a means towards a principled end, they also risk undermining the principle of humanity and calling into question the very meaning of humanitarianism. The article concludes by returning to the role of technology and change in representing humanitarian crisis.
As the importance of NGOs is in the aid process increases, this research asks whether NGOs respond to criteria similar to the proposed economic factors important in the conditional aid literature. Data from US-based NGOs, specifically, is used to ask whether country involvement varies based on funding source (receiving versus not receiving US government contracts and grants) and economic criteria. Results indicate that NGOs overall do respond to low per capita incomes. NGOs receiving government funding are more region-neutral while non-government funded NGOs tend to become involved with countries with higher levels of government consumption. Finally, while government funded NGOs are neutral to increases in population, the number of non-government funded NGOs increases with population. In terms of activity choices, the data suggests significant differences in the proportions of NGOs receiving government funding and not receiving funding in the categories “Agriculture/Food Production,” “HIV/AIDS,” “Business Development, Credit”—which all have a higher proportion of government funded NGOS—and “Policy Research and Analysis”—which has a higher proportion of non-funded NGOs.
The scope and scale of post-war violence is often more severe than anticipated. If left unchecked, many fear that complex forms of insecurity can potentially tip ‘fragile’ societies back into armed conflict. A host of conventional security promotion activities are routinely advanced to contend with such violence including disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR). There are also many less widely recognised examples of security promoting activities that deviate from – but also potentially reinforce and enhance – DDR and SSR. Innovation and experimentation by mediators and practitioners has led to the emergence of alternative, and in certain cases complementary, approaches to addressing the risks and symptoms of post-war violence including interim stabilization measures and second generation security promotion interventions. Drawing on evidence from a wide variety of settings, the article sets out an array of contextual determinants shaping the character and effectiveness of security promotion on the ground. It then issues a typology of security promotion practices – some that occur before, during and after conventional interventions such as DDR and SSR – offering a sample of entry-points for erstwhile warring parties, mediators, donors and others involved in promoting stability and post-war violence reduction. This typology implies a challenging new research agenda for the growing field of security and development.
The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 highlighted glaring deficiencies in Sri Lanka’s institutionalized framework of disaster management, which the government had been developing since 1996. This report reviews disaster management in Sri Lanka before and after the tsunami and offers recommendations for reform. The study points to a need for clear lines of responsibility among various actors; greater support for community participation and bottom-up approaches; greater focus on disaster risk prevention; and attention to promoting gender equity and to meeting the needs of communities’ most vulnerable members.
- “No patients, no problems:” Exposure to risk of medical personnel working in MSF projects in Yemen’s governorate of Amran
- Without Precedent or Prejudice? UNSC Resolution 2098 and its potential implications for humanitarian space in Eastern Congo and beyond
- Losing Principles in the Search for Coherence? A Field-Based Viewpoint on the EU and Humanitarian Aid