Humanitarian Exchange articles tagged:Conflict & insecurity

After three decades of bitter conflict, humanitarian operations in Afghanistan remain fraught with difficulties and risks. In the early days of the conflict, humanitarian organisations worked in Kandahar and elsewhere in the south with much freedom of movement. However, the death of an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) water engineer travelling between Kandahar and Uruzgan in March 2003 signalled a sea change in operational security and humanitarian access in the south, and perhaps Afghanistan as a whole. Conflict intensified over the decade that followed, and security incidents affecting NGOs (mostly at the hands of the armed opposition) increased…
 There are more than 45 million displaced people in the world, 80% of them women and children.[1] Disasters, natural and manmade, typically destroy medical facilities, displace medical personnel and erode support structures. In these circumstances an unplanned pregnancy can be fatal, and between a quarter and a half of maternal deaths in crisis situations are due to complications from unsafe abortions.[2] Family planning and post-abortion care are proven, essential and cost-effective interventions that save women's lives.[3] Nonetheless, they have been long neglected in emergencies in favour of conventional priorities such as water, sanitation, shelter, basic healthcare and food. This article…
Inter-Cluster Coordination (ICC) requires clusters to work together to identify and reduce gaps and duplication, establish joint priorities and address cross-cutting issues in order to improve humanitarian response.[1] Information sharing is a first step, but ICC groups can also establish joint assessments and indicators, align training opportunities, set priorities, make recommendations to Humanitarian Country Teams (HCTs) and develop proposals for the Central Emergency Response Fund and other funding pools and engage in other activities. In a recent evaluation of global cluster performance, ICC was judged to be 'ineffective in most cases and there is little integration of cross-cutting issues'.[2] Coordination…
Humanitarian financing has come a long way in recent years. The most notable innovation – multi-year humanitarian financing – has the potential to be as transformative as the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), and could influence the future direction of humanitarian funding globally. Alongside other country offices, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in Yemen is piloting this new approach. This article outlines the evolution of DFID's thinking on humanitarian financing in protracted complex emergencies, the assumptions underpinning the shift to multi-year funding and the expectations and challenges in Yemen. DFID Yemen's shift to a multi-year approach DFID's…
Located on the south-western tip of the Arabian Peninsula and, at its closest point, a mere 30km from Djibouti, Yemen has long been an important point of transit and destination for migrants from the Horn of Africa. In recent years the numbers of migrants crossing the Red and Arabian seas have been registered in the tens of thousands, with numbers peaking at more than 107,000 in 2012. The majority of migrants are from Ethiopia and Somalia, and make up what is described as a 'mixed migration flow'. Most do not see Yemen as their preferred country of destination, aiming instead…
Yemen is beset by a constellation of overt and latent conflicts perpetuated by aggrieved local actors and aggravated by both the central government and regional and global powers. In parallel, localised conflicts have taken on dangerous new dimensions and involve new stakeholders. As armed non-state actors gain a greater foothold in the country conflict has expanded, precipitating multiple humanitarian crises in 'under-governed' areas beyond the reach of the central government and most aid agencies. Delivery of humanitarian relief to affected populations has been frustrated by the presence of non-state actors wary of aid agencies' agendas; such groups often lack a…
Yemen is a country racked with violence. Religious sectarianism, rebellion in the north, a secessionist movement in the south and the resurgence of Al-Qaeda are all playing out against a background of economic collapse, insufficient state capacity, corruption and tribalism. A large number of security incidents have affected Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) projects in Aden and Amran governorate north of the capital Sana'a (some 40 documented between April 2010 and July 2013 by MSF's French section alone), including security forces and armed men entering medical facilities to seek out patients, family and tribal revenge attacks against patients or doctors within…
Recent years have seen tremendous change in Yemen. The popular uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime in 2011 led to a process of transition where parties to past conflicts engaged in an open and frank discussion about the country's future, and Yemen is seen by many as one of the very few countries where the events of the Arab Spring still hold out the promise of democratic change. Much of the world's attention has focused on the political process and security issues because of the country's strategic position, in terms of both energy production in the region and international…
Insecurity in Yemen has risen sharply in recent months as several parallel conflicts have intensified and expanded. Hundreds of killings have been attributed to the state security services, tribal militias and Sunni and Shia movements since the start of the year. This spike in violence has taken place amidst – and has contributed directly to – a worsening humanitarian situation, and aid access has been curtailed. While there is some hope that the ongoing political transition, including the National Dialogue process, will help to bring stability, it may also lead to further conflict and greater humanitarian challenges. The evolving security…
A woman arrives at a health centre somewhere in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She was raped a few days ago. She does not feel well, she has pelvic pain and she fears she might be pregnant. While admitting her, the consultant asks her a series of questions: Where are you from? What religion are you? What ethnic group do you belong to? What do you do for a living? Do you have any children? Are you married? What happened? When? How? Who did it? What ethnic group did they belong to? How many of them were there? Can…
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