Displaying items by tag: Counterterrorism

Over the past two decades, states and inter-governmental bodies have adopted increasingly robust counter-terrorism laws and policies. At the same time, humanitarian crises in countries like Somalia, Mali, and Syria have reaffirmed the continued importance of principled humanitarian action. Counter-terrorism laws and humanitarian action share several goals, including the prevention of attacks against civilians and of diversion of aid to armed actors. Yet tensions between these two areas of law and policy have emerged in recent years, resulting in challenges for governments and humanitarian actors. These include obstacles to open and frank discussions about the practical and legal consequences of counterterrorism laws for humanitarian action, especially in territories where listed armed…
Launch of EISF Report - Tuesday 8 July, King's College London Humanitarian action in Fragile Contexts: New actors in the Humanitarian Space Tuesday July 8, 2014 – 17h30 BST at King’s College London, Nash Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus, WC2R 2LS To register for this event, please contact Raquel Vazquez eisf-research@eisf.eu   EISF and the Humanitarian Futures Programme are pleased to invite you to a discussion on the key findings of our recent report The Future of Humanitarian Security in Fragile Contexts: An analysis of transformational factors affecting humanitarian action. The transformation of the humanitarian landscape has already made a significant impact on the security risk management…
In many contexts, negotiations with a wide array of actors – both state and non-state – are essential to gaining access to populations in need of humanitarian assistance. Yet negotiating with armed non-state actors (ANSAs) is complex and can present formidable challenges, including a lack respect for international humanitarian law (IHL), hostility to humanitarian principles and distrust and suspicion of humanitarian organisations. In some situations, however, engagement can increase conflict parties’ understanding of and adherence to international law and improve security for those seeking to provide humanitarian aid. This event launches the 58th issue of the Humanitarian Exchange on humanitarian…
In early 2011, the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) hosted a workshop with members of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Humanitarian Space and Civil Military Relations Task Force on counter-terrorism and humanitarian action. Humanitarian practitioners had expressed concerns with the implications of counter-terrorism measures for humanitarian operations, particularly in contexts such as the Horn of Africa, occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) and Afghanistan. Overall, the workshop exposed deep levels of anxiety concerning perceived risks, a lack of clarity as to what the exact risks were and a culture of secrecy, including a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’…
Dialogue between military and civilian actors is problematic in Somalia, and no more so than in the southern port city of Kismayo, what was the Islamist group al-Shabaab’s last remaining garrison. Considered the most complex urban space in the country, Kismayo is an important trade centre less than 200km from the Kenyan border, and the ultimate prize for the warring sub-clans in the region. After the fall of Siad Barre in 1991, the city was dominated by a succession of some of Somalia’s most feared warlords, and most recently by al-Shabaab. The liberation of Kismayo, the fulcrum of al-Shabaab’s economic…
Nine years ago a bomb ripped through the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad killing 22 people including the UN's chief envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. Later that same year a series of suicide bombings struck other targets in Baghdad including the International Committee of the Red Cross - the first attack of this kind in the ICRC's history. Since then August 19th has been designated World Humanitarian Day to remind us of those who put themselves at risk to provide humanitarian assistance to people in need. This year's anniversary will commemorate the highest annual incidence of major attacks…
Degan Ali, Executive Director of Adeso, spoke on Monday about risk aversion and cash in the 2011 Somalia famine, and hindrances to effective decision-making. Ali joined seven other humanitarian practitioners and academics who took part in a public event organized by the Overseas Development Institute to discuss new learning and issues associated with cash transfer programming. The event marked the release of Issue 54 of the Humanitarian Exchange Magazine, New Learning in Cash Transfer Programming, in which Ali authored an article. “By March 2012, $77 million in cash had been provided directly to beneficiaries in South Central Somalia, making this…
There is immense potential for cash transfer programming to provide humanitarian relief at scale in times of crisis. By March 2012, $77 million in cash had been provided directly to beneficiaries in South Central Somalia, making this the largest emergency cash and voucher-based response ever implemented by NGOs anywhere in the world. However, as emergency conditions in the region deteriorated into famine in 2011, it took many months for the humanitarian community to employ cash transfers as an alternative to food aid. Why was there a delay in using cash-based responses when evidence was available that cash transfers were a…
The Dadaab refugee complex in north-east Kenya was established in 1991. Originally designed to accommodate 90,000 refugees, the camps now hold over five times their intended capacity, making Dadaab the third-largest population centre in Kenya after Nairobi and Mombasa. The region is remote and harsh, with temperatures of up to 48 degrees Celsius in the dry season and extreme flooding in the rainy season. The main Dadaab complex consists of the ‘older’ Dagahaley, Hagadera and Ifo refugee camps, with three further sites, Ifo East and Ifo West (combined they are known as Ifo 2) and Kambioos. These sites are being…
Counter-terrorism laws and other measures are having a significant impact on humanitarian action in Somalia. Research by the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) suggests that they have increased operating costs, slowed down administrative functions and operational response, curtailed funding and undermined humanitarian partnerships. They have also prevented access and altered the quality and coordination of assistance, making it more difficult for humanitarian actors to operate in accordance with the principles of neutrality and impartiality. Counter-terrorism legislation The development of counter-terrorism legislation and measures relating to Somalia must be seen in the context of global counter-terrorism efforts. Although there is no legal…
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