Humanitarian Exchange articles tagged:Development

Most humanitarian donors recognise the core humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality as a foundation for action in situations of conflict and complex emergency. They are enshrined in the ‘European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid’ adopted by European Union (EU) donors in December 2007 and are a key component of the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, first signed by donors in 2003. In practice, however, donors are confronted with numerous challenges to the application of humanitarian principles. There is growing political pressure to portray humanitarian action as part of the crisis management toolbox, or to link it to counter-insurgency,…
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…
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…
South Sudan remains chronically dependent on humanitarian assistance. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) period, from 2005 to independence in July 2011, saw various shifts between humanitarian and development funding, but on balance the bulk of assistance continued to be delivered through humanitarian modalities. So too in the first two years following independence, with annual humanitarian appeals hovering around $1 billion, as compared to approximately half that amount targeted for development programmes in the UN’s first Development Assistance Framework for the new republic. This reliance on humanitarian assistance has much to do with continued insecurity and low government capacity. The new…
Independence was a milestone in the history of South Sudan, raising hopes for long-lasting peace and stability, development and economic growth. Well into the second year of independence, the challenges remain enormous and there are regular setbacks. One key question has been how we can continue to respond to emergencies without losing sight of longer-term development needs. This article elaborates on some of the key socio-economic challenges in South Sudan, with a particular focus on food insecurity. Food aid constitutes the bulk of the international community’s humanitarian response in South Sudan, with 2.7 million people receiving food assistance in 2012.…
From Iran to western China, Central Asia is suffering its worst drought in decades. One of the states hardest-hit has been Afghanistan; poor and conflict-ridden, it is also the least able to cope Afghanistan is in its third year of severe drought, compounding the effects of conflict and international isolation. Precarious security conditions and problems of access make needs difficult to assess, but it is clear that the food crisis in much of the country has become acute. Millions of Afghans have little or no access to food, and require international humanitarian food aid. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands more have been forced from their homes, congregating in camps in Afghanistan or across…
Niger is a landlocked country in the Sahelian zone of West Africa. Ranked 186 out of 187 countries on the UN Development Programme (UNDP)’s Human Development Index, Niger faces extreme poverty and vulnerability caused by climatic factors and recurrent food crises. These crises have triggered large humanitarian responses involving food aid, nutrition interventions and cash transfers. These interventions, while important, have not addressed underlying issues of chronic vulnerability, which might be better tackled through social safety nets and social protection programming. This article examines the piloting of social safety nets in Niger, using cash transfers combined with the promotion of…
Cash for work and cash transfers have been used increasingly since 2005 to try to reduce chronic vulnerability in Niger. They have been used as part of humanitarian relief as well as disaster risk reduction (DRR) programmes. This article examines how one organisation, Jeunesse En Mission Entraide et Développement (JEMED), has sought to integrate cash for work, sales of food and fodder at a reduced price and long-term development activities, including land regeneration, into a single programme in Abalak, northern Niger, and the impact of this integrated approach on the resilience of pastoralists. In addressing chronic vulnerability, traditional humanitarian relief…
While welfare, such as free humanitarian aid, is arguably the sign of a civilised society, it is sometimes accused of ‘creating dependency’, undermining sustainable selfsufficiency and demeaning its recipients. The idea that dependency is a bad thing and that free assistance de facto creates dependency not only has long roots in the history of humanitarianism, but also is nourished by the strongly held feelings of those who believe that relief too should be in some way sustainable, linked maybe with a desire to move towards more developmental approaches. Humanitarian agencies tend to look at the situations of people affected by…
Mercy Corps has been working in Kyrgyzstan since 1994, focusing on micro-entrepreneurship, food security, small-holder farming and livestock development and conflict mitigation. Established in 2004 through the consolidation of five Mercy Corps-affiliated micro-credit agencies, Kompanion, a community development financial institution specialising in group lending, now employs over 1,000 staff, has 94 offices and is Kyrgyzstan’s largest micro-finance institution, per number of customers. In June 2010, conflict erupted in Osh and Jalal-Abad provinces of southern Kyrgyzstan. Thousands of households lost family members, homes and possessions, as well as business assets. When the conflict broke out, over 45,000 of Kompanion’s 109,900 clients…
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