Humanitarian Exchange articles tagged:Development

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…
In 2002 Mercy Corps had an active presence in most districts of Helmand, Kandahar and Uruzgan, implementing large-scale agricultural livelihoods programmes. In the years following, programmes grew in scope and scale as major funding became available for the first time in decades. At the same time, however, the security situation was deteriorating. Armed opposition to the government started in the south, took root and spread. ICRC international staff had been targeted and murdered; the national staff of agencies with perceived affiliations with the international military agenda were being targeted in coordinated assassination campaigns; major international military offensives were taking place…
The massive earthquake that hit Haiti on 12 January 2010 had a devastating impact on the education sector. Eighty percent of schools – almost 4,000 – were damaged, and an estimated 1.26 million children and youth were affected; large numbers of teachers and other education personnel were killed and injured.[1] In relation to more obvious lifesaving sectors such as food, shelter and health, education typically struggles to achieve visibility and funding within an emergency response operation. In the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, however, education was accorded a surprisingly high priority. Given the scale of the disaster and the…
The relationship between natural disasters, recovery and poverty reduction is becoming a key scientific, economic and political issue. It is now widely accepted that some ‘natural’ disasters actually arise from socio-economic and political structures and processes of development. In turn, disasters bring socioeconomic inequalities into stark relief, creating pressure for change. Yet reconstruction usually reproduces vulnerabilities. Thus, development processes contribute to the number and scale of disasters; disasters set back development, increasing vulnerability and undermining future recovery and development. This article explores the mechanisms by which post-disaster reconstruction following the earthquake in Haiti may succeed in achieving developmental objectives, in…
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