Displaying items by tag: Donors/governments

Zimbabweis facing an extraordinary and multidimensional crisis. An estimated three million Zimbabweans have crossed the Limpopo river into South Africa as a matter of survival; more than three-quarters of the remaining population of nine million face serious food shortages; maternal mortality has tripled since the mid-1990s; a cholera epidemic has infected over 90,000 people, killing over 4,000; one in five adults are HIV positive, and one person dies every four minutes from AIDS; 94% of the population is officially unemployed; and thousands were beaten and intimidated by government security and paramilitary forces during last year’s elections. Political instability and mismanagement…
For decades, Ethiopia has been inextricably linked in the world’s eyes with famine and disaster. The country is often characterised as dependent on foreigners, its people lazy, its government obstructionist. In fact, however, successive Ethiopian governments have actively engaged in disaster risk management (DRM). Political will is not lacking: disasters remain at the heart of Ethiopian politics. This article sketches out the history of Ethiopian governments’ responses to disasters, charting the complex relationship between a strong state with a long, proud history of sovereignty and increasingly assertive donor and INGO communities. Ethiopia’s assertive sovereignty lies in its historical self-consciousness as…
The tsunami that struck Aceh, at the western tip of the Indonesian archipelago, in 2004 killed an estimated 167,700 people and displaced hundreds of thousands more. The human tragedy of this and other disasters in Indonesia was also a test of the Indonesian state’s ability to respond. Compared to many countries affected by humanitarian crisis, Indonesia has significant state capacity for response and coordination, through civilian and military means. The impact of the Indian Ocean tsunami initially overwhelmed state capacity, while the 2006 earthquake in Yogyakarta showed how a well-organised local government could mount an effective response. Both experiences gave…
A familiar dilemma faced the Timorese government in developing a strategy to promote the return and resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs): should it determine property ownership before promoting return, or should it promote return first, and deal with property issues later? In the end, it chose to promote return and resettlement through a ‘cash for return’ programme, a decision that was heavily criticised by humanitarian agencies – including the UN – who argued that promoting return without first resolving property ownership issues would provoke further tensions and cause re-displacement. Today, it is clear that the government’s IDP reintegration programme…
At 2:28pm on 12 May 2008, a powerful earthquake struck China’s Sichuan Province. Some 87,500 people were killed, 45.5m affected and 14.4m displaced. Economic losses were estimated at $86 billion, with 21m buildings damaged. According to a recent DFID report, the earthquake drove an estimated 10m people below the poverty line, with overall poverty in badly affected areas increasing from 11% to 35% of the population. Despite the extent of the devastation, this earthquake was not China’s first experience with natural disaster. In fact, four of the ten most destructive earthquakes on record have occurred in the country, giving China…
Even a cursory reading of events in Afghanistan over the last 12 months would reveal an undeniable sense of confusion, even panic, in UK policy as each one of its primary objectives – legitimate government, stabilisation, counter-narcotics and development – is systematically challenged by events on the ground. Senior military officers are on record as saying that the war in the country is un-winnable in any conventional sense. Meanwhile, international aid organisations are caught in a quandary. On the one hand, Afghans say repeatedly that they want stability and security as a prerequisite to any sustainable recovery; on the other,…
For aid organisations working in eastern Chad and Darfur, theft and banditry are among the greatest impediments to the effective implementation of programmes. Vehicle hijackings and attacks on compounds have led to enormous material losses and delays and reductions in services to conflict-affected populations. The issue has been widely discussed by the humanitarian community, and one studyon advocacy in Darfur cited insecurity for aid workers as the third most common subject in press releases issued by humanitarian organisations. However, despite solid evidence to show that stolen humanitarian vehicles, equipment and cash are being used to fuel the war economy, few…
During 2007 and 2008, donors commissioned reviews of a number of the key aid instruments in use in Southern Sudan. The main impetus for these reviews was a growing perception that, three years into the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the current mix of funding mechanisms was not delivering results on the ground quickly enough. This article draws on a review conducted in early 2008 to examine issues around fund design, access and effectiveness from the perspective of NGOs supporting service delivery in Southern Sudan. The MDTF: raised expectations, disappointing results By far the largest funding mechanism in Southern Sudan is…
The impact of the global food price shock at the macro level has been well researched. Studies have sought to simulate the potential impacts of the crisis on countries and households. However, this work has lacked ground-truthing to assess the real impacts on households. This article seeks to fill this gap by summarising the key findings of recent household-level food security assessmentsinitiated by WFP. The objective of the assessments was to determine country-specific causes of food price increases, whether these increases were leading to significant changes in the food security status of households, and what mitigating responses might be necessary.…
Massive levels of food insecurity for hundreds of millions of people by no means constitutes a new crisis. Even before the upward spiral of food prices over the past few years, more than 800 million people were suffering from hunger and malnutrition. But the shocking price peaks of 2008 triggered wide recognition that the world needed to respond quickly and comprehensively, or else risk millions more becoming hungry. At the same time, the opportunity also emerged for the international community to demonstrate that it was capable of forming new partnerships and developing new approaches to address the deep-rooted problems of…
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