Displaying items by tag: Donors/governments

The South-East Asian nation of Timor-Leste declared independence on 20 May 2002 after three years of UN administration following the end of the Indonesian occupation in 1999. Four years later, in 2006, serious civil conflict broke out when sections of the Timorese army (known as ‘Petitioners’) protested against alleged discrimination by officers from areas of eastern Timor-Leste. Subsequent clashes, which also included the police and wider society, resulted in the displacement of approximately 150,000 people. The Cluster System was officially introduced in Timor-Leste in March 2009 to better coordinate the response to the conflict and also to plan for potential…
Since 1999, UN peacekeeping missions have been explicitly mandated to protect civilians under threat. On the ground, however, there remains a significant degree of confusion amongst soldiers and civilians working within peacekeeping missions about what exactly this civilian protection mandate entails. This article provides a brief summary of Oxfam’s experiences of engaging with peacekeeping missions around their protection responsibilities in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Chad and Somalia. It argues that UN bodies and Member States must provide peacekeeping missions with better leadership and guidance to implement their protection mandate.   Civilian protection within UN peacekeeping Recent years…
In May 2009, the government of Pakistan launched an offensive against the Taliban in Swat, prompting the world’s fastest and largest displacement crisis in over a decade. Over 2.6 million people were uprooted in as little as three weeks. From the outset, it was clear that protection concerns would play a considerable role. Areas of conflict were inaccessible, most of those fleeing were women and children and the vast majority of the displaced stayed in informal camps or host community settings, rather than the purpose-built formal camps. Many IDPs, therefore, remained hidden, unable to access services, unaware of their rights…
People living in conflict-affected areas of Karen State in south-eastern Burma rely on courageous and ingenious, but also often harmful, self-protection strategies. Protection stemming from international norms and agents is largely absent for this population. The ‘Local to Global Protection’ (L2GP) project explores how people living in areas affected by natural disaster and armed conflict understand ‘protection’ – what they value, how they go about protecting themselves, their families and their communities and how they view the roles of other stakeholders. Since the Rwanda crisis in 1994, protection has increasingly been debated by aid agencies, which have sought to incorporate…
  In the span of a few months last spring, Pakistan witnessed one of the gravest internal displacement crises of the last two decades. Beginning in early May, each week hundreds of thousands of people streamed out of the districts of Swat, Buner and Dir into neighbouring lowland areas, driven from their homes by a sweeping military campaign against the Taliban. They joined over half a million already displaced in late 2008 by a similar campaign in the northern tribal agencies of Bajaur and Mohmand. At the height of the crisis, nearly three million people sought shelter in host communities…
The humanitarian funding system for the Pakistan emergency in the summer of 2009 did not work well. In the absence of an in-country pooled fund, many international donors gave their funding directly to UN agencies, to be distributed through a malfunctioning Cluster system. The decision to use UN agencies as proxy pooled funds sacrificed speed, effectiveness and transparency. NGOs with the capacity to deliver aid on the ground experienced long delays in receiving funds, with a serious knock-on effect on their ability to help affected people. The system also placed intolerable pressure on the Clusters themselves, making it difficult for…
  Cash has rapidly become an effective part of the humanitarian toolbox. Debates about its use now focus less on the pros and cons, and more on the complexities and challenges of implementation. In part, this stems from a recognition that fears about corrupt or unintended use have not been borne out in practice, and that the relative risks of cash versus in-kind alternatives need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, to determine when, where and how cash programmes might be appropriate. Cash transfers are simpler to implement in situations where robust markets and cash delivery systems are already…
The Humanitarian Reform (HR) process, initiated three years ago in Colombia, has significantly improved the quality of humanitarian coordination and response. Although much is still to be done to fully consolidate the reform, Colombia has made great progress towards its ultimate objective, which is ‘to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian response by ensuring greater predictability, accountability and partnership; and to reach more beneficiaries, with more comprehensive needs-based relief and protection, in a more effective and timely manner’.[1]   Why Colombia? Back in 2006, a number of reasons for selecting Colombia as one of the reform’s roll-out countries were considered. First…
In the two decades prior to President Alvaro Uribe’s election in 2001, illicit crop production in Colombia grew from 3,500 to 144,000 hectares, representing an annual increase of 25.6%, with Colombia producing more than 70% of the world’s cocaine. This trend was coupled with a worsening of the armed conflict, which according to Uribe was due to guerrillas’ involvement in the drug trade. Drug-trafficking was deemed to constitute one of the main sources of funding for Colombia’s guerrilla groups; according to government figures, between 1991 and 1996 $470 million was raised from the illegal sale of narcotics, representing 41% of…
Colombia is in the throes of one of the world’s largest crises of internal displacement. Since the mid-1990s, more than 3.2 million people have been displaced. On average, between 2000 and 2009 300,000 people a year fled in search of protection. In 2008, 294,000 left their places of residence. In late 2008, the government estimated that nearly 40,000 households (176,000 people) had returned to their places of origin with the accompaniment of the authorities.  The official Information System on the Displaced Population in Colombia is one of the most highly developed such systems in the world (www.accionsocial.gov.co). However, it does…
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