Humanitarian Exchange articles tagged:Institutions

A state of emergency was imposed by the ‘country’s’ President in December amid heavy fighting in Hargeisa. The struggle centred on control of the city’s airfield, which had been controlled for 18 months by Eidagella militia, who levied tolls on all passengers. The situation is now relatively stable and international agencies have been invited to return to Hargeisa. GTZ, USAID and the EU have set up offices in the past few months, and UNDP has earmarked US$29 million for the development of Berbera’s port facilities. A national bank has been set up and a new currency was introduced in November…
The Horn of Africa is synonymous with drought and famine, and the region returned to the media spotlight in 2011 as a result of a region-wide La Niña drought. There was, however, much less mention of the fact that Ethiopia has recorded double-digit economic growth rates in recent years and is the third fastest-growing economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. The country has also made important efforts to address chronic food insecurity through the launch in 2005 of the Food Security Programme, the largest social protection programme in sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa. This article highlights positive developments in the management…
What do we mean by partnership in humanitarian action, and what does partnership look like in practice? Effective humanitarian partnerships are about more than mechanistic relationships where actors come together to achieve a set of common objectives, dividing up responsibilities and planning joint work. They also involve underlying issues of power, attitudes and styles of working. Many of the largest international NGO providers of humanitarian relief work primarily as direct implementers, or adopt a mixed approach, employing their own staff to set up and run projects as well as supporting local partners. By contrast CAFOD, as part of Caritas International,…
Aid agencies have worked hard in recent years to professionalise security management, including the provision of training for staff at headquarters and in the field and the formalisation of the risk management process. This article is part of a larger European Interagency Security Forum (EISF) research project to support NGO security management by documenting the risk acceptance process. It argues that programme managers should adopt a broader understanding of risk in order to contribute to flexible, organisation-wide judgements of risk exposure. To recognise risks effectively and engage with strategic decision-making, managers must understand what is at risk,[1] not just for…
One in every six people on the planet currently experiences the kind of living conditions depicted in the recent film Slumdog Millionaire, set in the sprawling slums of Mumbai. Forecasts by UN Habitat and others suggest that slum communities like those shown in the film will double in size to two billion people by 2025, accounting for one in four of the world’s population, making slums the fastest-growing form of human settlement and a key facet of global urbanisation. With urban centres projected to double in size to four billion people by 2025, the equivalent of a city of nearly…
Since the beginning of the decade, Sri Lanka has undergone a number of traumatic events that make the country a particularly challenging environment for humanitarian workers. As the long civil war nears its end, what type of political environment are aid workers likely to encounter in their attempts to help affected civilian populations? What are the legacies of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and three decades of war on civilian administrative structures? To answer these questions, it is essential to understand the convoluted relationship between the government and the Tamil rebellion in the conflict-affected regions of this long-suffering nation.…
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,…
Somalia has experienced a devastating conflict over the last two decades. What originally appeared to be a national civil conflict has now taken on regional and international dimensions. The fighting – directly and indirectly – has left hundreds of thousands of Somalis dead, created millions of refugees, destroyed the environment and finally reduced to ashes a heritage and civilisation more than 12 centuries in the making. Somalis have been searching for a home-grown solution that will bring lasting peace to the country. Somalis have a strong tradition of settling conflicts, but in the absence of a strong and accountable government…
Aid workers and analysts seeking to explain Somalia’s current humanitarian disaster are understandably preoccupied with the immediate and obvious – the combination of factors which has placed 2.5 million Somalis in urgent need of emergency relief. These include the displacement of between 500,000 and 700,000 civilians, caused by the heavy-handed Ethiopian military occupation; predatory attacks and crime by the Transitional Federal Government’s uncontrolled security forces; assassinations of civic leaders by an increasingly decentralised and violent jihadist movement; economic paralysis and hyperinflation; severe local drought; global spikes in food and fuel prices; and a highly dangerous, non-permissive environment for national and…
With the spotlight focused on the political causes and after-effects of the Hizbollah–Israel war and the upsurge in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in 2006, little attention has been paid to the role played by donor assistance to the region. Aid in the Middle East has been motivated by donors’ political preferences, not humanitarian needs. That intensified markedly during 2006, a shift that also challenges the activities and agendas of aid agencies. This article examines the interconnections between aid and politics, and how they have played themselves out in Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). There are some obvious parallels between…
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