Displaying items by tag: Security

Humanitarian and development personnel faced an unusual surge in intentional violence and intimidation during 2004. More than 100 UN civilian and NGO personnel were killed in violence around the world between July 2003 and July 2004. Although the absence of reliable data on intentional violence precludes a precise reading of its many dimensions, the consequences of gun violence on the safety and security of relief workers, and on their access to civilians, have been profound. Attesting to the seriousness of this issue, the UN High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change strongly condemned the increasing risks encountered by relief…
This guide gives essential advice and insights to humanitarian practitioners who are involved in providing safety and protecting vulnerable people in war and disaster. It provides a framework for responsibility and action which helps clarify conceptual issues and helps humanitarian field workers position themselves vis-a -vis other actors who have overlapping mandates. A practical schema is also presented which gives practical advice on how to think through the various elements of protection focused programming in four clear steps: assessment; programme design; implementation; monitoring and evaluation. The guide also outlines key principles of best practice for protection-focused humanitarian work. The book…
Levels of chronic malnutrition in Zambia are now among the worst in the world. But it is drought that galvanises attention and informs responses. Drought response will often be necessary, as will the recovery activities that follow. Addressing people’s vulnerability to drought, however, requires a more structural change. One such structural change would be the development of markets for drought-tolerant food crops. In Southern Zambia, this could mean the creation of a market for sorghum. By being able to meet people’s needs both for cash and for food, sorghum, like maize, would become a viable choice for farmers. This would…
The bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad in August 2003, and the attack on the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)’s main office in the city the following October, have jolted humanitarian agencies into rethinking and reorganising their security arrangements. Senior officials in the largest agencies speak of a ‘paradigm shift’ in the threats facing humanitarian organisations. For years, and in ever-increasing numbers, Western humanitarian organisations have operated in inhospitable regions. They have faced threats and constraints, and have suffered their fair share of casualties, often as a result of the direct targeting of aid workers. Now, it…
Criminal gun violence poses the greatest security threat to humanitarian and development workers. Armed ‘civilians’ pose a greater risk than insurgents or other combatants, according to the findings of a new study published today. The largest global survey ever of its kind, No Relief: Surveying the Effects of Gun Violence on Humanitarian and Development Personnel, drew on a sample of more than 2,000 relief and development workers from more than 17 international agencies in 96 countries and territories. The study indicates that armed civilians - including criminals and petty thieves – routinely cause security incidents and operation suspensions, preventing access…
Key themes: the characteristics of armed groups; the relationship between armed groups and civilians; negotiation with armed groups; the promotion of IHL and negotiation; humanitarian access; and models for humanitarian agencies to analyse armed groups. The purpose of the meeting was to launch HPN Network Paper no. 51, ‘Humanitarian engagement with non-state armed actors: the parameters for negotiated access’, by Max Glaser. Maurice Herson (Senior Projects Manager for ALNAP) chaired the meeting and began by welcoming the participants, and introducing the two speakers – Max Glaser and Michelle Mack (ICRC). Click here to listen the presentations in audio format. Presentation…
This paper addresses the question of humanitarian engagement with the non-state armed groups that increasingly populate the zones in which humanitarian action takes place. In particular, it seeks to understand why some combatants react positively and consistently to humanitarian demands to meet access preconditions, while others respond erratically, decline to respond or are hostile. The paper looks less at how to negotiate with such groups, and more at the various types of non-state armed group with which negotiations are likely to be conducted. The ultimate objective is to determine the parameters of responsible humanitarian engagement – i.e., to investigate the…
The protection of civilians has occupied a central position in the policy and operational responses of many actors in Darfur. There have been protracted and numerous debates at the highest political levels, including at the UN Security Council (see the article by Oliver Ulich, page 5), and humanitarian actors have been unusually ambitious in their efforts to enhance civilian protection. Protection officers have been deployed, both by mandated and non-mandated agencies, UN and NGO, and cooperation with human rights agencies and monitors, while not always harmonious, has been notably better than in past crises. Such cooperation has produced positive, though…
On 21 December 2004, Save the Children UK announced that it was suspending all of its operations in Darfur. Nine days earlier, two Save staff members, clearly identifiable as humanitarian workers, had been taken from their vehicle and shot dead as they made their way back to Nyala from the clinic they were supporting in South Darfur. This was the second fatal incident the agency had suffered in Darfur in two months. On 10 October, two other staff members had been killed when their vehicle struck an anti-tank mine in North Darfur, despite their having sought and received numerous assurances…
Commodities, rather than cash, remain the predominant form of emergency relief: relief agencies typically distribute food aid, seeds, tools and shelter materials; they rarely give people the cash with which to buy these things themselves. Supporters of cash responses in emergencies argue that they can be more cost-effective and timely than commodity distribution, give the recipients greater choice and dignity and benefit the economies into which they are injected. Sceptics argue that cash responses are often not practical, particularly in complex emergencies, where security risks and the risk of corruption are deemed unacceptable. Even where cash responses may be feasible,…
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