Displaying items by tag: Security

Mobile Health Units are often used to provide health care in unstable situations, such as armed conflicts, where fixed services cannot function for reasons of security. They are, however, a controversial way of providing health care, because of their cost, their irregular service provision and their logistical complexities. Drawing on the experience of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and on the relevant literature, this Network Paper provides a decision-making framework for health care workers considering whether to use Mobile Health Units. The paper gives an overview of the place of MHUs in a health care system, and…
CAFOD responded to the drought in Kenya during 2006, but the response came late. This article considers ways in which better preparedness and greater and more timely involvement with drought-affected communities could have improved the response, to save lives and support livelihoods. Evidence of impending drought in Kenya was available from at least early 2005. Credible early warning information, delivered through recognised and well-resourced regional and national structures, spoke of successive rain failures, depleting pastures and worsening human and animal health. Despite this, a discernible, collective humanitarian response only got underway after another rains failure in late 2005, followed by…
Measuring food security continues to challenge the humanitarian community. While internationally recognised indicators and standardised anthropometric measurements exist to assess the prevalence and severity of malnutrition, equivalent indicators and procedures are not available to assess the extent and severity of household food security. Instead, a variety of indicators and approaches is used to describe the multi-faceted dimensions of food insecurity and the status of household food availability, access and utilisation. This diversity of indicators and approaches makes it difficult to compare the food security situation across settings, population groups and time, and to prioritise the allocation of limited resources. Over…
Despite improvements in the past year, and the cessation of hostilities between the Ugandan government and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) signed on 26 August, the humanitarian response in Northern Uganda continues to fail. The crisis remains one of the most severe in the world. Over 1.7 million people are displaced from their homes, without access to basic services such as water, sanitation and health care. In the past two years, the government has made promises to respond to the crisis. UN agencies have deployed additional staff, and NGOs have expanded their programmes. None of these efforts has led to…
This article reports on the lessons so far identified from a large, multi-sectoral humanitarian relief effort implemented through a multi-agency ecumenical consortium. It is hoped that the sharing of this experience will enable other agencies to draw on such lessons and stimulate further sharing of experience on the merits and challenges of operational humanitarian consortia.   Catholic and Protestant church agencies have a distinguished history of collaborating in their response to humanitarian need. For instance: In the late 1960s, a group of Protestant and Catholic agencies combined to form Joint Church Action (JCA), one of the main channels for international…
Urban refugees have long existed in the Nairobi area, and international aid agencies have long been aware of them. Today, there are an estimated 40,000–100,000 in the city. Yet despite this significant presence, international aid agencies have only recently begun to address the needs of urban refugees. Why have urban refugees been ignored for so long, and why are their needs being recognised now? The often-cited ‘invisibility factor’ may have made it easier to ignore them. Like self-settled refugees elsewhere, those in Nairobi are living and working among the host community. They are geographically dispersed across the city, and many…
CARE International has been a key partner of the World Food Programme (WFP) since the outbreak of Burundi’s civil war in 1993, distributing emergency food aid to refugees, returnees, internally displaced persons, female-headed households, orphans and other vulnerable people in 16 of Burundi’s 17 provinces. In 2005, CARE distributed over 31,000 tons of food to over 800,000 beneficiaries. As the security situation in the country has improved, the programme has moved from generalised emergency feeding to semi-regular ‘targeted distributions’. WFP and the government allocate food resources based on agricultural production and food security data (collected on a quarterly basis with…
Seed aid needs to be improved. Case studies show seed-based agricultural recovery is more complex than commonly assumed. These Briefs offer advice on how to sustain and strengthen seed systems during disaster response and recovery periods. Up-to-date technical information addresses issues such as introducing new varieties, protecting agrobiodiversity, and exploiting market opportunities during periods of acute and chronic stress. Specific aid-response tools are also offered, including methods for assessing seed system security, guidelines for learning-focused evaluations, and checklists to ensure quality in seed-aid proposal development. The briefs were prepared by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and Catholic Relief…
The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have again called into question the concept of occupation. During the 1990s, military interventions under UN mandates generated much debate among lawyers, military planners and humanitarian agencies as to the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and specifically its provisions on occupation. These debates, and the operational difficulties aid agencies faced in these situations, revealed a significant lack of consensus, and a dearth of satisfactory answers. Do situations of occupation create specific problems and constraints for aid agencies? Are these problems connected to issues of responsibilities, operational modes or perceptions by the actors of…
In 2001–2002, Southern Africa experienced its worst food crisis since 1992. Most assessments have understood this crisis to be as much a crisis of livelihoods, or of development in general, as a simple food shock. In the decade leading up to the crisis, increasing vulnerability to the changing political and socio-economic environment was not adequately understood or addressed. This meant that a modest external threat, such as erratic rainfall, was all that was required to trigger widespread suffering. Numerous studies have since revealed the complexity of the crisis, which is now recognised as having both acute and chronic dimensions. In…
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