Displaying items by tag: Security

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…
The book highlights the common features of safety and security that apply or could apply to humanitarian workers working in conflict areas. It explains the dangers volunteers might face and some of the likely threats to their work. It gives advice on issues of personal security, use of common sense and judgement in the field. It reflects the ever-changing conflict environment in which humanitarians have to work. It deals with new threats such as nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and encompasses wider issues such as protection of humanitarian volunteers under international law and practical life. Click here for a copy…
The pages of Humanitarian Exchange and Disasters bear witness to the fact that the interaction between international military forces and aid workers has become a subject of great fascination. Amid the heated discussions of the issue, however, little attention has been paid to how local communities and vulnerable populations perceive their own security and survival prospects. These perceptions are the subject of recently concluded research contrasting local views of peace and security with the views of foreign troops and aid agencies. This article highlights the findings of the research, examines its reception to date and explores its implications for future…
Before the International Criminal Court (ICC) became a reality in 2002, most humanitarian workers thought it was a good thing. Many humanitarian organisations called for an end to the impunity enjoyed by the people who cause the misery that humanitarian workers try to alleviate, and some joined formal campaigns for the establishment of the ICC. There was what seemed an obvious commonality of interest between those campaigning for justice and those trying to supply food, shelter and medical care to the victims of violence and armed conflict. The court does indeed have the potential to benefit the people humanitarians try…
The purpose of the meeting was to launch HPN Network Paper no. 52, ‘Interpreting and using mortality data in humanitarian emergencies: A primer for non-epidemiologists’, by Francesco Checchi and Les Roberts. Richard Horton (Editor of the Lancet) chaired the meeting. James Darcy of HPG introduced Francesco Checchi, Joanna Macrae (DFID) and Richard Horton and opened the meeting by pointing out that just over a year ago HPG hosted a presentation by Professor Richard Garfield on excess deaths in Iraq since Operation Enduring Freedom. The debate over excess death in Iraq highlighted the importance for the humanitarian community of understanding mortality…
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