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14 Dec 2018 description

by Annie Rubin

Humanitarian aid organizations, while providing lifesaving assistance, must also navigate the web of ethical and logistical challenges inherent to conflict-affected environments. It is often required, for example, that humanitarian actors be escorted within a country by parties to a conflict. Talking with armed groups—especially terrorist groups—even in the context of helping civilians, can be perceived as legitimizing them. Furthermore, it is not always clear whether resources that organizations provide are reaching those they are intended for.

25 Jun 2018 description

June 25, 2018, by Christina Nemr and Rafia Bhulai

22 May 2017 description

by Liska Wittenberg

Every summer since 2014 has seen an increase in the number of refugees and migrants risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Italy and Malta. This increase in migration is having a wide-ranging impact on countries of origin, transit, and destination, creating new and complex challenges for governments, humanitarian agencies, the European Union, and the international community at large.

28 Apr 2017 description

by Alex de Waal

Stephen O’Brien, head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, briefed the UN Security Council on March 10 on the famine in South Sudan and the dangers of imminent famine in northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen. O’Brien made a clear call to action. His opening words were, however, hyberbolic: “We stand at a critical point in history. Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations.”

22 Mar 2017 description

March 21, 2017
by Mustafa Bananay

14 Feb 2017 description

Authorized in January 2009, the UN Support Office for the African Union Mission in Somalia (UNSOA) was an unprecedented operation. Through UNSOA, the Department of Field Support used the UN’s assessed contributions to directly support a non-UN regional peace operation (AMISOM). Although this significantly enhanced AMISOM’s capabilities and increased its overall effectiveness, UNSOA faced numerous challenges that severely inhibited its ability to deliver on all its mandated tasks.

26 Oct 2016 description

by Gizem Sucuoglu

Displaced people are occupying an increasingly central role on the world stage. Conflict and persecution have led to the highest number of refugees, internally displaced persons, and asylum seekers ever recorded. Moreover, approximately two-thirds of refugees are trapped in protracted exile, lasting five years or longer.

02 Oct 2016 description

An al-Shabaab bomb that killed 10 people in a Mogadishu beach resort in August highlighted the city’s chronic insecurity. This will be in even sharper contrast in the run-up to Somali elections scheduled for October this year. One option on the table for international donors looking to help disrupt terrorist networks is to expand neighborhood watch groups. Based on the record of a Somali-driven project in Mogadishu’s Wabeeri district, this represents a locally acceptable, sustainable, and value-for-money approach.

04 Feb 2015 description

The United Nations and African Union now deploy a record number of peacekeepers in Africa. In the past two years, the relationship between the two institutions has deepened, as new AU missions in Mali and the Central African Republic have transitioned into UN peacekeeping operations and ongoing missions in Somali and South Sudan have expanded considerably.

27 Oct 2014 description

East Africa continues to be a region experiencing major challenges. In recent years, it has endured regular violent conflicts and steady transnational security threats. It is the only region in Africa where colonial era borders have been redrawn, adding to a sense of instability. Meanwhile, East Africa remains a place of great potential, marked by a burgeoning process of regional integration.

07 Jul 2014 description

Can community policing deter terrorism in weak states where government security sectors are unable to cope with violent extremism? This is a question of mounting urgency in a number of countries beset by terrorist groups, including Iraq and Nigeria. It is of growing importance in both Somalia and Kenya, where the militant group al-Shabaab has regrouped over the past year and launched a series of devastating terrorist attacks that national law enforcement—as well as the multinational African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Somalia—have been unable to prevent.

08 Nov 2013 description

For the first time in many years, there are less than a million people in a state of emergency in Somalia, but the number of people teetering on the edge of food insecurity has increased, said Philippe Lazzarini, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the United Nations in Somalia.

29 Oct 2013 description

Many hail the efforts of the new Somali government to bring greater political stability to Somalia and hope that this will result in a crackdown on illegal activity in general, and piracy in particular. Yet October 2013 saw the resumption of pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean. So why doesn’t statebuilding help solve the issue of piracy?

19 Sep 2013 description

The unintended consequence of limiting humanitarian work because of counterterrrorism efforts in hot spots such as Somalia and Gaza is that it brings more suffering to civilians, said Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the humanitarian NGO Norwegian Refugee Council.

“There was one case of a group who thought they could not give school feedings to kindergartens anymore because the headmaster was seen as being part of Hamas. Of course, a baby is a baby. A baby is neither left or right, or Islamist or Christian. A baby has needs, and those need to be covered.”

20 Aug 2013 description

It was not security per se that caused the large medical aid organization Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières or MSF) to suddenly announce it was pulling out of Somalia last week, but the realization that a great number of their contacts “were contacts who had been either involved or supportive of the attacks against aid workers, or who had not manifested a strong willingness to defend humanitarian action, or to provide their support to MSF in these situations of crisis,” said Sophie Delaunay, Executive Director of MSF’s US branch, in this interview with the Global …

03 May 2013 description

Somalia could fall into the same trap as Afghanistan and Iraq where massive influxes of aid create a short-term boom in the economy but don’t necessarily lay the groundwork for sustainable growth, said Aisha Ahmad, assistant professor of political science at the University of Toronto and chief operation officer of the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation, an internationally renowned organization in Somalia that has provided emergency relief to people throughout the civil war.

26 Apr 2013 description

An integrated United Nations mission in Somalia will inevitably be politicized and compromise humanitarian aid to the troubled region, said Joel Charny, Vice President of InterAction, an alliance of 180 American nongovernmental organizations.