Humanitarian crises are increasingly affecting urban areas either directly, through civil conflict, hazards such as flooding or earthquakes, urban violence or outbreaks of disease, or indirectly, through hosting people fleeing these threats. The humanitarian sector has been slow to understand how the challenges and opportunities of working in urban spaces necessitate changes in how they operate. For agencies used to working in rural contexts, the dynamism of the city, with its reliance on markets, complex systems and intricate logistics, can be a daunting challenge.
This edition of Humanitarian Exchange, co-edited with Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) Research Fellow Ashley Jackson, features humanitarian negotiations. In many contexts, negotiations with a wide array of actors – both state and non-state – are essential to gaining access to populations in need of assistance. This issue looks at field experiences of undertaking humanitarian negotiations, the challenges and compromises involved and the resources and tools that have been developed to support more effective engagement.
The special feature of this edition of Humanitarian Exchange, co-edited with Victoria Metcalfe, focuses on issues related to humanitarian civil– military coordination.
The special feature of this issue of Humanitarian Exchange focuses on humanitarian action in the Middle East.
This 50th edition of Humanitarian Exchange, co-edited with Rachel Houghton, focuses exclusively on partnerships in humanitarian action. Articles explore a wide range of different arrangements, including clusters, consortia and networks, involving NGOs, the UN, the private sector, academic researchers, ‘southern’ or local organisations and host governments.
This issue of Humanitarian Exchange focuses on the crisis in the West Bank and Gaza
Articles set out the current situation in the oPt and outline the impact of the barrier and the closure system.
Rolf Holmboe, Denmark's representative to the Palestinian Authority, describes his government's programme to enable municipalities to provide basic services and support community development. Other
Ali Maclaine, consultant nutritionist
The provision of infant formula and milk for infants and young children is a very emotive subject, especially during emergencies.(1) NGOs have been struggling with how to tackle this problem since the early 1990s, when emergencies in countries such as Iraq revealed that a significant percentage of women had been using breastmilk substitute (BMS) before the crisis occurred.(2) Previously, relief work had focused on countries where the pre-crisis breastfeeding rate was nearly 100%; although breastfeeding practices were often less than ideal, at least …
By Mark Poston, DFID
On 25 January 2006, the Palestinian Legislative Council election was won by the rejectionist Palestinian group Hamas. The result was a surprise to many, not least Hamas itself. But the sense that Fatah had failed to make progress in peace talks with the Israeli government, and that its government had allowed nepotism and inefficiency to grow, meant that Palestinian public opinion shifted prior to the election.
The conflicts between Israel and Lebanon and in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) in 2006 led to a significant international humanitarian response. They also again raised concerns about the protection of civilians and breaches of international humanitarian law.
The Oslo Accords, sealed in September 1993 with the famous handshake between the late Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin on a lawn in front of the White House, were intended to bring an end to decades of confrontation and conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and to lead eventually to the establishment of a Palestinian state. But the conflict continues, inflicting an appalling cost on the populations of both sides, and an economic, social and humanitarian crisis prevails in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT).