Energy is essential to humanitarian action. Most refugee and internal displacement camps are in remote locations, so humanitarian agencies consume large amounts of fuel on the long-distance transport of staff, equipment, and goods such as food and water. Operations tend to rely on on-site electricity generation to power reception centres, clinics, schools, food storage, water pumping and street lighting. Peacekeeping operations face a similar situation.
The low level of energy access in refugee camps is sorely felt by displaced people. Expensive and dirty technologies contribute to poverty, and hamper relief and development efforts.
• The politicization of humanitarian funding in response to the Syrian conflict has had a negative impact on coordination between the major international humanitarian actors. For their part,
UN agencies and international humanitarian organizations appear more focused on winning big contracts than drawing up and implementing effective strategies to coordinate the humanitarian response to the Syrian conflict and its consequences in Lebanon.
• The 2014–16 West African Ebola epidemic was unprecedented in both scale and duration.
By March 2016, when the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an end to the Public Health Emergency of International Concern declared in August 2014, some 28,616 confirmed, probable and suspected cases, with 11,310 deaths, had been reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – the three worst-affected countries.
• In delivering assistance to civilians in areas controlled by non-state armed groups (NSAGs), humanitarian actors sometimes have no choice but to make payments or provide incidental benefts to NSAGs.
International and regional governmental engagement does not guarantee the success of long-term reform, but continued isolation will almost certainly lead to the failure of reforms to take hold.
Summary and Recommendations
Globally gender remains a key factor in differing health outcomes for men and women. This article analyses the particular relevance of gender for debates about global health and the role for international human rights law in supporting improved health outcomes during public health emergencies.
The Syrian refugee crisis is increasing energy and water stresses in neighbouring countries like Jordan. International aid flows offer an opportunity to build long-term resilience to shortages.
Jordan has welcomed hundreds of thousands of refugees since it gained independence in 1946, with the majority of them successfully integrating into the country’s vibrant, peaceful society.
JOSÉ CIRO MARTÍNEZ AND BRENT ENG
Energy use by displaced people is economically, environmentally and socially unsustainable. Children and women bear the greatest costs. In 2014 household energy use among forcibly displaced people amounted to around 3.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent at an estimated cost of $2.1 billion. This minimal energy use generates disproportionate emissions.
Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme
With the Syrian conflict showing no sign of abating, the relationship between the state of the battered economy and the political and military position of the Assad regime will be a critical element in the conflict’s evolution.
The impact on the Syrian economy of four years of conflict is hard to quantify, and no statistical analysis can adequately convey the scale of the human devastation that the war has wrought.
Experiences in Afghanistan highlight the fundamental challenge IEDs pose to the humanitarian sector, as the principles of neutrality and impartiality are eroded and humanitarian aid is increasingly militarized and politicized.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), still emerging from decades of war and generations of pervasive misrule, may be in a position to break loose from a seemingly eternal repetition of violence and mismanagement, and move towards both a democratic transition of power and genuine postconflict stabilization.
Executive Summary and Recommendations
Late 2012 was a time of gloomy predictions about the future of Afghanistan. Several Western think tanks had recently produced reports predicting that the country would slide into civil war after international forces withdrew in 2014. The airwaves were full of pundits discussing these doomsday scenarios.
International attention was suddenly focussed on the possibility that the much vaunted triple transition (security, political and economic) in Afghanistan could fail - and lead to an exacerbation of the conflict.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in partnership with Chatham House and the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, convened the first meeting of governmental and other experts to discuss ways to strengthen the protection of civilians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
The discussions established the parameters of a roadmap for complementary work streams on this topic for OCHA and others, including partner States, United Nations actors, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and civil society.
Despite strong economic growth in many countries of the Horn and Sahel, environmental and demographic changes coupled to low levels of political inclusion and high instability mean that the risk of acute food crises is likely to increase. Conflict and geopolitics act as risk multipliers, meaning that full-blown famine remains a real threat, as was seen most recently in Somalia during 2011.
Ashley South with Malin Perhult and Nils Carstensen
• People living in armed conflict-affected south-east Burma have a detailed and sophisticated understanding of threats to their safety, livelihood options and general well-being. For ethnic Karen civilians, protection and livelihood concerns are deeply interconnected.
Expert Comment - 10 March 2010
Elizabeth Donnelly, Africa Programme Manager
Violent conflict in the city of Jos - and in much of Nigeria - is about rights, access to resources and access to power. In the latest attacks, more than 200 people have been killed at the hands of mobs armed with machetes. These atrocities follow a violent outbreak in late January when more than 300 people are thought to have been killed and are believed to be reprisal attacks.