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01 Mar 2005 description

In this article, the author warns the humanitarian community to be business-savvy before they decide to use private military services.

Peter Warren Singer is National Security Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Director of the Brookings Project on US Policy Towards the Islamic World.

01 Jun 2004 description

Gerald Martone and Hope Neighbor describe how saving lives can be used as an "emergency alibi" by relief organizations in order to speed up decision-making. Unfortunately, it is also used as an excuse for breaches of good craftsmanship or non-compliance with conventional best practices.

The purpose with this article is to show that immediate humanitarian needs in disasters can destabilise victims' future well-being and that a long-term view of emergency assistance gives rise to greater short and long-term benefits to the victims.

16 Apr 2002 description

Rupert Neudeck, founder of cap Anamur, is an outspoken critic of UN policy on food distribution to North Korea. He tells HAR why NGOs should avoid government funding

HAR: Cap Anamur took its name from the ship you sent to the South China Sea to rescue Vietnamese boat people and you have kept the name for over 20 years. Are there any other legacies from that time?

In those days we relied exclusively on backing from private German donors, and we want to continue being a pure NGO. We believe it is important to make a very clear distinction between the actions of governments and NGOs.

16 Apr 2002 description

Pharmaciens sans Frontières sent Loic Aubry, a French administrator and logistics specialist with his Canadian colleague Martine Lecuyer, to El Salvador to evaluate the effects of the earthquake in January. In this report he describes their experiences

Suddenly, the ground heaved under our feet, as if it had received two blows from a colossal ram: the hotel shuddered, everybody started screaming and made for the exit. We found ourselves outside, crowding with others on the square, in a state of panic. The whole town of San Salvador was out on the streets.

16 Apr 2002 description

When aid donors ask the victims of an emergency to contribute to their own medical costs, many are at once excluded from care. Valery Ridde reports on funding schemes that can bridge this "efficiency-equity gap"

16 Apr 2002 description

Mass relocations by governments have created a vast number of internally displaced persons in the Great Lakes region of Africa dependent on external aid. Jon Bennett reports on the dilemma facing aid.

16 Apr 2002 description

Re-building confidence in the media is a crucial part of post-conflict reconstruction. Loretta Hieber explains why it is vital for international donors to focus on supporting local capacity

28 Jan 2002 description

By Jason Phillips, Kakuma Program Coordinator, International Rescue Committee (IRC)

28 Jan 2002 description

Poul Nielson, the European Commissioner responsible for humanitarian and development aid policies, tells HAR's Editor Giles Merritt of his conclusions after visiting war-torn Kabul

HAR: You have just returned from a visit to Kabul to assess the situation there. What is your over-riding impression of post-Taliban Afghanistan?

Poul Nielson: The word that comes to mind is "neglect". The Afghan people have had to face three main problems: war, drought and neglect.

26 Jun 2001 description

Attacks on humanitarian workers in the world's danger spots represent an alarming trend that is likely to accelerate in the years ahead. This now poses a serious problem for international aid organisations, as the rise in casualties among aid workers could not only affect how aid agencies conduct their programmes, but even whether they are able to respond at all to some emergencies.

The problem is beginning to take on alarming proportions. The UNHCR points out that two-thirds of its staff work in security risk areas and a third serve in particularly hazardous duty stations.

01 Apr 2001 description

Military intervention is seldom enough nowadays. Finland's Former President Martti Ahtisaari explains why EU civilian crisis management force is also essential in "failed state" emergencies


Martti Ahtisaari was President of the Republic of Finland from 1994-2000. Upon leaving office, Mr. Ahtisaari took on the co-Chairmanship of the New York-based EastWest Institute and the Chairmanship of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group.

Our experience in Kosovo and elsewhere clearly shows that military forces are not always well-suited to crisis management.

31 Mar 2001 description

Suite au tremblement de terre survenu mi-janvier, Pharmaciens Sans Frontières - Comité International a envoyé une équipe d'évaluation au Salvador, dont Martine Lecuyer, pharmacien canadien, et Loïc Aubry, administrateur - logisticien français, faisaient partie.

Quand nous arrivons le 20 janvier à San Salvador, les secours sont déjà mis en oeuvre et l'aide internationale afflue de toute part. Le Comité local d'Urgence (COEN) qui gère la situation nous oriente d'abord vers le tri des produits pharmaceutiques envoyés.

31 Mar 2001 description

New efforts to enforce human rights laws in conflicts zones have failed to reduce civilian casualties. Yasmine Sherif argues that civilians need protection as well as material aid

13 Dec 2000 description

The UN intervention and successive reconciliation attempts have done little to fill the civil vacuum in Somalia. Ali A. Jama argues that the international community should now let Somalia resolve its own problems


Ali A. Jama is a Somali-Canadian chemical engineer who works for a fertilizer company. He is also founder and manager of the website www.somaliawatch.org, which addresses Somali issues.

Somalia has experienced the longest period of statelessness in the contemporary world.

13 Dec 2000 description

Lionel Rosenblatt looks at ways of removing the four main barriers to more effective conflict prevention


Lionel Rosenblatt is the President of Refugees International and a leading advocate of improved early warning of humanitarian catastrophes. This article was written in cooperation with Larry Thompson, Director of Advocacy at Refugees International.

I first visited Albania in June 1998, at the very beginning of the Kosovo crisis.

13 Dec 2000 description

Interview with Aldo Ajello

15 Jun 2000 description

The Economist ran mid-year a cover story on Africa entitled "The Hopeless Continent" that reflected the views of many in the West. But is this fair? Renee Storteboom insists it is not and argues that there are reasons to be positive


Renee Storteboom is the project manager of InterAfrica Group's programme to help the process of peace, economic reform and democratic development in Ethiopia.

If you agree with the sentiments of The Economist, then I live in one of the most hopeless countries in the hopeless continent: Ethiopia.

15 Jun 2000 description

The Iraqi population have suffered tremendously after nine years of economic sanctions. Mortality among children under five has doubled. The Oil for Food Programme has brought limited relief, but only NGOs can make it pay off argue Richard Garfield and Kwesi Dugbatey


Richard Garfield is a Professor of Clinical International Nursing at Columbia University, and Kwesi Dugbatey is an Assistant Professor at St. Louis University School of Public Health.

Iraq's backward slide in health and human development has been dramatic.

15 Jun 2000 description

Providing shelter is the new multi-million-dollar cutting edge of emergency response, report Nick Cater, Keith Ashton and Brenda Puech. But the Kosovo crisis has shown how complex the challenges of housing the survivors of disaster can be


Architect Keith Ashton worked in Kosovo on reconstruction projects as an implementing agency staffer and a consultant to the donor community.

Nick Cater is an international business and communications consultant with a focus on aid, procurement and business in the developing world.