By Soenke Ziesche Published April 12th, 2007 1.0 Introduction The access to timely information is critical for relief operations in emergency and disaster situations. This requires a concise information management. In such a situation usually a number of actors, i.e. the local government, UN organizations, NGOs, are involved who depend on information, e.g. what is needed … [Read more...] about Social-networking web systems: Opportunities for humanitarian information management
Journal of Humanitarian Aid
The realities which Humanitarian Aid Organizations must face are explained in this site. Focusing on:
- The difficulty of offering a fast, quality and efficient response which is simultaneously coordinated with all the agents which participate.
- The challenge is to return the humanity which is lost when facing the consequences or a natural disaster or armed conflict.
- The commitment is to provide humanitarian aid in the medium and long term, until restoring the situation, but without overstaying in the zone.
- Raise awareness in the political actors about those areas in which their function is required since humanitarian aid does not pretend to replace local government functions.
- The commitment to point out and denounce those who are guilty of human rights violations.
- The commitment to save lives and relieve human suffering. Keeping the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.
- To be alert before its own aid and cooperation actions, avoiding interfering with possible external solutions.
Therefore, the objective pursued by the cooperation agencies cannot only be that of providing humanitarian aid which solves the basic need of the ones affected. It must go beyond, protecting the victims and making the commitment of pointing out and prosecute the culprits, even when the objective is not to revert or change a political conflict situation, since it is far beyond its capacities.
The keys to humanitarian aid
- Shared Competency: In the area of cooperation for the development of humanitarian aid, the EU will dispose of the competency to carry out actions and a common policy, preventing the exercise of this competency from having as an effect hindering other States to execute their own.
- Humanity: To reduce human suffering wherever it is produced, with especial attention to the most vulnerable people will be ensured.
- Neutrality: the aid must not favor any of the involved parties in an armed or any type of conflict.
- Impartiality: humanitarian aid must be given paying attention only to the needs of the population, without discriminating against people.
- Independence: It refers to the separation between the humanitarian objectives and political, economical, military or any other objectives, its only purpose is to relieve and prevent the suffering of population.
Heather B. Hamilton Washington, D.C. The challenge of reconstructing the physical and social structure of Rwanda seems like an overwhelming task to most observers. The country is economically ravaged and socially divided after four years of civil war, followed by the 1994 genocide of nearly a million people. Huge refugee flows of millions of people and a … [Read more...] about Rwanda’s Women: The Key to Reconstruction
Koen Vlassenroot & Hans Romkema  1. Introduction On the surface it seems that the present conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo is all about gold, coltan, diamond and petrol rather than about security concerns, national power or political representation. For many reasons, the Congolese conflict has been presented as an illustration of the shift to a … [Read more...] about The Emergence of a New Order? Resources and War in Eastern Congo
By Don Hubert and Cynthia Brassard-Boudreau Published November 24, 2010 The concept of humanitarian space is used to describe the situation where the changing nature of armed conflict and the geopolitical shifts, particularly since 9/11, have combined to limit or restrict the capacity of humanitarian organizations to safely and effectively provide material relief to … [Read more...] about Shrinking Humanitarian Space? Trends and Prospects on Security and Access
By Maria Karagiozakis Published June 22nd, 2009 Civilians during times of war bear the consequences of deteriorating security and lack of safety, and ultimately fall victim of the circumstances. The 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq has resulted in the deaths of many Iraqi civilians.  Exact numbers however, are not known. As is common during times of war, there is the … [Read more...] about Counting excess civilian casualties of the Iraq War: Science or Politics?