The Great Debate UK

48 hours to save Syria’s children

By Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children. The opinions expressed are his own.–

The pictures of Syrian children lined up dead and others writhing in agony, foaming at the mouth as they struggled to breathe, shocked us all to the core. These horrific chemical attacks were crimes against humanity. That is why we should all welcome the UNSC resolution passed in New York.

But the children of Syria desperately need the same level of action that we have seen on chemical weapons to ensure humanitarian access – food and urgent medical care – to the millions still suffering and cut off.

Within days and weeks of the chemical attack the international community had sprung into action. Weapons inspectors were deployed across Syria’s conflict lines armed with notebooks and equipment to collect evidence and testimonies. Across the same lines aid agencies are being prevented from working. I was horrified by the chemical strike, but I couldn’t help feeling frustrated that aid workers weren’t going with the inspectors, bringing the food, water and medicine the people there so desperately needed.

A local approach to building resilience

–Nicholas Rutherford is the Director of AidEx. The opinions expressed are his own.–

South-South Cooperation is currently and correctly being cited as a route to cutting poverty and increasing food security in the developing world, with recent plaudits including Ban Ki-moon and Amina Mohamed. The premise is that two or more developing countries achieve goals through mutual cooperation and exchanges of knowledge, skills and resources.

from Africa News blog:

Is Africa drought a chance to enact new UK policy?

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New ways of managing aid are being debated in Britain as global concerns mount over a hunger crisis devastating the drought-affected Horn of Africa.

Randolph Kent, director of the Humanitarian Futures Programme at King's College in London, says the crisis provides a perfect opportunity for the British government to test its recent promise to reform how it responds to humanitarian emergencies.

Following the aid money with Linda Polman

As political leaders wrangle over how best to deal with warring factions in hot spots around the world, enclaves of humanitarian aid workers grapple with how best to help innocent victims of violence.

Author and journalist Linda Polman proposes in “War Games: The Story of Aid and War in Modern Times” that since the end of the Cold War, there is much more at stake than the simple distribution of billions of dollars in aid money each year to fix crisis situations. Aid agencies relegated in the past to the peripheries of war zones and refugee camps now play a very different role.

from Tales from the Trail:

Helping Haiti: the nightmare scenario

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QUAKE-HAITI/About the only thing that has gone right in the Haitian earthquake is the weather.

The dry, warm nights have been kind to the multitudes of homeless, injured and terrified Haitians sleeping out in streets, parks and pavements all over the nation. Not to mention the ever-growing legion of foreign rescuers, aid-workers and journalists who -- like the locals -- fear sleeping indoors because of still-rumbling aftershocks.

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