The Great Debate UK
–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.
It’s an argument that has long had currency within the development community. But the idea has started to capture the attention of the humanitarian world as more and more governments, NGOs and UN agencies realise the importance of long term planning and local self-sufficiency when it comes to responding to emergencies in developing countries.
Traditionally, the humanitarian model followed a familiar pattern whereby a disaster would strike and the international community would arrive, often bringing everything they needed – including tents, food and medicine – with them. This kind of approach would last throughout the emergency phase and into the weeks and months of the reconstruction period. And, while it was well intentioned and often practical, it did not always sufficiently address the role the local community could play – either as interested parties who could be active in preparing for a flood or drought, or as potential suppliers of food once that crisis had actually hit.
from Africa News blog:
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.
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:
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.