emergencies

Crunch time for global humanitarianism – funding can’t keep up with need, so what else is needed?

Duncan Green - June 18, 2015

Ed Cairns, Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on humanitarian advocacy, reviews the latest overview of global humanitarian aid. [Update: in response to readers’ comments, I’ve stuck up a very retrogressive humanitarian v long term aid poll to the right – please hold your nose and vote] This year’s Global Humanitarian Assistance report highlights some startling figures. For years these reports from the Development Initiatives stable have been the …

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On World Humanitarian Day, where are the examples of ‘good donorship’ in conflict, disasters etc?

Duncan Green - August 19, 2014

It’s World Humanitarian Day today, and I want to talk about money, but not the perennial topic of quantity of aid for emergency relief.  Let’s talk about quality. On my visit to the DRC in May, I was pretty shocked by the conversations I had with humanitarian colleagues about how they fund their work. The ‘crisis’ has been going on for some 20 years, but …

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A week in the life of a humanitarian agency (it really is all kicking off everywhere)

Duncan Green - August 1, 2014

To give people a better feel for our humanitarian work in Gaza, Syria and elsewhere, I thought I’d share the contents (unedited, but with a few explanatory links added + pics) of the weekly internal email that drops into Oxfam staff’s inboxes. It summarizes in pithy form what our humanitarian colleagues are up to – I think it captures the unique blend of technical jargon, an obsession …

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What should we do differently when an ‘emergency’ lasts for 20 years?

Duncan Green - June 12, 2014

Second installment in my reflections on last week’s trip to the Eastern Congo The classic cliché of humanitarianism is the angel of mercy (usually white) jetting in to help the victims of a sudden catastrophe (earthquake, war, hurricane), helping them get back on their feet in a few months and then moving on to the next emergency. A whole structure of funding, organizations, policies and approaches …

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Impressions of humanitarianism (based on last week’s trip to the Eastern Congo)

Duncan Green - June 11, 2014

Blimey, that was hard work. Still recovering from a ‘getting to know the humanitarians’ visit to Eastern Congo last week, having my skeleton rearranged by bouncing around for hours on truly execrable roads, and my insides rearranged by some persistent DRC microbes (I’ll spare you the details). I’ve always worked on the long term development and advocacy side of development, so this was something of …

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Main trends in humanitarian aid 2012: less successful appeals; rise of Turkey; poor countries doing a lot of the heavy lifting

admin - July 18, 2013

This year’s Global Humanitarian Assistance Report reports on a ‘quiet year’ (i.e. no mega disasters) in 2012 for global humanitarian aid. Total aid fell to $17.9bn from $19.4bn in 2011. That’s only a small fraction of total aid, but emergencies carry disproportionate weight in public perceptions. A few other points to note, plus some chunks of the inevitable infographic. A grim update on the toll …

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Global Humanitarian Assistance 2012 – what are the emerging trends?

admin - July 20, 2012

Ed Cairns (right), Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on humanitarian advocacy, reviews the new 2012 Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) report, released yesterday  Like all landmark reports, the GHA’s greatest value is not really in what it says about the year under review. It’s what it reveals about the longer-term trends facing the humanitarian world. This is particularly true with GHA 2012, which would be horribly easy …

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Channel 16: a new crowdsourcing initiative on disasters and conflict

admin - September 1, 2010

This is exciting – a new crowdsourcing initiative on humanitarian emergencies that combines wikipedia, youtube and Ushahidi to dig deeper, be more user-generated and more linked to taking action than standard media coverage. It’s called Channel 16, and here’s the blurb: “Named after the broadcast frequency of an international distress signal, Channel 16 creates a new frontline for responding to global crises. Via Channel 16, …

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Should emergency relief be used to build mosques and churches?

admin - May 13, 2010

Should Oxfam’s emergency relief money be used to build mosques? That was the fascinating question that cropped up in a recent internal discussion on faith and development. And it’s not a purely academic one. In Aceh after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, Oxfam said no to one request.  But two years later, after the big Java earthquake of  2006, we said yes. What happened? The request …

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