emergencies

On World Food Day, 5 reasons why cash transfers aren’t always the best option

Duncan Green - October 14, 2016

Since the Asian Tsunami of 2004, providing cash to people in an emergency has become increasingly mainstream. But (babies, bath water) there is more to food response than ‘just give them the money.’ On World Food Day, Oxfam Social Protection Adviser Larissa Pelham sets out the case: The King asked The Queen, and The Queen asked The Dairymaid: “Could we have some butter for The …

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How can we make Disasters Dull? Book review

Duncan Green - October 13, 2016

Oxfam Senior Humanitarian Policy Adviser Debbie Hillier can barely contain her excitement – today is International Day for Disaster Reduction. To celebrate, she reviews a new book on the issue While policy frameworks on Disaster Risk Reduction have proliferated – the SDGs, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework – the practicality remains elusive. This is the issue addressed by Dull Disasters? How Planning ahead will make a …

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Is the International Humanitarian System hitting a tipping point on ‘going local’?

Duncan Green - October 1, 2015

Marc Cohen, Senior Researcher at Oxfam America, is excited about the new World Disasters Report Over the past two years, a boatload of reports and studies has pointed to the need to shift to greater local leadership of disaster prevention, preparedness, and response. In part this is driven by mounting humanitarian needs and the growing gap between those needs and the aid actually provided. There …

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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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