Tag: Humanitarian Aid


The Forgotten Crisis in the Central African Republic and the Impact on NGOs

The Central African Republic (CAR) descended into violence in March 2013, when Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize’s weak authoritarian regime. After seizing power, the Seleka engaged in large-scale abuses, leading to the deaths of thousands of civilians. Initially, the Seleka started as a political movement against President Bozize but since then it has shifted its character to that of a sectarian confrontation drawn along religious lines.

The anti-Balaka (comprising of Christians) was created in response to the Seleka (rebels comprising of Muslims), with the aim of protecting the Christian community at all costs. Both sides are responsible for large scale killings, which have thrust the country into a downward spiral of pain and repression.

Obstructing Humanitarian Assistance in Syria: A Weapon of Warfare

The Syrian conflict continues to shake the world. The massive influx of refugees into neighbouring countries, the untold suffering of the Syrian people, and the razing of whole cities are some of the destructive characteristics of this war. The participation of other countries, such as the U.S., Turkey, Iran and Russia, has triggered a debate around whether this armed conflict is of an international or of an internal character. This controversy has complicated the issue regarding the application of the rules of armed conflict as far as obstructing humanitarian assistance is concerned.

The following analysis will be around two major issues: first, whether these unspeakable conditions constitute a weapon of warfare for the Parties or are they just a consequence of the conflict; secondly, whether the UN has the power to intervene and protect the civilians. This discussion will be based on the legal framework regarding the obstruction of humanitarian assistance during armed conflicts and the UN’s position.      

The Dangerous Business of Humanitarian Aid

How Aid Organisations Should Go About Providing Safety and Security

With about 280,000 humanitarian aid workers worldwide, the United Nation’s Office for Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that the odds of an aid worker experiencing an attack are 1 in 1,000, making the business of assisting the world’s most vulnerable citizens a very dangerous undertaking.1 The complexity of today’s threat landscape has caused the business of humanitarian action to become more physically dangerous. In 2015 and 2016 alone, 616 aid workers fell victim to violent attacks, 229 of which resulted in death, with the most prevalent acts of intentional violence stemming from armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, IED’s, landmines and assault.2 Overall, the rate of major attacks against aid workers, measured by the number of killings, kidnappings and casualties over the population of aid workers in the field has increased over the past decade in a handful in violent environments. With the highest-risk degree of attacks taking place in: Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen, and the Central African Republic.