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From the Global to the Local
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

Introduction With the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) having run a deficit almost since the start of its operations in 1950, the US’s decision – as UNRWA’s erstwhile primary funder – to cut its financial support for the Agency is having a significant impact both on UNRWA and over five million Palestinian refugees living across UNRWA’s five areas of operation in the Middle East: Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank. This article explores UNRWA’s responses to this dramatic cut in funding; more specifically

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
David Rieff

which they won’t be able to operate, and more in which they will be able to operate but with less independence. The reality, though, is that things were headed in this direction anyway. The horrendous risk to humanitarian staff that now exists in war zones such as Syria has seen to that, as has an older phenomenon of strong regimes in the Global South unwilling to let NGOs operate without their nihil obstat . This dates back at least to the coming to power of Paul Kagame in Rwanda in 1994; and it was most flagrant in the curbs on the public

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Mel Bunce

Introduction In 2014, a campaign group posted a video on YouTube called ‘Syrian hero boy’. The clip showed a young boy dramatically running through gunfire to save a girl, and it quickly went viral. The video was viewed more than five million times and republished on the websites of mainstream news outlets around the world, including the Daily Telegraph, Independent , Daily Mail and New York Post . It was also shared by the organisation Syria Campaign, which attached a petition calling on world leaders to stop the conflict. There was just

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Suisse
Juliano Fiori

and testimony. Most of the time, we are in reactive mode; it is an emergency mission but of a different kind. Right before leaving MSF for SOS, I was Head of Mission for Syria and Iraq, overseeing operations in Mosul. The level of intensity since I started with SOS is the same. But SOS is smaller. The team on board the Aquarius [the rescue ship operated by SOS and MSF] never includes more than fifteen people and our budget is only 4 million euros. It is mobilisation on land, rather than operational issues at sea, that take most time. JF: How has SOS

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order
Stephen Hopgood

that the major Western powers have been complicit in creating (think Vietnam, Congo, Cambodia, Iraq, Syria, to name just a few). All of which confronts humanitarians with an existential choice. How might they function in a world which doesn’t have liberal institutions at its core? Human rights activists struggle given they rely on broad international agreement – treaties, customary law, courts, Western foreign-policy support – to do their work. Is humanitarianism any different? The version of global humanitarianism with which we are familiar might not

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Emmanuelle Strub

point was the hardest to achieve, because it required directorate involvement. While everyone agreed in principle that it is essential to prepare for managing a crisis, when it came time to do it, no one was available. It wasn’t until 2013, when two ACTED employees were kidnapped in an area of Syria where we were also present, that the directorate and Board of Directors met to set up a crisis unit. Task Two: Developing a Risk-Management Methodology for the Field From

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Fabrice Weissman

Introduction Every year, dozens of national and international aid workers are kidnapped. Like governments and companies, most humanitarian organisations handle these events with the utmost secrecy. While Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), for example, publicly confirmed the abduction and release of staff members kidnapped in Kenya in 2011 and Syria in 2014, 1 the organisation made no effort to mobilise public opinion as a way to gain their freedom. Nor did it provide any

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Four Decisive Challenges Confronting Humanitarian Innovation
Gerard Finnigan and Otto Farkas

involved in the response programme. Civilians are being targeted and used as human shields or forced into the field of battle and crossfire as they flea, as reported in Falluja ( Amnesty International, 2016a ). The UN/Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid convoy, intended for 78,000 people in Aleppo, was targeted and bombed, effectively obliterating any aid for the people in the city ( Amnesty International, 2016b ). In October 2015, a US air strike destroyed a hospital in Kunduz

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector
Kevin O’Sullivan and Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair

Introduction In October 2016 the New York Review of Books published an article by International Rescue Committee President David Miliband titled ‘The Best Ways to Deal with the Refugee Crisis’. It began with a predictable target. US Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s claims about a ‘tremendous flow’ of Syrian refugees making their way to North America were based in ‘myth, not fact’, Miliband wrote ( Miliband, 2016 ). Not only that: they also openly belittled the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Architecture, Building and Humanitarian Innovation
Tom Scott-Smith

authorities may balk at any form of building that suggests permanent settlement ( McConnachie, 2016 ; Turner, 2016 ; UNHCR, 2014 ; van der Borght and Philips, 1995 ). If we look at the response to the civil war in Syria, for example, only a minority of refugees ended up living in purpose-built accommodation or large planned encampments due to such sensitivities ( Chatty, 2017 ; Miller, 2017 ), and, despite the enormous size and powerful imagery of Za’atari and Azraq

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs