OFF THE CUFF is a participative blog run by the Crash. Its purpose is to expose the diversity of experiences and opinions that exist among humanitarian aid practitioners. Online comments as well as direct contributions are more than welcome.
Views expressed on this blog are those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of Médecins Sans Frontières
At the core of humanitarian action is the notion of humanity between humans, which leads to an inherent and inevitable struggle with real moral dilemmas. It means showing solidarity to one person and having to explain to another why you can't make resources available to them.
In recent years, fear-mongering reports based on hard data have been describing a world of ever-increasing danger for aid workers. The book "Saving lives and staying alive" explores this observation and compares it with MSF's experience of working in particularly dangerous regions.
On June 17, 2016,MSF announced that it will no longer accept funds from the European Union and Member States, as a sign of protest against the closure of European borders to migrants and asylum seekers.
World Refugee Day will have served as a near universal reminder of the cynicism of European immigration and asylum policies: dissuasion that sacrifices thousands is the sole pillar of its policy for dealing with people fleeing war, persecution or untenable living conditions.
In "Saving Lives and Staying Alive: Humanitarian Security in the Age of Risk Management" Michaël Neuman and his colleague Fabrice Weissman analyze some of the drivers of professionalization in the context of humanitarian security and its subsequent impact on humanitarian practices through a collection of MSF case studies.
Michaël Neuman warns that misleading data are suggesting humanitarian aid work has become more dangerous, taking particular aim at the Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD) for helping perpetuate this myth.
We welcome Abby Stoddard, Katherine Haver and Adele Harmer's response to our critical article on the production and the use of security data in the humanitarian sector and to our book in general. In a field that has been very much lacking debate, if not controversies, we're extremely glad to see a various range of readers engaging in the discussion.
Michaël Neuman, co-editor of "Saving Lives and Staying Alive. Humanitarian Security in the Age of Risk Management" responds to Chris Lockyear and Andrew Cunningham's review of the book.
Andrew Cunningham, currently an independent humanitarian researcher and analyst and Chris Lockyear, the Director of Operations for ACF USA and a former Operations Manager for MSF Operational Center Amsterdam (MSF-OCA), have sent the following response to "Saving lives and Staying alive". Let the debate live!
Since the 1990s and the rise of conflicts in West Africa, Somalia, Chechnya, the former Yugoslavia and Africa's Great Lakes region, humanitarian organisations have been warning of greater insecurity for their staff. These observations are bolstered by surveys aimed at objectively quantifying violence against humanitarian workers.
If MSF has held a preponderant position in the response to the Ebola crisis, it owes it just as much to its intervention capacities as to its capacity for criticism. The following article by Jean-Hervé Bradol embodies perfectly the latter in pointing to the issues that appeared on the occasion of this epidemic.