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
From international NGOs to UN agencies, from donors to observers of humanitarianism, opinion is unanimous: in a context of the alleged ‘clash of civilisations', our ‘humanitarian space' is shrinking.
Humanitarian assistance has become entangled with migration and security agendas. Indeed, most humanitarian assistance in Somalia and in refugee camps is subordinated and in support of these two agendas.
For the past several months, news about food shortages and famines affecting large segments of the East African population have been fueling donation appeals from major public and private aid organizations.
One year after the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, a number of observers and actors are questioning the international aid : reconstruction is at a standstill, homeless people are still facing the same situation and the deadly cholera epidemic reminds us that international aid has not helped to improve the very poor sanitation system.
Using Niger as an example, this text seeks to explore the dilemmas involved in medical responses to child malnutrition when such malnutrition is endemic (strong, permanent presence) and gives rise to seasonal peaks (epidemics) each year.
Should military forces be dispatched to a foreign country to save its population from massacre, famine, epidemics, or oppression? Debated in the 1990s as the "right or duty to intervene", the application of military might to rescue populations in danger is today debated as the "responsibility to protect".