Country: Somalia

International policies and politics in the humanitarian crisis in Somalia

Aid workers and analysts seeking to explain Somalia’s current humanitarian disaster are understandably preoccupied with the immediate and obvious – the combination of factors which has placed 2.5 million Somalis in urgent need of emergency relief. These include the displacement of between 500,000 and 700,000 civilians, caused by the heavy-handed Ethiopian military occupation; predatory attacks… Read more »

Protection and livelihoods in Somalia

Khadra is four months pregnant. Her husband is chronically ill, making her the sole breadwinner for her family. Like many of the women in displaced persons settlements in Baidoa, a town now crammed with people fleeing the conflict in Mogadishu, Khadra’s only source of income has been selling firewood, which she collects by walking tens… Read more »

Uphold your principles, don’t shrug your shoulders

Humanitarian agencies, whose sole mandate is to save lives and ensure that those who require humanitarian assistance receive it, have been faced with tough choices during the past 17 years in Somalia. Somalia, one of the world’s longest ongoing humanitarian operations, has challenged how we operate, often forcing agencies to compromise principled action for the… Read more »

Recent Developments in European Humanitarian Assistance

‘EU Cooperation with Politically Fragile Countries with case studies from Angola, Liberia and Somalia’. (ECDPM Discussion Papers no. 2 (1998, Liberia) and no. 11 (1999, Angola), and Working Paper no. 66 (1998, Somalia). The European Commission (EC) aims to promote peace and structural stability, good governance and human rights, as well as sustainable development through… Read more »

The Media and Complex Humanitarian Emergencies

There is little doubt that the media can have a profound impact on complex emergencies. The best known example is the notorious use of hate radio in Rwanda and Bosnia to encourage ethnic cleansing. Less well-known is the potential for the media to do the opposite – that is, to support the efforts of humanitarian… Read more »

Forgotten, not Forgiven: Somalia’s Painful Transition from War to Peace

Investing in the transition from war to peace and relief to development has increasingly been advocated as the way forward in rebuilding war-torn societies. By providing opportunities for people to rebuild their lives and engage in constructive activity, the chances are greatly improved that people will be persuaded to disengage from conflict and discontinue active… Read more »

Information exchange for humanitarian coordination in the Horn of Africa

The benefits of free flows of humanitarian information are immense, but so too are the challenges, both institutional and technical, involved in establishing exchange mechanisms. This article looks at some of the constraints facing humanitarian data and information exchange in the Horn of Africa, and reviews possible solutions. It suggests that, at national and regional… Read more »