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Responding to Emergencies and Fostering Development

The Dilemmas of Humanitarian Aid

Edited by Claire Pirotte, Bernard Husson and François Grunewald

Civil wars, genocide, natural disasters and other emergencies multiplied in the 1990s, and not just in the South, but also in the Balkans and the former Soviet block. This book is about how to respond to the fundamental difficulties thrown up by these humanitarian crises. It brings together thinkers from many of the leading emergency relief and development agencies as they try to learn from their own experiences and develop a shared understanding of how to act more effectively in the future. What kind of aid, in particular, should be brought in when the situation on the ground mixes up emergency relief with the longer-term process of development?

One response, of course, is to get the specialist agencies of both kinds to work more closely together. But this approach, although necessary, is not enough. The situations encountered in the field demand a new understanding of what such crises actually are. Repeated emergency interventions and the suspension of long-term development projects have become so frequent that they compel us to look again at the whole concept of international aid. Prolonged periods of instability and crisis have often become part of the development process. The authors of this book suggest that it may be necessary, therefore, to end the increasingly artificial distinction between disaster relief and development aid.

Editions ZBOOKS - 7 Cynthia Street - London - N1 9JF, October 1999. Translation by Mme Julia Monod, financed by the Geneva Foundation, Preface de Joanna Macrae - Overseas Development Institute, London. For details of how to order contact us at the ENN: ennmail@tcd.ie

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Reference this page

Claire Pirotte, Bernard Husson and François Grunewald (2000). Responding to Emergencies and Fostering Development. Field Exchange 9, March 2000. p9. www.ennonline.net/fex/9/responding