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The Pulse of Humanitarian Assistance

Kevin Cahill

Publication Year: 2007

Understanding the complex nature of international humanitarian action-particularly following natural disasters or armed conflicts-has been the mission of this unique series. This book explores the cutting-edge concerns that will affect how assistance is offered in the future.Featuring twelve original essays by leading practitioners, policymakers, and scholars, the book is a state of the field report on problems, threats, and opportunities facing relief efforts in today's world.With contributions from such authorities as Bernard Kouchner, founder of Doctors Without Borders, Charles McCormick, CEO of Save the Children, and physicians, military leaders, field workers, and others, the essaysconfront the most critical issues facing the delivery of effective relief.The issues include military and civilian cooperation in large-scale disasters, with special attention to the growth of private armies. How traditional nongovernmental organizations and faith-based agencies adapt to newchallenges is also explored. Ways to strengthen security for humanitarian workers, refugees, and internally displaced persons and those in transition after wars are also considered.Bringing together diplomatic, military, medical, legal, political, religious, and ethical perspectives from experiences in Darfur, West Africa, Iraq, Pakistan, and other areas, the essays offer an authoritative inventory of where humanitarian relief has been, and how it must change to save lives and communities in peril.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. iii-v

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix

This text is the eighth volume in the International Humanitarian Affairs series published by Fordham University Press. I express my gratitude to the contributors for their chapters, and for their patience and goodwill during the editing process. The text was typed, and retyped, by Mrs. Rene´e Cahill; Sean Cahill proofread...

Table of Acronyms

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pp. xi-xiv

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pp. 1-10

Everything evolves and grows or it stagnates and dies. This is clearly true in nature, where plants and animals need to constantly adapt for their species to survive. It is also obvious that the philosophic, economic, and even religious bases of civilization change in response to unforeseen challenges, sometimes influenced...

Part 1: Moving Targets

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pp. 11

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1. Patients Without Borders

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pp. 13-21

For many years I have been involved in fields of work that look different but which in fact converge: humanitarian action, politics, and public health. In all three areas I have promoted a now famous medical concept, very easy to state but difficult to set up: better to prevent than to treat. In many occasions, and in various...

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2. Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict: A Decade of Promises

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pp. 22-40

The idea that civilians merit protection during armed conflict began to arise many centuries ago. The principle is currently enshrined in international humanitarian law under the Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims of 1948 and their two Additional Protocols (1977). These instruments specify that...

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3. No Justice Without Power: The Case for Humanitarian Intervention

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pp. 41-76

Blind Justice is usually portrayed as an iconographic blend of Themis and Justitia, the respective Greek and Roman goddesses of justice. Her figure oversees courthouses throughout the world: a blindfolded lady holding scales and a sword. Her blindfold renders her impartial; the sword she holds gives her power. This...

Part 2: Military-Civilian Cooperation

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pp. 77

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4. The Humanitarian Community and the Private Sector

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pp. 79-102

The inexorable rise in the number of private-sector companies engaged in an increasingly wide range of activities in support of military deployments has been quite extraordinary over the last ten to fifteen years. Although their combined impact has significantly influenced the conduct of military operations across the...

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5. Looking Beyond the ‘‘Latest and Greatest’’

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pp. 103-131

There is a tendency, in a world of increasingly ephemeral attention spans, to pay greater attention to the ‘‘latest and greatest’’ developments to generalize about a topic of current interest. Behavioral psychologists and economists call this the ‘‘availability heuristic.’’ The well-publicized tensions between nongovernmental...

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6. Not If . . . But When and How?

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pp. 132-157

On Friday afternoons at the International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance course, there are group presentations. The relationship between military forces and humanitarian assistance agencies is a regular subject for discussion. This chapter is partly written from the results of many a Friday afternoon session and...

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7. The 2005 Pakistan Earthquake

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pp. 158-175

Pakistan, October 8, 2005—early morning. School bells ring, children crowd into rural classrooms in mountaintop hamlets. They hope the school day will be fun and the homework short. Impoverished towns and villages kick into daily life. They anticipate business in the bazaar, or bargains in the shops. Indian and...

Part 3: Post-Conflict Issues

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pp. 177

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8. Protecting Societies in Transition

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pp. 179-201

The end of the Cold War has resulted in an increase in the number and complexity of wars and political emergencies.1 While many conflicts have been brought to a conclusion in terms of the cessation of active hostilities, it is difficult to find an example of a society that has progressed to a desirable level of peace and stability. Instead...

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9. Internal Displacement in West Africa: Challenges and Constraints

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pp. 202-240

Internally displaced people (IDPs) are among the most vulnerable victims of conflict and human rights abuses worldwide— numbering just under twenty-four million at the end of 2005.1 Without the legal protection and assistance afforded by the 1951 refugee convention to those fleeing across an internationally recognized...

Part 4: The NGO Perspective

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pp. 241

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10. Coordination and Collaboration: An NGO View

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pp. 243-262

Events over the past fifteen years have produced dramatic changes in the environment for humanitarian response organizations. The number of manmade and natural crises has accelerated to the point where there are two or three major crises—and dozens of lesser catastrophes—every year. The proliferation of wars and...

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11. Being With Them

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pp. 263-278

Jesuit Refugee Service is fortunate to have a clear mission statement that defines what is expected of our relationships: ‘‘In our work with forced migrants, The Jesuit Refugee Service accompanies many of these brothers and sisters of ours, serving them as companions, advocating their cause in an uncaring world.’’ Once you...

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12. Transformation from Relief to a Justice and Solidarity Focus

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pp. 279-291

For over sixty years, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has been working overseas, providing emergency relief and development to economically and socially disadvantaged communities in poor countries. This chapter will present some of the organizational experiences, challenges, and successes that have transformed...


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pp. 293-308


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pp. 309-311

About the Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation and the Institute for International Humanitarian Affairs

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pp. 313-314

E-ISBN-13: 9780823248421
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823227150
Print-ISBN-10: 0823227154

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2007