Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Inhumane Humanitarianism

This article in the WaPo talks about the impunity at the UN, and the way that the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) manages refugee crises around the world.

While I'm not convinced that self-settlement in host countries is the best solution for the problem the article poses, the author makes a solid case for why things need to change in refugee camps, and particularly in those camps managed by UNHCR.

I often think that the humanitarian community, especially those who work in emergencies and complex humanitarian emergencies, fails to appreciate the delicacy of the situation of our beneficiaries. I'm not saying that they are weak or incapable of managing their lives; rather, I'd like for all of us to remember that we are serving people who are living a nanometer away from death, and it is up to us to ensure that we don't push them even closer.

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