Category: Humanitarianism

The Politics of Refugee Relief: UNRWA and the Ongoing Funding Crisis

On 9 November 2020 Philippe Lazzarini, the Commissioner General of UNRWA, tweeted: “I am pained to announce that despite all efforts to raise the resources for @UNRWA 2020, I informed our 28,000 staff that we do not have enough funds to pay their salaries in full this month”. This is a desperate situation for the… Read more »

Which Countries Win (and Lose) When We Add Democracy to the Human Development Index?

The UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI) is a major achievement. It has focused the world’s attention on the human aspects of development, highlighting and featuring not just economic gains but also schooling and education and life expectancy. In this, it was a hugely important corrective for a development community that tended to have a pure… Read more »

COVID-19: A call for people-centered national security strategy in Africa

Humanity has been extraordinarily challenged by the coronavirus with serious and unprecedented impacts on all aspects of human life and the ways states have been functioning and managing public affairs. COVID-19 may either consolidate global solidarity or it may take humanity on a path toward the demise of globalization and multilateralism. There is no doubt… Read more »

A Path to Peace and Stability Through Food Aid

This piece was originally posted on the PRIO blog in 2018. We’re reposting it now in 2020 on the occasion of the World Food Programme winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Constant war drove Fazle, his wife and four children away from their home and farm in the Khyber region of Pakistan eight years ago. They… Read more »

Red Lines and Grey Zones: Ethical dilemmas in humanitarian negotiations and the need for a research agenda

When turning humanitarian principles into practice, humanitarian organisations are faced with a range of difficult ethical dilemmas. These dilemmas are rarely as tangible as when the organisations negotiate with local counterparts for access and programming in settings of armed conflict. This dimension of humanitarian negotiations remains to be systematically studied, and we hereby argue why… Read more »

A Nobel for the WFP: A non-political Peace Prize for humanitarian multilateralism?

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the World Food Program for its “efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”. The announcement emphasizes the… Read more »

TikTok and the War on Data: Great Power Rivalry and Digital Body Counts

In 1971, the US declared a War on Drugs. In 2001, it began a still ongoing War on Terror. In 2020, the country has initiated a global War on Data to ‘combat’ the malicious collection of US citizens’ personal data. It is the first time that America is going to war for its population’s digital… Read more »

From Moria to the UN Security Council: Norwegian Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy Ambitions

The fire at the Moria camp underlines the depth of the crisis in the international system intended to protect people fleeing their home countries. Under the Refugee Convention, people in need of asylum must be given the opportunity to apply for it. The fundamental flaws in this system weighs heavily on the international community and… Read more »

Fighting Racism and Decolonizing Humanitarian Studies: Toward Mindful Scholarship

Addressing racism and decolonizing humanitarian studies is urgent, and as scholars we need to step up our efforts. Partnerships between scholars and conflict-affected communities are as unequal as ever, and the disparities between humanitarian studies in the global North and global South remain large. Dorothea Hilhorst here introduces the importance of localization in humanitarian studies… Read more »