World Humanitarian Day – Suggested Resources
Today is World Humanitarian Day. A day to celebrate the dedication of all those people working to help victims of disaster, hunger, disease and conflict.
And check out these beautiful photos showing the work of Irish aid agencies.
And our website, How You Can Help.ie, provides clear information on how Irish NGOs respond in times of crisis, how they coordinate with others, and how members of the public can support their work.
- Irish Aid Humanitarian Relief Policy
- Irish Aid info sheet on Humanitarian Aid
- Irish NGOs and the SPHERE project
- Humanitarian Aid’s Quality Quest
But it’s not all celebration. Humanitarian aid also has its critics.
Some of the criticism has do to with the media portrayal of aid. See for instance:
- Our blog post about stereotypes of helpless, nameless victims.
- The stereotype that aid workers are all white expats (“Whites in shining armour”)
- Foreign Policy magazine on “how disaster hype became big business”
Other criticism is more fundamental, as it focuses on the way aid is given. A recent review by the UK Government found a lack of global leadership in major humanitarian crises, and made an interesting observation about the lack of experience, and lack of training, of many international aid workers. While the UK army spends 90% of its time training for deployment, the average aid worker is too busy working to enroll in training.
There is also the age old discussion whether humanitarian aid actually ends up fuelling the conflicts in which it is given.
Important discussions. Important stuff to read about, learn about and spread the word about.
And, in addition, today we need to take the time to celebrate the humanity, dedication and professionalism of all those aid workers that continue to do their jobs, day in day out, even and especially when there are no TV cameras or academics to write about it.
Happy World Humanitarian Day!
- Key questions to ask any charity
- Why are there so many NGOs?
- InterAction’s suggestions for World Humanitarian Day
Entry filed under: Development Effectiveness. Tags: Africa, Aid, Aid Agencies, Asia, Dochas, Emergencies, Famine, Floods, Humanitarian, Humanitarian Aid, Irish NGOs, Learning, NGOs, Overseas aid, Relief, WHD, World Humanitarian Day.