Five to read:
A Crisis of Anxiety Among Aid Workers
Aid workers are employed to help people in crisis situations, but who helps the aid worker deal with their own traumatic experiences? In this New York Times blog, former United Nations and NGO worker Rosalie Hughes questions what she sees as the hypocrisy of humanitarian organisations who “exist to alleviate suffering and maintain and protect human dignity” but at the same time do so little to apply the same principles to their own staff.
Ebola: A Turning Point?
Oxfam chief executive Mark Goldring pens an important reminder that the end of Ebola cases does not mean the end of the crisis. Referring to his recent visit to Sierra Leone and Liberia, he points to the lasting economic legacy of the outbreak, which includes joblessness, failed crops and restricted trade flows. But, he says: “If we get it right, Ebola could mark the turning point for all those who live in the countries that have suffered so much.”
Iraq’s continuing struggle with conflict pollution
Iraq is still recovering from the environmental impact of two Gulf wars, but now it faces new problems caused by the current conflict against the group calling itself Islamic State (IS), writes Wim Zwijnenburg, of PAX, a Dutch peace organisation. He sounds a warning about the risk of new contamination as a result of fighting between government forces and IS militants, including attacks on oil fields and refineries. The environmental legacy of the conflict should not to be left as an afterthought, he says.
Aid for Peace. Does Money Buy Hearts and Minds?
Does sending aid into conflict-affected regions worsen violence? That has long been a question for governments and humanitarian organisations and it is posed once again in this Foreign Affairs article, which looks at aid responses in different conflicts around the word. Each context is unique but the general conclusion was “small, targeted projects will produce better outcomes than carpeting conflict regions with cash”.
Alienation and Violence: Impact of Syria Crisis Report 2014
Published in the week that the Syrian conflict entered its fifth year, this report produced by the Syrian Centre for Policy Research (SCPR) with the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) makes grim reading. It chronicles the collapse of the education, health and social welfare systems and highlights the desperate plight of Syria’s 560,000 Palestinian refugees.
3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR)
March 14-18, Sendai, Japan
Thousands of participants are expected to attend the WCDRR in Japan this week. The conference aims – among other things – to complete an assessment and review of the Hyogo Framework for Action and to adopt a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction. The website is a treasure chest for anyone interested in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
What does the Boko Haram/IS alliance mean?
What does Nigerian Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram’s declared allegiance to the group calling itself Islamic State (IS), mean in practice? Our editor at large Obinna Anyadike takes a closer look at the implications of the relationship.