Browse by Theme: Humanitarian

This week, days on from the #SupportingSyrians Conference, and like everyone else, I watched the news to see the devastation caused as Syrian regime and Russian airstrikes rained down on civilians in the Aleppo region and 35,000 people fled to the border with Turkey. Ten billion dollars pledged by world leaders, yet where are these leaders as Syrians cry out for protection from the violence? In the words of one Syrian activist last week, “What use is funding if the sieges prevent aid reaching those trapped inside and starving to death? What use is funding if our health clinics are bombed to the ground? What use is support for schools if barrel bombs fall on our children?”

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I met several Syrians in Jordan and Turkey during a recent visit (mid-January). All of them said they just wanted the war and the violence to stop so they could go home. Some were more hopeful than others that this would happen soon. But that’s what they all wanted.

So, what if we try to be a bit optimistic. Are we ready to respond if we get what we’re asking for?

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You spend half the year waiting for the government’s strategy on aid and conflict, and then two come along at once. On Monday 23 November, the government released both the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and its Aid Review, which together laid out the strategic aims of UK hard and soft power (including development) as well as how funding would be allocated among priority areas. CARE has released a statement on the Aid review, but here are some thoughts on the SDSR, its strengths and areas for further inquiry.

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In the north eastern corner of Bangladesh lies Sunamganj district. A remote area that is underwater for almost half of the year, it is one of the hardest places in the country to be a mother. In 2012, only 11% of births were assisted by a skilled health worker compared to a third across the country, and the maternal mortality rate was double that of the nation as a whole.
 
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In the north eastern corner of Bangladesh lies Sunamganj district. A remote area that is underwater for almost half of the year, it is one of the hardest places in the country to be a mother. In 2012, only 11% of births were assisted by a skilled health worker compared to a third across the country, and the maternal mortality rate was double that of the nation as a whole.
 
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Last Thursday 22nd October, over sixty people from diverse backgrounds joined a panel debate at CARE International’s 70th anniversary exhibition in London to discuss lessons learned from the humanitarian and wider response to the global refugee crisis.

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Tonight, CARE International hosts an event in London to discuss the global refugee crisis with representatives from DFID, UNHCR, the British Refugee Council, MSF and the Syrian Legal Development Programme, a local organisation working on the protection of civilians and adherence to international humanitarian law inside Syria. How the UK and others should respond to the refugee crisis is hotly debated amongst politicians, the media and general public. Here are four ideas for tonight’s debate.

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