Browse by Theme: Humanitarian Space
This paper seeks to outline a number of issues arising from the politicisation and militarisation of aid resulting from the use of comprehensive approaches, and to highlight the new challenges that this trend poses for civilian populations and non governmental organizations (NGOs).
Through the examination of the Afghanistan case, it aims to explain some of the reasons for NGOs criticism of comprehensive approaches and their reluctance to collaborate with military actors.
Humanitarian agencies are experiencing unprecedented threats and dilemmas in their work.
The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq in particular have led some to identify a new ‘politicisation’ of aid.
Aid workers in both places have died in unprecedented numbers; coalition armies have used humanitarian assistance as both a tactic to win hearts and minds, and as a reward for intelligence gathering and cooperation.
The use of the word political is wide of the mark, however.
Humanitarian agencies are themselves political; humanitarianism has never been as political as in the last decade with its radical calls for military intervention to prevent and contain conflict.