Report Criticizes Blurring Civil-Military Lines in Humanitarian Aid

A recent report by CARE employees Stephen Cornish and Marit Glad criticizes the blurring of distinctions between military and humanitarian efforts in conflicted regions. They show how efforts by civil-military Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan have been “costly, wasteful, lacking in quality and often not taking into account community needs.”  They also argue that using aid for politico-military objectives means that assistance is not always guided by need.  Thus aid goes to those who are considered more ‘politically valuable’ than those most vulnerable. Finally, they show how blurring the lines between aid workers and military actors has put aid agencies at greater risk of retaliation by other factions.

While focussed on the broader humanitarian and development community, the authors’ conclusions mirror those of Political Minefields’ Afghanistan report, “Goldmine.” The Goldmine report argued that the merging of US aid and security policy in Afghanistan reduced neutral ‘humanitarian space’ for mine action, putting deminers at risk.  Read the Goldmine report here.

~ by Matthew Bolton on 18 May 2009.

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