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Children walk through a sandstorm in Tillaberi region, Niger (Feb 2012)  © Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN

Climate Change and Displacement: Addressing Protection Gaps

Thursday, January 29, 2015

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Climate change and environmental degradation are increasingly becoming a humanitarian issue. Variability in climate, as well as in increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, is disrupting livelihoods, driving displacement, and contributing to conflicts over increasingly limited natural resources. While climate change is impacting lives on a global scale, the populations most likely to be affected – those already vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters – are also the least able to cope, particularly due to poverty, state fragility, geographic vulnerability, resource insecurity, low resiliency or legacies of past more...

The Role of Gender in Humanitarian Protection and Response

Thursday, December 18, 2014

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What role does gender play in humanitarian crises? How could a gendered lens improve humanitarian practitioners’ approaches to designing and implementing assistance and protection programs in complex environments?

A gendered perspective of humanitarian protection focuses on analyzing the impact of gender on vulnerabilities in conflict settings. Women and men experience different forms of violence and resulting needs, and different constraints on their access to resources and services. While men are more likely to die during conflict, for example, women are more likely to die after a conflict has officially ended, or to suffer from more...

Humanitarians Under Attack: Delivering Aid in Insecure Settings

Thursday, November 20, 2014

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Recent high-profile attacks on humanitarian professionals in Syria and Iraq call attention to a disturbing trend: humanitarian agencies face growing threats and attacks on their staff. These attacks endanger their lives, violate international humanitarian law, and jeopardize the effective delivery of emergency relief to populations in need.

Violence against humanitarian aid workers reached record highs in 2013, with 155 aid workers killed globally. So far this year, at least 82 more have been killed. While such violence occurs in a variety of humanitarian settings, humanitarians are most vulnerable in situations of extremely more...

The “New World” of IHL Compliance: An Interview with Charles Garraway

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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In this episode, ATHA's Rob Grace talks with Professor Charles Garraway, who is a Vice-President of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission; faculty at the International Institute of International Law in San Remo, Italy; and a fellow at the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. Professor Garraway also has thirty years of experience in the United Kingdom Army Legal Services, where he served in various capacities, including as a criminal prosecutor and as an advisor in international humanitarian law. Rob asked Professor Garraway about the experiences and challenges faced by the International...

Conflict Migration: Assessing the Approaches to Rehabilitation

Thursday, October 23, 2014

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On World Refugee Day this year, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced people worldwide has exceeded 50 million people. Humanitarian organizations are currently struggling to address the needs of these displaced populations, due primarily to protracted armed conflict and other situations of violence. Existing legal, policy, and operational approaches to humanitarian protection are increasingly insufficient to keep up with patterns of conflict-related migration in North Africa and the Middle East, for example. Some argue that humanitarian interventions are slow more...

(C) IRIN News

Urban Humanitarian Response and Protection

Thursday, September 25, 2014

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It is estimated that half of the world’s population currently resides in urban areas, and this number is expected to rise to 5 billion by 2030, with the largest cities emerging in Africa and Asia. Rapid urbanization has led to increased density, overcrowding, and strain on local infrastructure and public services. This, in turn, has reduced the security of urban dwellers, and magnified their vulnerabilities to natural disaster and violent conflict. Along with growing mass urbanization has come an unprecedented level of violence and crime in densely populated slums and shantytowns. Cities like Kingston, Rio de Janeiro, and more...

Grappling with the Challenges of Rapid Urbanization: An Interview with Dr. Ronak Patel

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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ATHA’s Anaide Nahikian recently sat down with Dr. Ronak Patel, founder and director of the Urbanization and Crises Program at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Dr. Patel is also Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a practicing attending physician in emergency medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital.


Humanitarian Assistance Webcast - Thinking Local: Trends and Standards in Capacity-Building

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The dynamics of contemporary conflicts have made the way in which international actors understand and support local agencies increasingly important. As we have seen, states have become much more assertive in the way in which they relate to humanitarian actors and the building of local capacity is not simply good humanitarian practice but, ultimately, necessary to reach affected populations.   However, humanitarian action has grown into an international industry and must contend with the variety of political and bureaucratic considerations that accompany such growth. As a result, capacity building, particularly for regional offices and local partners, has become one of the most complex and controversial discussions among and within humanitarian agencies.     This Humanitarian Assistance Webcast will facilitate a re-examination of the current humanitarian response structure and discuss what opportunities exist to redefine the relationship between international and more...

Humanitarian Assistance Webcast: The Contemporary Role of Faith-based Aid

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Faith-based humanitarian organizations have played a central role in responding to humanitarian needs for centuries. While deeply rooted in principles of faith and charity, these organizations also represent a community of influential donors. As such, they are uniquely positioned to lead programs in assistance, protection, and advocacy in complex humanitarian environments. Furthermore, given their continued investment and presence in local communities, faith-based organizations are often the first to respond to humanitarian disasters or conflict.This webcast will discuss the role of faith-based humanitarian organizations and the operational challenges faced by both faith-based and secular humanitarian organizations in their work.


Through discussions with experts and practitioners, the webcast will explore the following questions:

What is the relationship between the core principles and standards for humanitarian more...

Save Lives or Save the Regimes? An Interview with Dr. François Audet

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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ATHA’s Anaide Nahikian recently sat down with Dr. François Audet, Scientific Director of the Canadian Research Institute on Humanitarian Crisis and Aid (OCCAH) and a professor of management and technology at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Their discussion centered on Dr. Audet’s recent research, which looks at the interest and...


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