Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Humanitarian aid can't fix the biggest problems

Four years later, the [Sudanese] government kicked out thirteen Western aid groups in retaliation for the International Criminal Court's decision to issue a warrant for the arrest of President Al-Bashir on charges of war crimes. Did the roof that we fixed on the school in block D16 [of the refugee camp] even matter now? Did the covers we put on the latrines to stop the flies mean anything anymore? They were fine solutions to stop the immediate problems, but this war was much bigger than me, than the agency that I worked for, than the countless humanitarian workers running around providing bars of soap. The country needed a government that didn't terrorize its own population, one that was committed to peace and didn't back a militia that ran people off their land. And without this, without a government that worked with the aid community, not against it, our programs could only be short-term solutions.
Jessica Alexander, Chasing Chaos: My Decade in and out of Humanitarian Aid (New York: Broadway Books, 2013), p. 218.

No comments:

Post a Comment