a service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Decades of aid manipulation
DAKAR, 19 February 2013 (IRIN) - Following the 9/11 attacks and the
launch of the Global War on Terror, many humanitarian policy wonks
spoke of a new era of heightened aid instrumentalization - that is the
use of humanitarian action or rhetoric as a tool to pursue political,
security, development, economic, or other non-humanitarian goals, which
would muddy humanitarian principles and constrain access to those in
But a new book, The Golden Fleece
eece%2C+donini> , argues that instrumentalization goes back centuries.
The only thing that has changed is the "centrality and sheer size" of
the humanitarian enterprise, says its editor Antonio Donini, senior
researcher at Tufts University's Feinstein International Center. "There
never was a golden age of humanitarianism," he says.
While aid agencies balked at Colin Powell's description of them as
"force multipliers" in the US "war on terror", he was not far from
wrong, says Lt-Gen (rtd) the Honorable Rom
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