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A Bed for the Night

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Timely and controversial, A Bed for the Night reveals how humanitarian organizations trying to bring relief in an ever more violen... Weiterlesen
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Beschreibung

Timely and controversial, A Bed for the Night reveals how humanitarian organizations trying to bring relief in an ever more violent and dangerous world are often betrayed and misused, and have increasingly lost sight of their purpose.Humanitarian relief workers, writes David Rieff, are the last of the just. And in the Bosnias, the Rwandas, and the Afghanistans of this world, humanitarianism remains the vocation of helping people when they most desperately need help, when they have lost or stand at risk of losing everything they have, including their lives.Although humanitarianism's accomplishments have been tremendous, including saving countless lives, the lesson of the past ten years of civil wars and ethnic cleansing is that it can do only so much to alleviate suffering. Aid workers have discovered that while trying to do good, their efforts may also cause harm.Drawing on firsthand reporting from hot war zones around the world -- Bosnia, Rwanda, Congo, Kosovo, Sudan, and most recently Afghanistan -- Rieff describes how the International Committee of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, the International Rescue Committee, CARE, Oxfam, and other humanitarian organizations have moved from their founding principle of political neutrality, which gave them access to victims of wars, to encouraging the international community to take action to stop civil wars and ethnic cleansing. This advocacy has come at a high price. By calling for intervention -- whether by the United Nations or by &quote,coalitions of the willing&quote, -- humanitarian organizations risk being seen as taking sides in a conflict and thus jeopardizing their access to victims. And by overreaching, the humanitarian movement has allowed itself to be hijacked by the major powers, at times becoming a fig leaf for actions those powers wish to take for their own interests, or for the major powers' inaction. Rieff concludes that if humanitarian organizations are to do what they do best -- alleviate suffering -- they must reclaim their independence.Except for relief workers themselves, no one has looked at humanitarian action as seriously or as unflinchingly, or has had such unparalleled access to its inner workings, as Rieff, who has traveled and lived with aid workers over many years and four continents.A cogent, hard-hitting report from the front lines, A Bed for the Night shows what international aid organizations must do if they are to continue to care for the victims of humanitarian disasters.

Autorentext

David Rieff



Klappentext

Timely and controversial, A Bed for the Night reveals how humanitarian organizations trying to bring relief in an ever more violent and dangerous world are often betrayed and misused, and have increasingly lost sight of their purpose.

Humanitarian relief workers, writes David Rieff, are the last of the just. And in the Bosnias, the Rwandas, and the Afghanistans of this world, humanitarianism remains the vocation of helping people when they most desperately need help, when they have lost or stand at risk of losing everything they have, including their lives.

Although humanitarianism's accomplishments have been tremendous, including saving countless lives, the lesson of the past ten years of civil wars and ethnic cleansing is that it can do only so much to alleviate suffering. Aid workers have discovered that while trying to do good, their efforts may also cause harm.

Drawing on firsthand reporting from hot war zones around the world -- Bosnia, Rwanda, Congo, Kosovo, Sudan, and most recently Afghanistan -- Rieff describes how the International Committee of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, the International Rescue Committee, CARE, Oxfam, and other humanitarian organizations have moved from their founding principle of political neutrality, which gave them access to victims of wars, to encouraging the international community to take action to stop civil wars and ethnic cleansing.

This advocacy has come at a high price. By calling for intervention -- whether by the United Nations or by "coalitions of the willing" -- humanitarian organizations risk being seen as taking sides in a conflict and thus jeopardizing their access to victims. And by overreaching, the humanitarian movement has allowed itself to be hijacked by the major powers, at times becoming a fig leaf for actions those powers wish to take for their own interests, or for the major powers' inaction. Rieff concludes that if humanitarian organizations are to do what they do best -- alleviate suffering -- they must reclaim their independence.

Except for relief workers themselves, no one has looked at humanitarian action as seriously or as unflinchingly, or has had such unparalleled access to its inner workings, as Rieff, who has traveled and lived with aid workers over many years and four continents.

A cogent, hard-hitting report from the front lines, A Bed for the Night shows what international aid organizations must do if they are to continue to care for the victims of humanitarian disasters.



Inhalt

Contents

Introduction

SECTION ONE Designated Consciences

1 The Humanitarian Paradox

2 The Hazards of Charity

3 A Saving Idea

SECTION TWO Dreams and Realities

4 Bosnia

5 Rwanda

SECTION THREE The Death of a Good Idea

6 Kosovo

7 Afghanistan

8 Endgame or Rebirth?

Conclusion

A Note on Sources

A Note on Major Humanitarian Organizations

Humanitarian and International Organizations

Acknowledgments

Index

Produktinformationen

Titel: A Bed for the Night
Untertitel: Humanitarianism in Crisis
Autor:
EAN: 9781439127278
ISBN: 978-1-4391-2727-8
Digitaler Kopierschutz: Adobe-DRM
Format: E-Book (epub)
Herausgeber: Simon + Schuster Inc.
Genre: Politikwissenschaft
Anzahl Seiten: 400
Veröffentlichung: 04.06.2013
Jahr: 2013
Untertitel: Englisch
Dateigrösse: 2.6 MB