Resources

Study: Host States Key in Protection of Aid Workers

Date: 
October 3, 2013

Host States and Their Impact on Security for Humanitarian Operations, released by Humanitarian Outcomes, aims to explore why major violence against aid workers is increasingly concentrated in a small number of extremely insecure countries. The findings suggest that attacks on humanitarian aid workers are mainly a symptom of state failure as well as a byproduct of war.

CRS Study: Syria Overview of the Humanitarian Response

Date: 
September 11, 2013

The study, written by Rhoda Margesson, Specialist in International Humanitarian Policy and Susan G. Chesser, Information Research Specialist, was published on Sept. 4, 2013. It provides a thorough summary of the impact the conflict in Syria has had on the civilian population, the U.S. government’s contribution to humanitarian aid efforts and the international response. It identifies policy issues the situation raises Congress, including the level of funding, whether aid should be “branded” as coming from the U.S., given the safety problems such a move would create for people on the ground.

USIP Report: Countering Violent Extremism: A Peacebuilding Perspective

Date: 
September 11, 2013

The United States Institute for Peace's Georgia Holmer published the report Countering Violent Extremism, a Peacebuiling Perspective on Aug. 29, 2013.  It examines theories and practive of preventing terrorism by countering violent extremism (CVE) and points out the need for strong civil society participation in this arena.  She recommends that "Peacebuilders and peacebuilding practice can contribute to and enhance the CVE agenda in several ways.." These include:

OFAC Licenses for Humanitarian Aid

Date: 
July 29, 2013

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) within the U.S. Department of Treasury is tasked, in part, with ensuring that money from U.S. persons and entities does not fall into the hands of terrorist groups. An array of sanction laws have been enacted that make it a crime for money to go to certain countries (for example, Iran and Syria) and certain organizations (for example, Hamas and al-Qaeda). OFAC has the authority both to enforce these laws, by freezing the assets of any U.S. group or individual who violates them, and to provide exceptions to these laws through licenses. 

A License to Aid? How Politics Delays Aid to Civilians in Conflict Zones

Date: 
July 24, 2013

The Palestinian territories receive some of the highest amount of humanitarian aid of any place in the world from the U.S. government and charitable donors.[i] Most of this aid goes to the West Bank. The flow of aid dollars hits a significant barrier when it comes to the other Palestinian territory, the Gaza Strip. The elected government in Gaza, Hamas, was listed as a terrorist group by the U.S.

Problems with Humanitarian Access Persist in Syria

Date: 
July 10, 2013

July 2013

Syria - Background

Since the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, a mostly peaceful mass street protest has transformed into a destructive and deadly civil war pitting the Free Syrian Army (FSA) against the Alawite-dominated security forces of President Bashar al-Assad.  With the conflict raging across much of the country and difficulties getting international aid to civilians inside Syria, the humanitarian situation is described as “catastrophic” and continues to deteriorate at a rapid pace.

Somalia: The 2011 Famine and its Response

Date: 
July 10, 2013

July 2013

Somalia- Background

Before the first government to be internationally recognized in two decades came into power in early 2013, Somalia had been a country without an effective government since the collapse of the Siad Barre regime in 1991. Since then, two decades of conflict, severe weather, and the lack of basic services and infrastructure have contributed to major food shortages for almost half of the country’s ten million people.  Amidst the rampant insecurity and shortages, humanitarian efforts were further complicated by U.S. restrictions that prohibited aid delivery to the nearly two million civilians living in areas of the country controlled by al-Shabaab, a militant group that operates in southern Somalia, during the 2011 famine.

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