OFF THE CUFF is a participative blog run by the Crash. Its purpose is to expose the diversity of experiences and opinions that exist among humanitarian aid practitioners. Online comments as well as direct contributions are more than welcome.
Views expressed on this blog are those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of Médecins Sans Frontières
Two scientific studies published last year confirmed the origin of the cholera epidemic that struck Haiti in October 2010. It was indeed caused by massive amounts of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae in the Artibonite river delta, originating from the sewage in the Minustah soldiers' camp.
In a report titled "A Dangerous Delay", Oxfam and Save the Children rebuke everyone - governments, humanitarian organisations, the United Nations - who participated in the humanitarian response to the food crisis that struck the Horn of Africa in recent months.
From international NGOs to UN agencies, from donors to observers of humanitarianism, opinion is unanimous: in a context of the alleged ‘clash of civilisations', our ‘humanitarian space' is shrinking.
Humanitarian assistance has become entangled with migration and security agendas. Indeed, most humanitarian assistance in Somalia and in refugee camps is subordinated and in support of these two agendas.
For the past several months, news about food shortages and famines affecting large segments of the East African population have been fueling donation appeals from major public and private aid organizations.
One year after the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, a number of observers and actors are questioning the international aid : reconstruction is at a standstill, homeless people are still facing the same situation and the deadly cholera epidemic reminds us that international aid has not helped to improve the very poor sanitation system.