According to Wikipedia, "a humanitarian crisis is an event or series of events which carry with them a critical threat to the health, safety or wellbeing of a collectivity, usually over a wide area.
Influenza A H1N1 is turning into a pandemic. What will the number of cases be, what groups will be the most affected, how virulent will the virus be, and how long will it last?
Analyzing the same event from different perspectives is a favourite trick of historians to spice up their narratives. It also works pretty well to describe humanitarian interventions.
Humanitarian law was designed as a normative framework, not as an indictment. With this in mind, Rony Brauman tries to define what constitutes a human shield.
Though independence and innovation are both highly valued concepts, Xavier Crombé questions in this article - thanks to MSF's experiences in Niger in 2005 - the possible interactions between them.
Rony Brauman decribes how the qualification of the conflict in Darfur as genocide leads only to a dead end and warns against the abuse of this concept.
Rony Brauman analyses the de-politicization and criminalisation process of the conflict in Darfur, resulting from an exclusively ethnic reading of this crisis and by the inappropriate use of the concept of "genocide".
Fabrice Weissman reminds us that while the clarity of the humanitarian emblem is no guarantee of absolute safety, it is nevertheless an essential prerequisite to it.
This article questions the independence of humanitarian action in Afghanistan, at a time when aid initiatives from military forces blurs differences, and when NGOs financed mostly by institutional funding risk becoming mere "implementing partners" of an aid policy driven by a political agenda.
Rony Brauman questions the link between public health decisions and the right to health care.
As the USA announces its decision to suspend food aid to North Korea - one of the largest beneficiaries of global food aid - Fiona Terry reveals the true political issues behind the decision, and reminds us of how "humanitarian" assistance is used to bolster one of the planet's most oppressive regimes.
The international aid regime tends to exaggerate changes over the last decade in the nature of so-called humanitarian crises. Neither violence perpetrated against civilian populations nor the dilemmas posed to aid organisations attempting to assist them have worsened since the end of the Cold War.