In the context of emergency appeals in the Horn of Africa, Rony Brauman recalls the contemporary definition of a famine. While recognising the progress made in major crisis response mechanisms, he questions the alarmist attitude of the UN.
Using Niger as an example, this text seeks to explore the dilemmas involved in medical responses to child malnutrition when such malnutrition is endemic (strong, permanent presence) and gives rise to seasonal peaks (epidemics) each year.
Four years after the Nigerian crisis, many things have changed in the nutrition field. This Cahier du Crash aims at considering this evolution and explore new possibilities for action for MSF.
In 2008, Southern Ethiopia was the epicentre of a vast nutritional intervention: more than 100,000 malnourished children received assistance from a mix of actors including both international actors and local health facilities.
Dr. Jean-Hervé Bradol, Former President of MSF-France presented data based on MSF's experience in Niger that showed the implementation of the UN recommendation for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition was not possible in a high burden setting.
With 13,000 humanitarian workers and a hundred relief agencies, Darfur hosts the largest humanitarian operation in the world. The aid apparatus started its full deployment in mid-2004 in a context of acutely high mortality among internally displaced persons (IDPs) gathered in camps and civilians remaining in rural areas.
This study sheds light on the mechanisms producing the official data used by humanitarian aid decision makers. It views Early Warning Systems (EWS) as tools that facilitate consensus between the decision-makers involved in the allocation of food aid, enabling them to reach institutional agreements.