Center for Global Affairs
Issues in Humanitarian Assistance and Intervention
Humanitarians rush to help starving children, fleeing refugees and others in crisis, but too often what seems like a straightforward solution becomes a dilemma. Aid agencies may be forced to assist combatants in order to gain access to their victims. Food donations may destroy the local economy, making aid a permanent necessity. Warring factions may deliberately cause suffering in order to attract aid, which they then loot. Governments may use humanitarian relief as an excuse not to intervene militarily. This course explores how non-governmental organizations and international agencies wrestle with the complex issues that arise in emergency situations.