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The impact of humanitarian aid on conflict development

  • Pierre Perrin


The proliferation of crises around the world has led to a sharp increase in the scale of humanitarian aid required to meet the vital needs of the people affected by them for food, water, medical care and shelter. Humanitarian organizations can either meet those needs directly or support local services engaged in the same work. In most cases, both approaches are used.



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1 UNHCR, Center for Disease Control, Crude mortality rates, selected refugee and displaced populations, 1992–1994. The extreme emergency threshold is two deaths per 10,000 people per day.

2 Source: ICRC (unpublished).

3 ICRC Bulletin, October 1991.

4 Source: ICRC (unpublished).

5 Cranna, Michael (Ed.), The true cost of conflict, 1994.

6 Source: ICRC (unpublished).

7 ICRC News, No. 32, 21 August 1997.

8 ICRC, 1996 Annual Report, p. 246.

9 ICRC, 1996 Annual Report, pp. 57–59.

10 Republic of Congo: the ICRC urges respect for humanitarian rules, Press release 97/18 of 12 June 1997.

11 ICRC News, No. 34, 23 August 1995.

12 ICRC, 1994 Annual Report, p. 149.

13 UNITA: National Union for the Total Independence of Angola.

14 ICRC, 1996 Annual Report, p. 76.

15 Tomasevski, Katerina, Human Rights and Wars of Starvation, Macrae, Joanna and Zwi, Anthony (Eds), War and Hunger, Zed Books Ltd, London, 1996, p. 76.

16 Harroff-Tavel, Marion: “Neutrality and impartiality - On the importance and difficulty, for the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, of being guided by these principles”, IRRC, No. 273, November-December 1989, p. 538.

17 “Military support for humanitarian aid operations”, in IISS, Strategic Comments, No. 2, 22 February 1995.

18 Pierre Perrin, “The Law is an Asset”, The Health Exchange, December 1996.

19 Speech by the ICRC on 28 October 1996. United National General Assembly, 51st session, 1996.


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