Improving the Safety of Civilians

In 1991 during the first Iraq war, a destitute little girl in the holy city of Safwan stood in the middle of a crowd of displaced people with a placard around her neck: ‘We don’t need food, we need safety.’ She epitomised a shift in the understanding of what civilians expect from the international community and the role of humanitarian agencies in securing it. The aftermath of the Rwandan genocide in 1994 saw a further shift. The militarisation of the refugee camps in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) led agencies to question whether their provision of aid in the camps contributed to the insecurity in the region and had actually undermined the safety of the people they were trying to assist.
Source : ASDMA

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