Basics of International Humanitarian Missions

Basics of International Humanitarian Missions

Basics of International Humanitarian Missions

Basics of International Humanitarian Missions

Synopsis

This important book is a primer on the basics of humanitarian action. The ten chapters - each written by a leading professional - introduce the essential issues facing humanitarian workers as they confront both natural and man-made crises.Designed for students, teachers, practitioners, policy-makers, journalists, and other professionals, Basics of Humanitarian Missions covers fundamental concepts, contexts, and problems, in settings that range from floods and earthquakes to medical emergencies, civil strife, and forcedmigration.

Excerpt

Fordham University Press's International Humanitarian Affairs series is launched with two practical volumes, Basics of International Humanitarian Missions and Emergency Relief Operations. The series will issue two to three books per year and will consider various aspects of a discipline that, while in some senses is as ancient as humankind, is nevertheless still in a stage of definition. Only in recent years has humanitarian assistance been appreciated to be a potent political and diplomatic tool, and also recognized as big business. What began at the dawn of existence as an individual altruistic undertaking evolved into a charitable vocation and is now recognized as a distinct profession.

The purpose or goal of Fordham University’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs is to preserve the traditions and values of this discipline while also providing a framework for appropriate training and academic analyses. The book series directly complements, and draws from, the Institute’s other programs and teaching courses. This international humanitarian book series is intended to provide practical volumes for use by professionals in the field as well as by students in a wide variety of academic departments. The multidisciplinary nature of international humanitarian relief will be obvious to any reader.

Humanitarian assistance, particularly in the midst of conflicts and disasters, is not a field for amateurs. Good intentions are a common but tragically inadequate substitute for well-planned, efficiently implemented operations that, like a good sentence, must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Compassion and charity are only elements in humanitarian assistance programs; alone they are self-indulgent emotions that, for a short time, may satisfy the donor, but will always disappoint victims in desperate need.

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