Read Karawana kryzysu by Linda Polman Ewa Jusewicz-Kalter Online

karawana-kryzysu

Od Półwyspu Bałkańskiego po Darfur, od Somalii po Afganistan...Nigdy wcześniej nie istniało tak wiele instytucji niosących pomoc. Karawana organizacji humanitarnych wraz z podążającymi ich śladem gwiazdami muzyki pop, aktorami, politykami i dziennikarzami sunie po planecie, przesuwając się od obszaru dotkniętego kryzysem do strefy wojennej, od przepełnionych obozów dla uchOd Półwyspu Bałkańskiego po Darfur, od Somalii po Afganistan...Nigdy wcześniej nie istniało tak wiele instytucji niosących pomoc. Karawana organizacji humanitarnych wraz z podążającymi ich śladem gwiazdami muzyki pop, aktorami, politykami i dziennikarzami sunie po planecie, przesuwając się od obszaru dotkniętego kryzysem do strefy wojennej, od przepełnionych obozów dla uchodźców, wzdłuż punktów dystrybucji żywności na obszarach dotkniętych głodem, do zbombardowanych wiosek i domów dziecka dla sierot wojennych.Niesienie pomocy stało się przemysłem, w którym obraca się miliardami, walczy o jak największy udział w rynku i robi wszystko, by uprzedzić konkurentów. A pomocy udziela się, nawet jeśli pieniądze i towary zasilają kasy wojenne walczących stron. Czy więc organizacje humanitarne mogą twierdzić, że są neutralne? Czy powinny pomagać, jeśli pomoc dociera tylko do najwyżej postawionych, ginie w sidłach korupcji albo przedłuża walki? Co jest na dłuższą metę bardziej okrutne – pomagać czy pozwolić krajowi się wykrwawić albo samemu stanąć na nogi? Kiedy zasady humanitarne przestają być etyczne?Ze wstępem Janiny Ochojskiej-Okońskiej...

Title : Karawana kryzysu
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788380493087
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 264 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Karawana kryzysu Reviews

  • Ditte
    2018-11-27 02:22

    Érg indrukwekkend boek. Linda Polman laat aan de hand van vele voorbeelden zien hoe de doelstelling van de humanitaire organisaties om zich altijd en overal neutraal op te stellen en zo dus zowel daders als slachtoffers te helpen er voor gezorgd heeft dat hulp nu oa gebruikt wordt als middel in oorlogen, om rebellenlegers in vorm te houden, etc. Hongersnoden worden soms gecreeërd (door oogsten te verbranden) om hulporganisaties te lokken.Daarnaast wordt duidelijk hoe de humanitaire sector eigenlijk verworden is tot een deel van de markteconomie, zonder dat bijvoorbeeld journalisten haar kritisch benaderen. Er is veel concurrentie tussen organisaties, maar er wordt niet of nauwelijks gecontroleerd hoe die organisaties hun werk doen en of het überhaupt bijdraagt aan een betere situaties voor slachtoffers (dit is namelijk zeer de vraag in gebieden waar het merendeel van de hulp naar het leger of naar rebellen gaan, waardoor de oorlog verlengd wordt).Polman laat echt op heel confronterende wijze zien dat ontwikkelingshulp niet benaderd kan worden met een zwart/wit kijk op wat goed en slecht is. Ze roept dan ook op dat er veel kritischer gekeken wordt naar het werk van humanitaire organisaties. Nogmaals, erg indrukwekkend.

  • Abc
    2018-11-28 08:29

    Rzetelna publikacja poświęcona pomocy humanitarnej (choć po przeczytaniu książki można mieć wątpliwości czy to wciąż humanitaryzm). Pozycja dla odpornych i niezrażonych, gdyż treść przypomina bardziej thriller ze scenami, które mrożą krew w żyłach. Z jednej strony jesteśmy mocno osadzeni w realiach opisywanej tragedii. Coś na wzburza, bulwersuje, czy wręcz rozwściecza. Z drugiej, stanowimy wyłącznie biernych obserwatorów, którym pozostaje jedynie bezradność, bezsilność i niemożność.Linda Polman poświęciła 5 lat na napisanie książki. Efekty jej pracy są wręcz szokujące. Przedstawia mocne argumenty, tezy popiera coraz silniejszymi przykładami, prezentuje jeszcze potężniejsze dowody. Dostaje się wszystkim, od Busha, przez Matkę Teresą, po Colina Powella.Książka nie pozostawia złudzeń, nie znajdziemy w niej również happy endu wieńczącego dzieło. Pozbawiona jest moralizatorstwa czy wskazówek jak zbawić świat. Autorka w swej ocenie jest obiektywna. Jej dzieło jest jedynie głosem w sprawie, które i tak nic nie zmieni, a jej protest zginie w odmęcie czasu. Albowiem po przeczytaniu książki wiemy już, że świat humanitaryzmu sądzi się własnymi prawami.Jednakże największy plus należy się Polman za uzmysłowienie sensu niesienia pomocy. Niby to co wiadomo już od dawna, a co w praktyce jest trudne do zrealizowania. Mianowicie, pomoc polegająca na ofiarowaniu ludziom wędki a nie ryby. Jest to problem, który przewija się w książce ciągle i najczęściej zarzuca go autorka organizacjom humanitarnym.(Dodatkowo książka zawiera alfabetyczny 'aid speak' czyli żargon humanitarystów).

  • Klaas Bisschop
    2018-11-16 01:39

    Schokkend kijkje achter de schermen van de internationale noodhulpindustrie (omgerekend de 5e economie ter wereld).Over hoe de zogenaamde neutraliteit van de hulporganisaties vaak helpt de nood-situatie in oorlogsgebieden in stand te houden. (Hulp als vast onderdeel van de plaatselijke economie) Vooral omdat zij zich niet durven of willen verzetten tegen de veroorzakers van de noodsituatie, wat regelmatig tot dubieuze 'samenwerking' leidt. En zij verschuilen zich achter hun neutraliteit om geen standpunt te hoeven innemen over de vraag: wanneer houden humanitaire beginselen op ethisch te zijn?

  • Romulus
    2018-11-14 03:22

    Autorka skupia się w tej książce na ciemnej stronie przemysłu (bo tak to trzeba określać) pomocy humanitarnej. I opis ten jest przerażający i przygnębiający. Czegoś takiego się spodziewałem, ale potrzebne mi to było do uzupełnienia nie mniej frustrującej wiedzy wyniesionej z "Głodu" Capparosa, czy "Wykluczonych" Domosławskiego. Szkoda że autorka nie pogłębiła rozważań dotyczących wykorzystywania organizacji pomocowych przez państwa. Ale i bez tego jest tu sporo rzeczy, które i zbulwersują i pozostawią w bezsilnej złości. Choć warto pamiętać, że to książka o złych stronach działania organizacji humanitarnych i że istnieją te oczywiste, dobre.

  • Jan
    2018-11-16 08:31

    Dit boek is een absolute must read voor iedereen die zich interesseert voor buitenlandse politiek, dynamiek en relaties. Waar gaat het toch steeds mis met de hulpacties in de wereld ? Welke vrgaen moeten hierover gesteld worden, en waarom gebeurt dat maar niet. Schockerend voor mensen die geloven in hulpacties. Bevestigend voor mensen die het hebben mee moeten maken.Een schandaal dat geen grenzen kent. Er kan niet genoeg over geschreven worden.

  • Michael Gerald
    2018-11-29 08:36

    You will think twice about putting some money into those donation boxes of many aid organizations after reading this book, though some of the allegations must be taken with a grain of salt.

  • Marta
    2018-11-21 08:26

    I can't believe it: how on Earth a book on such an important topic can be so BADLY WRITTEN?? It's one of the most chaotic books I've ever read. It's difficult to understand what the author is talking about because she jumps from one topic to another, merging some other people's dialogs, mentioning some events from the past from other countries and a hell of a lot of examples at the same time. None of them emphasized enough to point out the actual problem. I can't even order in my head WHAT are the real problems behind the humanitarian aid, I can just remember some of the blurry examples of bad money and work management from all over Africa. I'd love to be able to understand what is wrong with the system, get all scandalous about it and tell my friends what is going on - but I just can't, there are too little shocking facts to actually shape your opinion and get you the full picture of how the work is and should be done. All there is is just chaos of random cases which get just a couple of sentences of attention from the author.

  • Anne Mcarthur
    2018-11-27 06:34

    Yes, the information in this book is important. No, it's not new. And yes, organizations are trying to do better, but when you are in a crisis situation with corrupt governments, there are ugly things that happen. Or they don't happen, like Yemen now. Yes, some NGOs use outrageous marketing approaches...so don't give them money. Or report them. Or do some research and find out what the good NGOs are. Foundations can be equally dangerous as they don't officially have to report their results and they can drive agendas that may or may not be in the public good. OK...with that said, I found this book to be snarky, holier-than-thou and in some parts, she used stereotypes of Africans that were racist and unfair. And the aid lingo dictionary in the back was just stupid.

  • Alynda
    2018-11-20 09:49

    Polman legt een maatschappelijke blinde vlek bloot en doet dat op entertainende wijze. Bizar dat er zelden wordt nagedacht over de ethische schaduwkanten van humanitaire hulpverlening. Helemaal absurd is dat effectiviteit van dergelijke interventies zelden gemeten wordt. Ik zou het boek 5 sterren geven als het niet zo bol stond van de validistische opmerkingen over mensen met een handicap, dat stoort. Los daarvan raad ik het aan iedereen aan, dit zou verplichte kost moeten zijn voor iedereen die doneert aan internationale hulpverlening en voor iedereen die werkt in deze miljardenindustrie.

  • Nicole
    2018-11-25 03:24

    Polman shows how giving $$$ to crises ends up slowing the recovery process and often funding the bad guys. This book helped me make a list of bold questions to ask of any organization that I donate to, to check if they are being ethical. Confession: I didn't read the whole book because it was too depressing. A couple of chapters was quite enough!

  • Priyanka Mogul
    2018-12-09 04:26

    "At what point do humanitarian principles cease to be ethical?" Never thought I would read anything that would urge me to ask this question. Polman's observations completely opened my eyes to an entirely new side to the humanitarian aid industry.

  • Tim
    2018-11-25 04:37

    Als je weer eens op het nieuws ziet of in de krant leest dat er weer (of nog steeds) een probleem is door overstroming, droogte, honger, enz... en de hulporganisaties weer x-aantal miljoenen Euro's (of andere valuta) vragen, denk je "wat? alweer? is dat nog niet opgelost?". Dus wil je eens de andere kant van de medaille zien en dan komt De Crisiskaravaan als een geschenk uit de hemel, bij manier van spreken.Op verheldere wijze vertelt Linda Polman over hoe organisaties (NGO's en particuliere organisatietjes) elkaar bekampen qua hulp bieden, want die laatste denken dat ze het beter kunnen, omdat de andere te groot en log zijn. Niets is minder waar, want vaak ontbreekt het hen aan ervaring en kennis, ook al is de geste goedbedoeld. De mensen steunen maar, storten maar Euro's zonder eigenlijk te weten: wordt dat geld wel goed besteed, waarvoor het gestort wordt? Waar blijft het plakken?In dit boek kom je te weten dat er inderdaad gesjoemeld wordt, niet alleen door die organisaties (dure reizen, hotels, enz...), maar ook door hulpbehoevenden (gewonden, zieken, rebellen, regeringen, ...) die proberen munt te slaan uit de hulp: bijv. onzinnige taksen opleggen, goederen verkopen (ondanks dat ze die wel nodig hebben) voor bijv. wapens zodat de strijd kan verdergezet worden, enz.De media geeft ook geen correcte weergave van de situatie (bijv. Rwanda 1994 - hutu vs tutsi, hoe de hutu's als de slachtoffers werden aanzien, terwijl de tutsis in principe meer slachtoffer waren), en de reporters willen blijkbaar dat alles betaald wordt door de organisatie over wie ze een artikel of reportage maken. De hypocrisie alleen al, en niet alleen bij hen.En ga zo maar door. Ja, de hulporganisaties worden negatief in beeld gebracht, misschien onterecht, maar toch zeker gedeeltelijk terecht (gezien de concurrentiële praktijken en de neutraliteitsbeginselen die ze op de een of andere manier misbruiken in het kader van sponsoring).Linda Polman geeft zelf geen oplossingen, want het probleem is te wijdverspreid om zomaar DE oplossing te geven. Hulp geven: ja of nee? Zo makkelijk is het niet. Ja, want mensen in nood moeten toch geholpen worden. Nee, want dan ga je het gesjoemel aanmoedigen, zullen rebellen, warlords, enz.. de situatie misbruiken om nog meer hulp te kunnen krijgen. En de vicieuze cirkel draait door.Besluit: zeker een aanrader als je de andere kant van de medaille wilt zien, als je het zelf verdacht vindt dat bepaalde situaties nog steeds niet zijn opgelost, of als hulporganisaties weer om miljoenensteun komen vragen. Enige kritische kijk op de zaak mag wel. Zoals met andere zaken.

  • Edwin Setiadi
    2018-11-24 04:27

    This book is literally giving me nightmares. It's a disturbing eye opener, which explains the ugly truth of the international aid industry, written in a composed and factual manner. It analyses, among other things, the dilemma of neutrality in war zones, the hypocrisy of aid workers who fly in business classes and hugely contribute to the increasing rate of prostitution in whichever town they've arrived, and the role of refugee camps in wars (for instance, the fact that Afghanistan's Taliban movement was born in an Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan).The book talks about the likes of Bono and Bob Geldof, the "refugee warriors" that hide among the victims, the "genocide credit" received by Rwanda, the amount of money Mother Teresa actually had ($50 million in 1 account in New York City alone) and many ugly realities on the ground where international aid often becomes a big part of the problem in warring countries, and even unwillingly becomes the supplier for the rebels like in Sri Lanka, Yugoslavia and East Timor. It also discuss about aid opportunists like the case in Niger that caused inflation and famine, the illusion of "phantom aid" like in Iraq, and the blurry line between aid and US military strategy in Afghanistan post 9/11.The book also describes human cruelty at its very worst: the deliberate starvation in Ethiopia, village burning and rape in Darfur, nurturing war criminals responsible for genocide in Goma, and all of this for, and in the name of, international aid. It also explains the reason why the rebels were chopping off hands in Sierra Leone, and why the government officials were jubilantly celebrating when Sierra Leone was ranked as the poorest country in the world.I believe I haven't read anything as disturbing as this book (have I mentioned that it's literally giving me nightmares?), where the worst kinds of human beings have found a rotten way to exploit the aid industry, causing a genuine headache for the good guys trying to save the world. But nevertheless, it is without a doubt one of the best books I've ever read, with world class journalistic investigation and an engaging style of writing. And it is definitely 1 of my top 10 books to read to understand how the real world works. I can no longer see the likes of charity, refugee camps and war strategies the same way anymore.

  • Kamil
    2018-11-27 02:33

    Linda Polman napisała książkę, którą ludzie w naszych czasach potrzebują. Karawana kryzysu nie jest, ani trudna, ani łatwa do czytania. Opisywany w niej problem okazuje się bardzo poważny, a często przecież tak lekceważony. Autorka diagnozuje "chorobę", jaką jest pomoc humanitarna organizowana i prowadzona przez ludzi nieodpowiedzialnych, chciwych i skorumpowanych. Opisuje grę polityczną, zakłamanie i szum medialny. Udowadnia, że prawo nie daje sobie z tym wszystkim rady, a ogólnie przyjętych reguł postępowania i niesiania pomocy po prostu nie ma. Po raz kolejny czytelnik może się przekonać, że gdzie są pieniądze (bez względu na jaki cel zostały przeznaczone), tam zawsze znajdą się ludzie gotowi je zdobyć (żeby nie użyć słowa ukraść). Czytając odkrywamy kulisy licznych akcji niesienia pomocy "poszkodowanym" (dlaczego w cudzysłowie, przekonacie się, gdy sięgniecie po lekturę) w kataklizmach, wojnach, głodzie itp. Już po kilkunastu stronach przekonamy się, że to co nam mówią w wiadomościach i podczas akcji charytatywnych daleko mija się z prawdą. Łatwość, o której wspomniałem, polega na tym, że książka napisana jest językiem przystępnym i zrozumiałym. A nawet jeżeli pojawią się jakieś trudności, zawsze można zaglądnąć do słowniczka na końcu. Osoby pragnące zgłębić swoją wiedzę w temacie, powinny sprawdzić odwołania do źródeł, z których korzystała autorka.Karawana kryzysu to literatura faktu dla każdego. Odsłania to co zazwyczaj nie jest dane nam zobaczyć. Stanowi także dobry początek dla osób, które dopiero zagłębiają się w temat. Sprawia, że zanim bez namysłu wrzucimy pieniądze do puszki, może zaczniemy zadawać pytania, sprawdzimy organizatora zbiórki i dowiemy się jak ta pomoc w ogóle ma wyglądać. Taki właśnie jest cel tej książki. source of all my reviews: my blog

  • Hana
    2018-11-23 01:25

    An excellent and thought-provoking two part review of this book by Philip Gourevitch in the The New Yorker prompted me to add this book to my TBR list. Gourevitch's follow-on second part to the review lists several other interesting books on the topic of the moral hazards of humanitarian aid. Gourevich is far from glowing in his review of this book, so the other references seem needed for a full picture. The article includes a link to a brilliant bit of reporting on Haiti, which is the sort of reporting Gourevich holds as essential if governments and N.G.Os are to be held more accountable. In a This American Life show from May, 2010, the lead segment "asks the excellent question: How can you have ten thousand N.G.O.s working in Haiti, and yet in the fifty years that that country has been receiving humanitarian aid it has gotten poorer every year? Since then Haiti has only gone from grim to grimmer, and one of the few proud claims of the humanitarian international that largely rules the place these days—that it had succeeded in preventing the outbreak of cholera—can no longer be made. The report on “This American Life” describes the deep wariness and even animosity many suffering Haitians feel toward N.G.O.s, and how, even as they yearn for help, they may often wish that most of the current crop of self-appointed helpers would just leave them alone."

  • Jessica
    2018-12-11 04:38

    Linda Polman challenges her audience to rethink the paradigm of international aid. Her central thesis is that, in the name of "neutrality," international humanitarian aid organizations are not only allowing atrocities to occur, but also playing a key role in the general care and feeding of the war machinery; in other words, INGOs are part of the problem. Her underlying theme - that there's no such thing as neutrality when it comes to war - is driven home in devastating and effective fashion, and should cause do-gooders everywhere to take a deep breath and confront the contradictions that often lie at the heart of even (especially?) the most well-meaning organizations. Polman takes no prisoners and wastes little time. From the opening argument, which illuminates the ideological differences between Florence Nightengale and Henry Dunant (whose ideas eventually set the tone for the agenda of the United Nations), it's clear that she's aiming for the big leagues. Overall, it's a scathing critique of aid and industries that such endeavors have spawned. Definitely worth a read, but a bit of a diatribe. She offers next to nothing in the way of solutions, and can't bring herself to say that international aid should end, either, so you might close the book feeling jaded and disillusioned, especially if you're young and idealistic. Thankfully, I'm not really either any more, so I found this a useful corrective to the reflexive mainstream ideas about aid.

  • Jennifer
    2018-12-07 07:22

    I wanted to read this book because I used to work for an international NGO and I saw this book featured on The Daily Show. It covered a lot of ground I already knew about: NGOs are dependent on good marketing and being in the right place at the right time... it's a business and the competition is huge. I knew that materials designated for aid were often stolen by corrupt governments and that aid workers could instill great damage to individual psyches while being touted by media as being compassionate (the story she tells of the US business who essentially stole children and brought them back the the US to be adopted will make your blood boil).The reason that I couldn't give this book a higher rating is because it didn't go far enough. Maybe it was intended to be a snapshot in time (most of the book focused on Rwanda and how the West got it wrong) but jumping from Rwanda to Sierra Leone to Darfur to Afghanistan was confusing. You also have to be very patient with the acronyms - they are everywhere. Glancing over the history in each region and calling out some aid organizations by name and not others left me very unsettled. Specificity goes a long way.Worth reading but in small doses.

  • Jur
    2018-12-05 09:40

    Linda Polman´s The Crisis Caravan (In Dutch: De crisiskaravaan. Achter de schermen van de noodhulpindustrie) paints a pretty depressing picture of the crisis aid industry. She shows how the interaction between aid organisations, victims, local powers and the press have changed since the early 1990sThe major development in the field is that since the early 1990s there has been a huge proliferation in the number of NGOs, especially with the appearance of MONGOs, or 'My Own NGO's. The main effect has been that the NGOs need to put much more effort in PR to catch attention of potential donors. And this has put them at the mercy of the press, who need to have a reason to turn up. A secondary effect of the competition between NGOs is their lack of negotiating power relative to the local powers. It is enough to turn cynical at the whole aid industry, but Polman says we shouldn't leave it at that. Sometimes we have no choice but to shake hands with the devil to save lives, but also sometimes, we need to decide that by providing aid, we are only prolonging the suffering and destabilising a country for a long time.see the full review

  • Alina Apine
    2018-11-26 08:27

    "In Goma he'd felt as if he were in an "aid agency supermarket" in which aid groups "blare[d] out their names and logos like soft drink manufacturers."After reading this book I had nightmares- I went to bed and had nightmares of doing humanitarian aid. It is powerful. Page after page you just see the rabbit hole that is the humanitarian aid industry. Polman goes through the different ways in which it is dysfunctional, bloated, politicized, corrupt and just down right repulsive. When we tend to think of humanitarians there is a variety of associations that spring to mind, but probably not greedy, exploitative, corrupt. But all of this is just a sign of fantastic image management on the side of the humanitarian NGOs. It is a well developed, complicated machine. Polman write something along the lines of "a business machine dressed as Mother Theresa". She explores the politicization of aid, the role aid plays in helping corrupt groups, individuals and governments stay in place.The reason this book gets a five star rating is that the book basically explores a big moral question: Should humanitarian assistance always be provided, and also should it be provided to everyone who asks?

  • Dave
    2018-11-14 08:31

    I give it 3 stars for the import of what the author talks about and how little people probably know about the people they donate to. The discussion of specific regions and how NGO's and the like are involved are very informative in a broad way. My problem with this book is that it doesn't feel coherent. The author goes back and forth from one crisis area and time to another. There is something almost too personal about the writing when it often needs to come across more analytical I think. But again, that doesn't detract from the overall message of the problem with how aid is set up, distributed and accounted for. The author questions many times over the course of the book "is it better to do something or do nothing"? And the answer is not as clear as one would think, knowing that I believe the gut reaction of most people is "of course, do something". That's not so clear cut when you realize what 'doing something' actually entails and the further problems it causes. The greatest thing to take away from this book is a healthy questioning of the system of aid that many countries give AND many contries and people manipulate.

  • Elliot Ratzman
    2018-12-03 02:25

    Humanitarian NGOs--from the Red Cross to small Church-based efforts--emerged in the last century to relieve civilian suffering. War, famine and disaster finds NGOs on the scene providing aid and coordinating relief. Polman, a Dutch journalist, takes a jaundiced look at the downside of Doctors without Borders and other efforts. Yikes! There are some terrible stories here that illustrate ethical issues and "ethical disasters" of relief. For example, hundreds of thousands of genocidal Hutus fled Rwanda, settling in neighboring Congo. After a short time, millions in NGO aid were siphoned off by the Hutu army, subsidizing more genocide. Unregulated Church NGOs cause more harm than good. The media reaction to amputees in Sierra Leone ends up prolonging the conflict. Billions in aid to Afghanistan ended up with no lasting development. Lessons: remove the perverse incentives and contract competitions surrounding aid. Regulate and coordinate aid groups and we will stop paving those roads to hell.

  • Martina
    2018-11-28 02:33

    An excellent reading on humanitarian aid and its business. Having a MA degree in human rights and humanitarian law myself it happened to me to notice how certain aid organizations do use human sufference to cast the bigger amount of donors and funds, sometimes litteraly exploiting people and their traumas. In this book, the author explain perfectly the run on aid that humanitarian organizations do in every crisis, their ise of the press and the use that local politicians and armed groups do of aid taxes and robberies. The author does ask if it is necessary to help always and under any circumsance or if it would be better to stop helping in these situations where a large ammount of humanitarian help is used to finance a conflict. She does not provvide a question herself, as she recognize that the problem is too wide, but she surely offers food for thought to many people and organizations. A must read for any people involved in humanitarian aid and for any enthusiaust helper.

  • Alexey Kornilov
    2018-11-29 09:24

    A well-written account of abuses and intrinsic problems of humanitarian aid. A good share of occurrences where aid is given is caused not by natural disasters, but by wars and local conflicts. Famine is more likely to happen where a civil war or government-forced mass relocation goes on, than in the drought zone.International aid organizations are heavily robbed and taxed by warring parties and oppressing governments thus contributing to the war economy and prolonging the conflicts. Moreover, sometimes people are deliberately made to suffer in order to get the attention of the aid organizations, the Sierra-Leone amputation campaign being the stunning example.This is by no means a comprehensive survey of humanitarian aid issues. Ms.Polman rather tells stories than gives the statistical evidence. But she definitely brings home the point that there is a problem and it should be addressed somehow.

  • Gwendoline
    2018-12-06 04:32

    Polman does a great job illustrating to the reader exactly what is wrong with the way humanitarian work is portrayed, either by means of providing cash or as a moral obligation. Through the different events throughout the book, one can see exactly what is wrong with this frame of thought - exploiting amputees to raise funds, providing funding to rebels and military, creating new forms of free markets that do nothing to better the current situations. Her objective is obviously not to dissuade aid, but rather to show that situations like that is Sierra Leone, Goma, etc. are complex in nature and cannot be solved by NGOs, INGOs, MONGOs (...), nor by throwing money, food, and clothing at the situation. Problems that happen on a local and internal level must be solved structurally before they can be aided externally to relief the situation. Highly recommend.

  • Lauren
    2018-12-01 04:37

    I really enjoyed this book. Polman does not pull her punches. She's a journalist through and through and I'm not sure she could help herself from piling in as many "juicy" details as she could. So while I did take her perspective with a grain of salt, it was still a very shocking read. The structure of the book worked well for me and I especially enjoyed the contract of the African experiences with that of Afghanistan. Its interesting to contemplate how different the attitudes toward aid is between these two environments. I think this book achieved it goal, as I really did reevaluate my ideas about humanitarian aid. I'd recommend this book (as well as maybe a few others to balance it out...) to anyone going into this area or even to someone looking to further their knowledge about conflict in Africa. I think it would serve as a good introduction.

  • Janet Lord
    2018-12-02 09:47

    Excellent critique of how we do humanitarian assistance and applicable more generally to international development across the board. Sometimes over the top, and ultimately disappointing in terms of looking beyond the problems to real world solutions, this is an important book for anyone who funds, implements or otherwise contributes to the humanitarian assistance enterprise - in short, all of us. As human rights advocates we are too often hesitant to hold ourselves accountable to the very human rights principles and humanitarian ethics that we purport to practice. Polman's ultimate contribution is to remind us human rights actors and humanitarian do gooders that we are all subject to scrutiny and ought to be held accountable for what we do.

  • Harald
    2018-11-15 02:44

    This book by Dutch journalist Linda Polman attacks humantarian interventions in war zones not only as wasteful, but also as damaging for aid recipients. By refusing to accept responsibility for unintended consequences, humanitarian organizations actually contribute to the prolonging and exacerbating of violent conflict. The main cases are drawn from the Hutu refugee camps in Goma in Eastern Congo and the civil war Sierra Leone, but Polman makes also use of numerous other examples of misdirected aid efforts from "Live Aid" to Afghanistan.She blames the narrow perspective of the many NGOs, but directs her well-articulated criticism also at journalists, donors, and of course the war lords themselves. An angry, but not humorless, book.

  • Paul Heidebrecht
    2018-12-03 07:42

    This is the kind of journalism we can't afford to lose. Polman looks at all the humanitarian aid that pours into civil war zones like Rwanda and Sudan and examines the uncomfortable reality that much of it has actually supported the oppressors in the conflict. The worst example was what happened right after the genocide in Rwanda in the 90s. Hutus left the country to settle in refugee camps in the Congolese city of Goma. That's where all the aid went. But the Hutus were actually the perpetrators of the violence. The real victims were back in Rwanda. Polman claims that aid agencies feel pressure to use donor funds to distribute aid even if it is being appropriated by the wrong people. This stuff can really drive you crazy. Western generosity can be so stupid.

  • Amy
    2018-12-04 05:30

    A really interesting book. It's a criticism of how aid is done (but not of giving aid). It asks question, provides lots of facts and experiences, and tries to start a discussion. It gave me background on a bunch of different things I've seen. She wasn't trying to provide a balanced piece but rather make a case for the world having an open and honest discussion on aid in general -- how it's done, what the principles should be, how it can be more positive, who should be allowed to do it, etc. I don't necessarily agree with everything Polman said but I didn't find it antagonistic or even bitter but just frustrated and passionate. I also would like more of a discussion on aid.

  • Niche
    2018-11-30 03:51

    This is a very important book to read. It gave me a lot more background on crisis situations and gave me a more complete world view. I did not know the difference between NGOs, INGOs and MONGOs were before reading the book. However, I don't think the book the books statistics were properly footnoted. It seemed to be skewed to be more negative. I don't know what the solution to decreasing people profiting from aid and the book does not offer a clear hypothesis for one. We need more transparency, better regulation and perhaps the UN fining the governments who think denying aid is a profitable political move. I see this book as a jumping off point to my own education of humanitarian aid.