Complex Emergencies and the Crisis of Developmentalism

Over the years, developmentalists, non governmental organizations and donor governments have been engaged on a conscious effort to ensure that they results to a world that has no suffering through giving their assistance in areas of need.

Due to these conscious efforts, the international non governmental organizations (INGOs) as well as many countries especially the financially endowed countries have engaged in development agendas to ensure that human suffering in the world is reduced and eventually eradicated.

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Development has taken various forms from long term efforts to short-term effort meant to provide support for people who are affected by a specific crisis. Although the idea of aid is welcomed by many stakeholders in any crisis, some people have criticized the new form of aid being disbursed as relief.

Duffield (43) in his article criticizes relief and argues that the trends that have been exhibited in the field of aid disbursement are worrying. According to Duffield aid has slowly been channeled from development to relief. He criticizes relief as a short-term temporary measure that lacks the capacity to provide tangible solutions towards the vulnerabilities of its targets.

Relief happens to be channeled to answer some specific and urgent needs of a population. It therefore lacks the capacity to focus on the future as its main aim is to alleviate a specific suffering that is afflicting a given population of people.

Since aid is directed to such a population, I find it agreeable that relief lacks the mechanism to develop a permanent solution to any crisis. However, despite this being known, the end of the cold and the gulf war has seen more and more percentage of all aids going for emergency and relief services.

The explanations and fears that Duffield has outlined towards his reservation on the use of aid for relief services are convincing. According to him, relief channeled towards complex emergencies lacks in capacity to influence the development of any long term plan that may be no more beneficial to the populations once the crisis that the relief seeks to address is eliminated.

Higher percentages of aids are now being channeled towards relief due to what has come to be known as complex emergencies. Relief is often spent in a manner that may be questionable as emergencies are not preplanned events. Due to this reason therefore, it is important that aid be directed to developmental purposes whereby even the emergency reliefs will incorporate approaches of sustainability.

Since the world trends of development is already known, it is important that the world focuses more on development rather than relief. As noted by Duffield (116) human vulnerabilities are increasing in areas where there are no developments. He notes that the pattern of development is such that poor countries sinks further into poverty while the ones with higher wealth increases their wealth. He also points out that issues such as migration would be increased due to the search for a better life. With these trends in mind, all stakeholders should focus on development rather than relief.

The declining development of the third worlds despite the fact that such countries are the recipients of aids in large quantities should be used as the main indication of how relief is not a long term solution to most of the vulnerabilities of the population.

Duffield (46) further argue that relief is always given to please the northern constituency. With this in mind, one cannot fail to ask the question of on whose interest is the aid usually disbursed.

If aid is disbursed in the interest of the affected populations, then it would be automatic that all aids efforts are sustainable and are geared towards the empowerment of the people. However, as noted by Duffield (48) the efforts of aid donors may not necessarily be focused on this agenda.

There is a need to grow a new political consensus that shall promote the availability of formidable solutions to the problems that are identified among the needy persons. With the ideology of free market dominating the world, there are chances that various parts of the world shall be polarized further thus worsening relations.

To avert future crisis and ensure that aid efforts are sustainable, there is a need for the political class, the non governmental organization sand other stakeholders to come up with consensus that is developmental rather than overruling on short-term intervention efforts.

In conclusion, it is worth to note that although the role of emergency aid in form of relief cannot be underscored due to its role during crisis, there is a need to develop measures that can guarantee sustainability of a population. Various factions of the world need to develop formidable relationships to promote international peace.

Although various quarters have suggested neutrality as the guiding hand towards the establishment of peaceful world, possession of solidarity and common goodwill will boost the level of closeness of the countries in the world. This way, the vulnerabilities and other forms of human sufferings can be reduced.

Work Cited

Duffield, Mark.Complex Emergencies and the Crisis of Developmentalism. School of Public Policy, The University of Birmingham. 25, (3). 1994.