Created: 8/1/1999

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Global Humanitarian Emergencies: Trends and


Global Humanitarian Emergencies: Trends and

This paper is based on ihe coordinated views of analysis and experts from agencies across tbe Federal Government. It was produced by Ike Satiomal Intelligence CouncU under the auspices of David F. Gordon, National Intelligence Officer for Economics and Global Issues. Queries should be addressed to Dr. Cordon

Information available as of IS9 was used in preparing this report





Current Picture


Changing Character of Humanitarian Emergencies in

9 "

Caused by Conflicts or Government

Impact of Conflicts Caused by Genocide and

Crimes Against Humanity

Caused Primarily by Sudden Economic Crises or Natural and Technological Disasters

Affecting Humanitarian Response

Question of Intervention

for Humanitarian Military Assistance

of International Relief Organizations

ol" Food Aid


Reverse Blank

Rtvtru Blank


Global Humanitarian Emergencies: Trends and

This assessment focuses on humanitarian emergencies arising from manmade causes and/or major natural disasters.

We define humanitarian emergencies as situations in which ativilians require international humanitarian assistance to avoid serious malnutrition or death. Our definition includes those situations in which people need protection in order to facilitate access to humanitarian aid.

The manmade causes we focus on are armed conflict, repressive government policies, sudden economic emergencies, and technological occurrences such.

This assessment does not address situations in which the need for food or other aid is due primarily to chronic poverty or environmental degradation.


Global Humanitarian Emergencies: lYends and

Both ibc number and intensity of humanitarian emergencies, as well as the number of people in need, will remain at about the same high level or even increase somewhat by Decemberthe capacity andof the international donor community to respond the US Committee for Refugees, roughlyillion people arc in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. There are twenty-four ongoing humanitarian emergencies and new or renewed emergencies could appear in the Balkans, Sub-Saharan Africa, Russia, and/or Central America.

Humanitarian conditions throughout the former Yugoslavia, Haiti, Iraq, and North Korea will continue toarticularly significant impact upon regional stability, as well as on the strategic interests of majorpowers.

Conditions are likely to worsen in Angola, Colombia, Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Republic of Serbia within the Federal Republic of Yugoslaviaxcluding the province of Kosovo. The current drought in tbe Horn of Africa mayamine as severe as that of the.

The humanitarian situations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) and Sierra Leone are unlikely to improve significantly even if pending peace accords hold, and could worsen considerably if such accords were to fail.

In addition to the emergencies cited above, several other major countries and regions may experience conflict, political instability, sudden economic crises, or technological or naturalto new or renewed humanitarian emergencies:

hostilities between India and Pakistan that expanded beyond the borders of Kashmir, as they did in previous conflicts, wouldillion or more people on both sides of the border.

The countries of Central America and the Caribbean that were battered by hurricanes inHonduras. Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, andvulnerable to weather-induced disasters.

Internal ethnic conflict would create substantial humanitarian needs in The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

The possibility of additional sudden economic emergencies also cannot be discounted- In Russia, drought threatens the grain harvest, and unless the outlook improves, Moscow will again need large-scale food assistance.

Despite Nigeria's turn toward democracy, escalating conflict in the oil-rich Niger River Delta region could lead lo widespread refugee flows into neighboring countries.

The possible effects ofclatcd difficulties couldcurrent humanitarian emergencies or lead to new emergencies.

The overall demand for emergency humanitarian assistance through0 may exceed the willingness of major donor countries to respond Overall funding for ongoing emergencies has probablyspiked upward owing to Hurricane Mitch and Kosovo. Nevertheless, the focus on the Balkans could detract attention and resources from other regions with extensive humanitarian needs. Absent major newthe longer-term funding trend is likely to continue downward,the shortfall. Government funding is likely to decline fastest for long-lasting conflicts where attempts at political resolution continue to fail.

The Changing Character of Humanitarian Emergencies

Hurnanitarian emergencies arc being affected by the changing practices and military capabilities of combatants, the lasting impact of conflictsby genocide and other crimes against humanity, and the impact of sudden economic crises:

have increasingly become the key targets for combatants in many conflicts. War has become as much about displacing people as moving borders, creating an ever deeper chasm between the military goals of combatants and humanitarian aims.

increasing ferocity of conflict is facilitated by the increasedlowera wide variety of weapons.

of killing, injuring, and kidnapping of aid workers arc on the rise. Relief agencies increasingly doubt whether adequate security will be provided for their humanitarian efforts, and some organizations arefrom particularly dangerous situations.

conflicts create the most intractable humanitarianThey trigger large numbers of refugees and IDPs, create special security risks for neighboring states and humanitarian workers, and place substantial demands onbillion dollars each in the cases of Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo.

economic downturns can combine with natural or technological disasters to accentuate or create humanitarian emergencies in developing countries lacking the infrastructure and government capacity to cope with them.

Factors Affecting Humanitarian Response

Democratic governments, energized by NGO pressures, media-inspired public awareness of suffering in selected parts of the world, changingand legal norms, and their own humanitarian impulses face increasing pressures to respond to humanitarian crises. Donor governments are wrestling with the conditions under which they will use military force to intervene.

Changing Legal Norms. In recent years, the balance between die principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of sovereign states andfor international humanitarian intervention in response to graveof human rightstcmational humanitarian law gradually has been shifting in favor of intervention, particularly for those emergencies that involve genocide or genocide-like conflict At the same time, the assertion of the right to state sovereignty by some countries will continue loajor stumbling block to early actionotential humanitarian emergency.

Changing Political Expectations. The dominance of democratic states since the Cold Warwith grovving popular demands for civil liberties and/or self-determination in authoritarian or failingincreases pressures for humanitarian response. This is particularly true


when outside assistance is by mutual consent, but political support is also increasing for humanitarian interventions backed by the threat or use of military force in certain instances. Emergencies provoked by genocide and other atrocities will evoke the strongest political, NGO, and publicto intervene. Some developing countries, however, will continue to criticize what they view as donor countries' uneven responses toemergencies, comparing the largesse shown in the Balkans with the more Umited aid to emergencies in the developing world.

Capacities of Relief Organizations. The overall capacity of international relief organizations to respond to humanitarian emergencies has improved modestly over time, but problems will persist. Despite progress inUN agencies' operations over the last decade, rivalries among and within organizations will continue to impede the challenging tasks ofhumanitarian crises and undertaking longer-term reconstruction in places such as Kosovo.

Military Assistance. The United States, the United Kingdom. France, Canada. Germany, and Russia are the only countries with the long-range military airlift capability required to deliver bulk humanitarian aid in large, sudden emergencies, or where humanitarian access is denied to largeWhile the capabilities of donor governments' military forces to participate in humanitarian emergencies remain relatively fixed, thecrisis and the heightened public interest in humanitarian response will place growing demands on them.

Food Availability. Slightly tighter world grain suppliesre not likely toignificant impact on the availability of emergency food aid, the supply of which can be boosted by the major food-donatingin response to an unexpected increase in worldwide emergency food aid needs. However, people targeted for emergency food aid in countries where the host government either denies access to organizations or diverts some of the aid for its own needs may not receive assistance.


While democratic governments will continue to be responsive toemergencies, their willingness to undertake major humanitarianforcefullikely to remain constrained. Over the next few years, the perception of success or failure of NATO's military interventions in the Balkans, particularly the costly humanitarian and reconstruction efforts in Kosovo, will influence the scale and scope of subsequent humanitarian interventions.

Sum quo^ tmproii^l

i^aTO*virig number of new IprV'_Mons thanercent1f Angola^ population is currently displaced. The

ii umber ofequinng tood and tnediodcocai will become more'hinrtered and dtogciouioYighiinii. banditry, rvw landniiiscs. laid resttictiii*.

if su&^rW"r. IVce^.iWha* crcaied a .

. 'n'umtierpf pew iDHv' More manercent '.



rrullton MiO.OCO Refugee and IDP

reebefagersrses federally nave adaaiuteeople in need, buirkers remain as mbienbre as the displaced populauon to anack by Hutu rebel groups. The relaxation ol regional sanctions and progrcsttag peace talks muy ease Burundi's htimaniurian uraina illglMty.


rr than liYl IVll

uVn ii .

then le-el off

-J> Impro'c yf

UlJ Humanitarian People in Need*


UN. June V9

8 Currently

l>nKcra6c 8 by tbe rebels

Republicthe Kabila government has woracited already -

tbeburoariitanan condiUorB. Human rights abusei on

sides bare prompted significant populace*

movenxais. but aid agenoe* have limited acccaa toCCO-lDPs ShoraUapeaceagreeanetiibe


or at

ecaiwuuc prospevti.yabdJurresbepolrtkil1 hamperl tyro tjpjoit tifvrrr" in the absence ola changeis idom'drtnochuic recline and-theteicrapaonof.i an oii innt' 'OVomn wmewni?-


fttcvienegro does not mnemlyituauun. fm ceeiitioes tleteriorWrapidry should rivdm.bii poclgivicaiod bi: ipade



MSOlfO . he 'aumarianan rnaaonri Lanka has riof

unproved due io continued fifhang. The government

c";a' 1 ? perate in-the ruitth. IVaf'f talks, if held, ore unlikely

re'iillii The LTTfc continues it> ." >

n citiepcfidcot uaie in the oonheaii. while'

the ^ivcnuaeat maintain* irat lbs umty el Sri LarJu is

improve. Alternatively, if figbnag persists, humanitarian comJitwoi could worsen throughespecially If Nigeria scales back its cosily military presence.

Country Humanitarian People In Need" SHuaUaa in Ihe Country8


MiimaoJ tartan Condition* forDee.

million illion

combination ofdrouiihl. no

k 'v i 1

aeierioraling localworsened Somalia's chronic htimaruunan condidoni With the poMbility of

Refuge* flows into Ethiopia and Kenya would further Jeirahibte the reflcc.hyucal nitorkers ka Sornaba wut prevent aad treeoci from fully addrciiing tbe need

feimegration of feobp Stbltrs and ite recurnrfugrei are moving Lo&ryiSiclOpmud.iietween rival waritads. Re bef workers have .occauoiiilly.beon the target of footing, kidnapping.

ami munlrr outside of Dushanbe, cauaing thrni. restrict their aid effcru in nuny area* ofiluiuingikUyH inprocess will pic vent

'i I'li.tKir.provenjctt in TaJLMsum'*ituation0 " ."


million Umilbon Deipiiehj^ui/afltaxrtaljr^.huaiaaiijrianc^iiiom have unproved unce3 ia iropkmeduiioo of the cal-forfood program has become more efficient Assuming the oil-tor-food program reman* in place through nest year, (here is likely lourther tnsprovecnenl iapoaubir renewed persccuuori of nudmiuci owing so regime msecorny.ureaucracy and the lack of NOO presence will cause central and southern Iran to Improve more slowly than northern areas



is tm -a.

Worsen Wortcn.

ibtB la prove

ihon level off

quo ^ Improve

Humanitarian Peopit in Need" Situation la the Country


Humanitarian Conditions forDec.


No data No daa Although the infusion ot" food aid by the iniemaiiurjl communityumanitarian disaster during8 economic crisis and drought, hogcting regional economic problems continue to hamper Indonesia's humanitarian situation. Sustaining tbe nascent economic recovery win depend on Jakarta's ability to deal with its political and economic problems that otherwise could generate humanitarian difficulties.

Transitioning Fium Humanitarian Fmergrncin


hunaiiiiariaii siiuatiei hn improved slowly, hut die return of re rupees aid TPPs to their homes Ui areas controlled bythnic 'ic-jprciriaiiii difficult. Improve rcemsare likely to sxinsne housingn icnec;^ijry to overcome die raijjc urcurreiiiit sustained uilti imucnid cllort to push ethnic ;

:il liosr.ii may spirt KK.llizrd. nCfi- -


humanitarian situation in Croatia improved only slightly8 following Zagreb's approvalmited refugee return plan. The numberSerbs will remain small, however, because of continued disenroirurjon. As in Bosnia, new burnanitarian problems are not likely to develop, but significant improvement* are unlikely


Currrnl Humanitarian Emrrgcorie*

Country Humanitarian PeopSr Pi Nffd" Situation in the Ccauitry-



Projected Humanitarian

OmHsm I*

ire. MOO"

fighting between Georgian partisans and Abkhai tqurabiU in8 resulted in thousand* iftomilKcced'iiciMne. Some ofepeat refugees from fighting prioratber theeen measuratle progreaeorgia is not Listed in the UN's

i appeal, suggeatrng th*ay not beront-hne esnergency. possibly limning the iracnuorcnl response tor emergency asd



overall huxanltanan utuaciun subauvmaily improved In the latter hails the'government insurgency was badlyi>ntlitii*nn are likely :t> cooaisamprove0 Kigali has successfullymost of the.[pip^.talollago

^uiimjkirhkeroveriJvs neilCounts rut-urgency opc-afaws'and theRfX.junproved Ox security aOiatioo, anj prospects fofi -widespread violenceremain tow.

Tbeeople in need mcfcaleirwm the named ccaatary.isplaced person* (tl)fS) and cahcri requiring busaaratarum aid in ihejr home kxaOoru IVben reprrvrni cor beu eilirnatr baaedeview of inforrnaoon svaiUck; not only from the US Committee for RefUjcea but aiso fromigh

definiuotu of reputations "in neccT' of emergency humanitarian aasislance used by the inrernabcoal rebel community are often inconsistent and Imprecise, the numbers should be treated as appnjxtmationt

'"The jugdmcois in this chart compare each country's twnunlunan ccmdiiions with the past and projected conditions In lhat country, not compared to conditions In other countries.

"The number in need is highly Quc*Uonable due lo inadequate access by relief agenexs. the small number of relief agencies operating ol the country, and Ihe difficulty In distinguishing economic migrants from victims of hu rnaniet genctes.


Humanitarian Emergencies: Trends and

Global Overview The Current Picture

The number of ongoing humaniiarianhas increased fromoince

The increase in ihc number of emergencies is due co the escalation of humanitarian crises in the Federal Republic of Yugoslaviaosovo and Dcmocradc Republic of the Congo (DROC) and the addition of the sudden economic emergency in Indonesia.

Twelve of the ongoing emergencies are in countries experiencing ongoing conflict; two are due to severe government repression; one is caused by sow economic conditions; the remaining nine are emergencies that have entered the post-conflict or transitional stage.

While the number of emergencies has increased, the number of people in need of emergency humanitarian assistanceinternally diplaced personsefugees, and others in need of such assistance -has not changed appreciably.

The total number of people in need ofhumanitarianwasillion in Januaryremained about the same, according to the US Committee for Refugeeshe current

total cited in ihc9 USCR report is roughlyillion.'

Looking Ahead

Ongoing Humaniiarian Emergencies. Both Ihc number and intensity of humanitarianas well as lhe number of people in need, are likely to remain at about the same high level or even increase somewhat by Decemberthe capacity andof the international donor community to respond adequately. This will be especially likely if one or more potential emergencies develop or humanitarian conditions deteriorate in large and populous countries such as DROC or Ethiopia.

Humanitarian conditions are likely to worsen in Angola. Colombia. Ethiopia, Haiti,and the Republic of Serbia within ihe FRY. excluding the province of Kosovo. Conditions in the Republic of Montenegro within the FRY will remain about the some or could worsen.

1 The flgurei cited in thin paper fur lhe total number ot people in need of emergency Iwnunitarlan auiwaocc worldwide were provided by lhe US Committee for Refugee*ecause thia paper locirto only on those emergencies ineople or more people ant in need, the totaJi listed forcoaocrici will not add uphe USCRs worldwide total of roughlyillion.

arc expected to remain about the same in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan. Burundi. Croatia, Eritrea. Georgia. Liberia, North Korea. Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, and Uganda.

Humanitarian conditions in DROC and Sierra Leone will remain about the same if tbe peace accords hold hut will worsen if the accords fail.

Conditions are likely to improve in Bosnia and Hervegovina, the Kosovo province in the FRY, Indonesia, Iraq, and Rwanda.

Ongoing Emergencies wiih Greatest Impact.

Humanitarian conditions throughout the former Yugoslavia, Haiti, Iraq, and North Korea will continue to have significant impact upon regional stability as well as on the strategic interests of major outside powers.

Yugoslavia will continue toigh level of humanitarian assistance.

Kosovo. Because of continuingattentionodicum of political stability enforced by NATO, Kosovo is likely to experience major improvements in humanitarian conditions, Nevertheless, reconstruction efforts will requireinternational assistance toecure environment,illionethnic Albanians to their homes, rebuild housing and infrastructure, and deliver emergency aid until farms andare restored to productivity. Unlike their neighbors in Bosnia andmany displaced Kosovo Albanians will be returning to empty and damaged houses and villages rather thandisplaced persons from rival ethnic groups.

Republic of Serbia outside Kosovo and the Republic of Montenegro.conditions, while not dire, likely will worsen somewhat as moreerbs from Kosovo add to the half million refugees from Bosnia and Croatia already in the FRY. The TOY's ability to provide support to Serb refugees and IDPs. and to repair damaged infrastructure, will beby bleak economic prospects and the potential for growing domesticunrest in the aftennath of the end of the conflict in Kosovo. As long us

President Milosevic remains in power, international aid to Serbia will be limited Largely to providing humanitarian relief rather than rebuilding the economicrepairing damage from NATO bombing, and integrating refugees and JDPs.

Conditions could also deteriorate inif civil war breaks out withor if international assistance cannot be effectively implemented.

Improvements in Bosnia andare likely to continueith extensive housing and economic reconstruction necessary toange of obstacles.

Although Haiti is recovering from its weather-induced humanitarian emergency, escalating political unrest preceding legislative elections scheduled foroupledurther deterioration of the economic situation, couldodest worsening ofcoodiuons and increase migrationThe Haitian Government will continue to rely on international assistance to resolve any humanitarian crisis.

Iraq's humanitarian prospects arc inextricably linked to its relations with the international communityew weapons inspection regime. Assuming tbe continual!on of the oil-for-food program at or above current levels and access to people in need, humanitarian conditions are likely to improve. Thesituation couldm for the worse if the oil-for-food program and other relief efforts were substantially cut by the UN or by the regime or if the regime's insecurity impelled it to step up its repression of Shia, Kurds, and other groups to fend off internal threats.

North Korea willignificant humanitarian challenge because of tbe severity of the food deficit, restricted international access to those in need, and the large number of people affected. Tlic infusion of projectedfoodwith North Korea's harvestillion metricexpected to meet Pyongyang's basic subsistence needsillion metric tons from9 through at leastven with this aid, widespread malnutrition will persist due, in part, to distribution problems. Absenteconomic reform. North Korea will remain in need of large-scale humanitarianbulk of which will continue to beby the United States. China, and the European Union.

Other Severe Ongoing Emergencies. Other countries are considered to be of great concern based on the current scale of the humanitarian

crisis, lhe projected outlook for the underlying causes, and/or lhe likelihood that thewill spread to neighboring countries:

Angolaumanitarian situation israpidly, and conditions are expected lo worsenthe civil conflict between the government and UNITA intensifies. The number of people in need will grow well beyond the current figureillion, while conditions for vulnerable populations will become more severe. Heavy fighting and lhe combatants' unwillingness to provide humaniiarian access to noncombaiants are putting many critical areas out of the reach of aid deliveries and increasing the risks for international relief workers and IDPs alike.

Ethiopia and Somalia areignificant deterioration in humaniiarian conditions resulting mostly from drought but exacerbated both by the Ethiopia Lntrea border conflici and by hostilities among Somalia's warlords, which continue to hamper relief efforts and displaceotal ofillion people are currently in need in the twoupew million more could be at risk from famine byndeed, the current drought in the Horn of Africa mayamine as severe as thai of the. Preoccupied with the war against

Eritrea, having limited resources andand denied access to Rrilrciin ports, Ethiopia may not respond effectively to the humanitarian needs of its population. The international community also will be pressed to provide extensive food aid lo Somalia, where clan leaders dominate derisionrnaking in the absence of any central government.

Sudanong-standing and large-scale humanitarian emergency: itillionhighest number of any country in the world -in addition to itsefugees. It is unlikely that there will bereakthrough in negotiationsajor shift in the military balance between Khartoum and the insurgents thai would fundamentally change the situation throughn addition to problems resulting directly from ihe fighting, the frequent droughts in southern Sudan will have severe consequences because the conflict often limits international efforts lo ameliorate the crisis.

Conflict may intensify or spread across clusters of African countries:

DROC Spillover. Of particular concern is the riskidening conflict in DROC which could affect the neighboring countries ofAfrican Republic, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, and/orof which are alreadyhumanitarian emergencies. Eveneace accord in DROC holds, humanitarian conditions are unlikely to improveover themonths.

The conflict inne couldthe Liberia conflict could heat upspreading to neighboring states that are now relatively stable, such as Cote d'lvoire. Guinea, Ghana and/or Senegal. Eveneace accord holds in Sierra Leone, humanitarian conditions arc unlikely to improve significantly.

Potential Concerns. In addition to the emergencies cited above, several other major countries and regions may experience conflict, political instability, sudden economic crises, or naturalto new or renewed humanitarian emergencies (see

the crisis appears to be subsiding, renewed conflict between nuclear powers India and Pakistan over Kashmir could expand beyond Kashmir into neighboring areas, as it has in previousull-scale war that extends along the border probably would spread to the Indian state of Rajasthan and the Indian and Pakistani states of Punjabillion people. The conflict also could spark even more widespread communal fighting in other parts of India, pitting Hindus against Muslims as it did at partitionhenillion people were displaced and at least one million were killed. The potential impactumanitarian emergency inis very high because of the potentialuclear exchange.

Probability: Low

Potential Impact: Very High

countries of Central America and the Caribbean that were battered by hurricanes last year, especially Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Haiti, remain vulnerable to weather-induced disasters. Grcatcr-than-average rainfall is projected for9 rainy season. Since much of the

Camp housing Sierra leoneon and Liberian refugees near Guekedov, Guinea,9

work was niakeshifi, especially in remote rural areas, it will be in jeopardy in storms much less powerful than Milch. Serious economic disruptions in the region wouldincrease illegal migration into Mexico and the United States.

Probability: Low Potential Impact: High

The aftermath of the Kosovo crisis continues to threaten the fragile inter-ethnicbetween The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's (FYROM) Slavic majority and ethnic Albanian rninority. Macedonian Slavs are sympathetic to their Serb kinsmen and wary of the transiting Kosovar Albanian refugees, while ethnic Albanians in the FYROM are extending material and moral support to the Kosovars. These developments could undermine the governing coalition of Slavs and ethnic Albanians. The coalition's

survival will depend on the further integration of the Albanian minority into economic and political institutions, the ability of Slavs and ethnic Albanians to insulate themselves from destabilizing pressures from Serbs andAlbanians, and whether the government allocates promised international aid fairly. Should the inter-ethnic accommodation fall apart, FYROM could plunge into civil conflict,umaniiarian emergencyignificant percentage of the country's two million people and threatening the stability of the Balkan regionhole.

Probability: Low Potential Impact: High

While democratic elections in Nigeria earlier this year have reduced political polarization somewhat, the tasks facing the newarc immense. In particular, thewill be challenged to address the bloody

ethnic conllict in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, where dispossessed ethnic minoritiesnew deal" in the form of increased access to oil revenues and massive government rehabilitation programs. Both will be veryfor the government to deliver, given the influence of the military, the weak state of the country's economy, and the need to stick to tough fiscal targets to re-establish Nigeria's credibility with the IMF and private investors. Althoughoiling over of discontent in the Delta, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and leading to widespread refugee flows into neighboring countries, cannot be ruled out.

Probability: Low Potential Impact: Medium

In Russia, drought threatens the grain harvest. Russian agricultural specialists have reduced their estimate for the grain harvest this year fromillion metric tonsillion tons, slightly above the record lowons last year. Wheat output may fall moreillion tons short of demand. Recent scattered rains have helped, but the outlook for the harvest could worsen sharply if the drought continues. Unless tbe outlook improves. Moscow will again need international food assistance.

Probability: Medium Potentiul Impact: Low

In addition to these country- andpotential emergencies, more generalized conditions in the current internationalmight result in humanitarian crises:

that separate hundreds of millions of people from poverty in dozens of "emerging market" countries. In addition, the legacy of the crisis has made many countries more vulnerable to the social impact of natural disasters. While tlic global financial system is recovering from the crisis, and while some countries havea faster rebound of production than anticipated, many economies remain inMoreover, financial markets remain wary of the emerging market countries, andignificant rise in global interest rates could further undermine recovery.

Tbe apparent increase in climatological and bydrologic perturbations could generate more frequent and severe weather fluctuations and rainfall events, resulting in more seriousdisasters necessitating international humanitarian support (sec

The possible humanitarian effects ofrisis could lead to newemergencies duringarticularly in the more advanced developing countriesrowing technology base (see inset on.

I In Changing Character of Humanitarian Emergencies in

The preponderance of ethnic and communal conflicts within and across national boundaries since the Cold War's end has increased the number and changed the character ofemergencies. According to the US Office

Additional sudden economic emergencies cannot be discounted.lobal financial crisis eroded the margins of safety

Hears 3

Countries With Significant Populations Vulnerable to Major Natural Disasters

Cig:>jti)aital Disaster MeteurcrfogicalDisaster Meteorological Disaster

Country Eanfcojcakn

Tropical Flooding Drought Cyclone"

Flocdiog Drought Cyclone4









and o









Rica *>

the Congo







Hurricanes and typhoons, which are limited to the May-

period in the Northernisaster-pronextremely disaster-prone countries.


The Potential Humanitarian Impact ofroblem

omputer problem will agedembedded processors, and software throughout the world, including basicsuch as telecommunications, power plants, and water systems. All countries are likely to experienceisruptions, and many countries willreakdown of at least part of their basic infrastructure.

elated disruptions have the potential to cause or exacerbate humanitarian crises. These include prolonged outages of power and heat, breakdowns in urban watermilitary miscalculations due to failures in early warning systems, malfunctions in nuclear power plants, serious foodand environmental disasters resulting from failures in safety controls.

Key countries and regions that haveties to the global economy arevulnerable.

Multiple and simultaneous emergencieslobal scale would quickly overwhelm national and international institutions responsible for providing humanitarian relief Furthermore, some reliefprobably will be hinderedailures in their communications, records-keeping, and transport capabilities.

emediation is not technically challenging in principle, it is costly, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. Many firms and governments have difficulty managingarge-scale task. The private sector and governments in sonie countries are developing contingency plans to manage the impact on the general population, but these efforts are often poorly funded.

Foreign Disaster Assistance and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

59 an average of five declared manmade humanitarian emergencies were ongoing each year (see

0 there wereuch ongoing emergencies.

Aftereak ofngoing emergencies ineriod averagedear.

Since the, the total number of IDPs has exceeded the number of refugees due to the increasing number of internal conflicts (see

Emergencies Caused by Conflicts or Government Repression

Civilians have increasingly become key targets for combatants on all sides. War has become as much about displacing people as moving borders, creating an ever deeper chasm between me military goals of combatants andaims. The extent of atrocities against noncombatants has apparently intensified.

Figure 4

Humanitarian Emergencies Due to Natural Disaster* and Manmade*



humanitarian organizations areviewed as biased by one side or another, exposing relief workers to retaliation.

Changing Combatant Practices. Combatants are employing starvation, slaughter and various civilian and military technologies to expel or kill civilians. Techniques include demonstration killings and maiming (as in Sierraystematic rape (Bosnia and

nstigation or encouragement of atrocities through radio broadcastshe wholesale expulsion of civiliansnd the use of civilians as human shields (Kosovo).

The increasing ferocity of conflict is facilitated by the wide availability, at very modest prices, of an array of light and medium weapons.

Figure 5

Estimated Number of Ihc World's People in Need of Emergency Humaniiarian

Million people



50 :



. ,






5 /

i ii



People who feat prnecukm or hire! if returned io ihcir home countries but are not recognized by governmemsrefugees Some are given lernponuy refuge or allowed io remain undocumented. Inlormalion on these groups is fragmentary and cstlioaies of their numbeis often varyo data available.

Everything from weapons, to ammunition, to braining and support packages is for sale or rem.

Refugee and IDP camps have been used us bases for operations by cornbatanis in Liberia, Pakistan, and DROC. as they were in earlier conflicts along the borders of Rwanda and

Source: US Committee fororld Re (usee Survey,'* various issues.

Cambodia, and in Centralthe risks for camp populations and relief workers alike.

Combatants Manipulating International Opinion. In conducting their campaigns,and military leaders of combatant groups arc becoming attentive to the ways in which outside powers react lo other combatant leaders, as well as io the prospects that they will be held accountable for illegal behavior under mterna-tional law. The growing prominence of human rights in international politics and law. how ever, will incline combatants to attempt to conceal ihcir atrocities and io deny humanitarian access. Combatants also will attempt to publicize, or even concoct, atrocities by the other side.

Combatants Increasingly Well-Armed. The

halting pace of the economic transitions in the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union has sparked an aggressive marketing competition that now dominates the global arms market. The availability of relativelyweaponsey role in facilitating or perpetuating conflicts that causeemergencies (tiroughoul the world:

In Africa, the scene of many complexsmall arms are readily available; for

authority means they have to negotiate access with multiple parties, leaving them vulnerable to manipulation for political purposes. Instances of killing, injury and kidnapping of aid workers, as well as looting and blackmail are on the rise:

The number of UN civilian staff killed by maliciousgreat majority of them in humanitarianfrom2 to an average ofearly since then (sec

Nine International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers were killed inmore than any other year in theear history and the number of "physical threats" to ICRC workers increased sixfold from0 to an averageearly in recent years.

Insurgent groups have kidnapped reliefin Somalia and Chechnya, among other places, for their money or equipment, and local soldiers have hijacked relief convoys in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tajikistan, and Liberia.

an be bad in the Great Lakes region for as little.

The breakdown of law and order in Albania led to the massive transfer of arms to theLiberation Army (KLA) in Kosovo lhat helped spark the KLA effort to separate the province from Serbia.

Increasing Risks lo Aid Workers. During, humanitarian aid workers havebeen targeted by combatants as theyin "harm's way" in the midst of internal conflict. The fact that humanitarianare increasingly operating in areas where there is no clear recognized governmental

Rebel groups in Sierra Leone have kidnapped aid workers while rebels in Uganda have threatened to attack international aid workers if they assist victims of rebel atrocities orpersons living incamps.

Two Ausuralian aid workers arrested at the start of the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia were convicted for alleged "espionage"elgrade court

Organized crime and pilfering- such as the Mealing of vehicles and supplies in Albania. Somalia. Liberia andathreat to humanitarian personnel and to relief efforts.

Rwandan rtfiigees.

areas of high insurgent activity, aircrafthumanitarian relief operations could become deliberaie targets of attacks ifsuspected the flights were being used to sup|xirt the ruling regime.

The Impact of Conflicts Caused by Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity

Genocidal or genocide-like conflicts aimed at annihilating ail or partacial, religious, or ethnic group, and conflicts caused by other crimes againstas forced, large-scale expulsions oflikely to generate the most intractableneeds:

conflicts such as those in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Rwanda, mass killingsomewhat smaller scale, such as in Burundi and DROC. and mass expulsions in Kosovo evoke the most visceral emotional

responses from victims and perpetrators alike. The political, economic, and social conditions that provoke such conflicts are likely to persist

conflicts also destroy any semblance of civil society and provoke or hasten economic decline. In some instances, they arc aof war or state failure; inause, further expanding the scale and scope of the ensuing humanitarian emergencies.

Most countries experiencing such conflicts in the last decade have yet to restore their pre-conflict growth, while reconciliation between antagonists has proven elusive.

humanitarian emergencies typicallyespecially large numbers of refugees and IDPs to feed and house, as in Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo.

Respondinghe large numbers of icfugees and LDPs triggeredenocidal or geno-cidal-like conflict imposes large political and security risks. Such conflicts will placedemands on availablebillion dollars each in the cases of Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, andrequire substantial security for militarycivilian officials, and humanitarian relief workers.

Emergencies Causedby Sudden Economic Crises or Natural and Technological Disasters

Sudden economic downturns can combine with natural or technological disasters to accentuate or create humanitarian emergencies in developing countries lacking the infrastructure and government capacity to cope wilh them. These types of humanitarian emergencies are often exacerbated by otheras deep ethnic, social, and politicaltheir costs and delaying their recovery.

Countries thai have experienced conflict can suffer from major economiccombined with the effects ofeconomicsubstantial humanitarian needs, as in the former Yugoslavia.

FJ Nino-related drought and forest fires in Indonesia last year aggravated the food crisis brought on by the sudden economicand may have contributed to theof the Suharto government.

" The past yearharp increase in theof people needing aid due to naturalThe recently published Red Cross Annual World Disasters Report slates that,5 million people needed aid after disasters such as Hoods and earthquakes.8 numberearly ten-fold increase over2 figure.

Natural disasters such as flooding andin places such as Central America, Africa, and parts of Asiaarticularly severe impact because of high urt>ani/ation. isolated rural populations, and poorcomplicating aid debvery and recovery.

roblem is likely to most directly affect countries least able to deal with ihe kinds of disruptions it will cause, many of which already confront significantcrises.

Factors Affecting Humanitarian Response

Democratic governments, energized by NGO pressures, media-inspired public awareness of suffering in selected parts of the world,political and legal norms, and their own humanitarian impulses, face increasingto respond to humanitarian emergencies. Donor governments' military forces andrelief organizations will be challenged to respond to the ongoing and potentialoutlined above.

The Question of Intervention

There are two broad categories of humanitarian response:

consensual response occurs when theof the country experiencing thewelcomes or at least tolerates international assistance.

forceful humanitarian intervention involves the threatened or actual use of military power against the will of governments or localauthoritie.s.

Donor governments are wrestling wilh iheunder which they will use niilitary force to intervene in humanitarian emergencies. In general, assertion of the right toby some countries will continue toajor stumbling block to early actionotential humanitarian emergency.that provoke, inflame, oriven humanitarian emergency are for political or economic reasons often reluctant to udmit the existence of IDPs, grant asylum to refugees from neighboring countries, or consent to the delivery of outsidethey find they can exploit the humanitarian relieffor political or financial gain.

International Legal Norms. In recent years, the balance between the legal principle ofin the internal affairs of sovereign states and various legal justifications forintervention in response to threats to international peace and security, graveof human rights and internationallaw. and crimes against humanity has been shifting somewhat in favor ofThis is particularly the case for (hose emergencies that might devolve into gcnocidal or genocide-like conflict. These shifts in legal principle are. however, by no means conclusive.

UN agreements are being interpreted more broadly.f the UN Charter enshrines the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of member states, but Articlesndlso call on members to take joint oraction to promote observance of human rights, which are being defined increasingly broadly. Tbe Universal Declaration of Human Rights enacted8 and theith theirurther define the obligations of states party to these treaties lo protect human

rights and punish violators and also expand the international community's obligations totoward this end.

77ie principle that noncombatantsight to humanitarian assistance has beenPursuant to the Gulf War and the crisis in Northern Iraq, UN Generaln1 established the reciprocal principles that noncombatantsumanitarian emergency have the right to assistance and that states have the obligation to permit humanitarian organizations to enter their territories in order to help those in need. This paved the way for the establishmentN Emergency Relief Coordinator andthe UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which has since been merged into the Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

governments are no longer protected by state sovereignty. The creation in thef international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda has clearly established thai international law extends to individual criminal behaviorshielded by state sovereignty.of the International Criminal Court (ICO8 further enshrines this principle, although the nonparticipation of the United States and other states such as Chinaconcerns about the protection of stale sovereignly and the potential for malevolent countries to abuse the ICC in practice.

The UN Security Council continues toor endorse peacekeeping missionsto address the security needsountry or region and remains hesitant to establish operations for the primary purpose of ensuring

the delivery of humanitarian assistance.during this decade the Council has increasingly cited intervention for the purpose of ensuring humanitarian assistance as onefor the international peacekeeping missions on its agenda.

Many UN operations established in thend earlyUNAVEMI in Angola and UNPROFOR in the formerre-mandated in lheoore prominent role infacilitating, and supportingactivities.

While the Council has authorized fewer UN peacekeeping operationsS than in the, it has authorized regional organizations and coalitions of the willing to undertake them under the authority of7fharter.he UN Security Council has authorized or endorsed non-UN operations for humanitarianin Albania, the Central African Republic, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia/Kosovo, and Guinea-Bissau.

- Concomitantly, since the. NATO, the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europend the Organization of African Unity (OAU> have also recognized egregious humanitarian abuses in theirregionsegitimate target for collective response.

Changing Political Norms. The post-Cold War political, military, and economicof democraticwith the growing drives for civil liberties, democracy, and/or self-determination in authoritarian or failingpressures on behalf of humanitarian response. This is particularly true

when such outside assistance is by mutualIn certain instances, public and political support is also increasing for militaryto pursue humanitarian objectives.

The revolution in information technologies and the increased economic, cultural, and intellectual pciroeability of national borders is eroding Ihc ability of inept or venalto mask humanitarian emergencies and to escape international attention.

These factors also enable disadvantaged groups in countries suffering from internal conflicts or repression, such as in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Turkey, to press fortreatment and self-determination and to solicit outside support and intervention.

The spread of globalization, concern aboul human rights, and Ihe increasing numbers and influence of nongovernmental organizations around tbe world heighten public awareness of humanitarian emergencies.

Humaniiarian emergencies provoked byand other mass killings and expulsions are likely to evoke strong political, NGO. and public pressures on outside governments to intervene.

Capacities for Humanitarian Military Assistance

The Kosovo crisis and the heightened public interest in humanitarian response will place growing demands on military capabilities for humanitarian assistance. However, theof donor governments' military forces lo participate in humaniiarian emergencies have not changed substantially in recent years.

Food distribution for new Uberktn refugees arriving In Guinea,

United States, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Germany, and Russia remain the only countries with the long-range military airlift capability required to deliver bulk humanitarian aid in large, sudden emergencies, or where humanitarian access is denied to large populations, most recently in Kosovo.

The ability of developing countries toin humanitarian operations varies widely; most countries lack specialized logistic,engineering, military police, and medical personnel to sustain such forces.

In the last few years, the United States, tbe United Kingdom, and France, among other states, have launched training activities to enhance African capabilities to respond to humanitarian crises and peacekeepingThe US African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) seeks to train several rapidly

deployable, interoperable battalions fromdemocratic countries in Africa to astandard based on NATO peacekeeping doctrine and procedures.

* Regional-based peacekeeping efforts, such as the Nigeria-led ECOMOG peacekeeping efforts in Sierra Leone and Liberia, are also becoming increasingly prominent.

Capacities oftiiiii j1 Relief Organizations

The international response lo humanitarian emergencies is carried outoosely organized and loosely coordinated network of inter-governmental and nongovernmental relief organizations. These arc supported bythat provide financial and in-kind resources, undertake political and diplomatic initiatives, and, in some instances, dispatch

military forces for humaniiarian assistance or forceful intervention on behalf of civilianThe overall capacity of international relief organizations lo respond to humanitarian emergencies has improved modestly over time, but problems arc likelyersist;

There has been some progress in stxengmcning UN agencies' capacities for pre-crisisand rapid response over the last decade. In recent years, humanitarian agencies have developed several networks anddatabases lhat have significantly improved their abilities to provide assistance.

Limited coordination among the various humanitarian agencies, however, continues to hinder lhe effective delivery of humanitarian assistance. OCHA, for example, hasoordinating role, despite

7 Secretarial reforms pertaining lo humanitarian response.

Relief Agencies Wary of Operating in Hostile Environments. As humanitarian relief workers are pui at increasing risk from localand political authorities, and outside states provide uneven security, many aidhave called for greater use of outsideforce to ensure their physical security.

agencies received protection inafter the introduction of UNTTAF, and in Haiti and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

received some military assistance, but not protection, in eastern Zaire afternd received no protection in eastern Zaire/ DROC.

* Humanitarian agencies receive no protection in Angola now thai the UN peacekeeping operation has virtually shut down, while the level of protection in Sierra Leone and Liberia has varied.

Overall, relief agencies have come to doubt whether the UN. regional organizations, or internationitl military coalition forces willadequate security for ongoingoperations. Therefore, most humanitarian organizations have begun to prepare themselves better to work in hostile environments: they are buying thick-skinned vehicles; taking security awareness and defensive driving courses; hiring security directors from among retired Western military officers, and acquiring more security guards. Even theusually will not accept any militarysometimes hires local guards for its own facilities and equipment.

In the absence of adequate security, increasing numbers of UN agencies. NGOs and the ICRC sometimes temporarily withdraw fromdangerous situations. In, relief workers have pulled out of Angola. Bosnia and Herzegovina. Chechnya, eastern DROC. Liberia, northwest Rwanda. Sierra Leone, and Somalia due to increased security risks.

Availability of Food Aid

The UN Food and Agriculture Organiwilion (FAO) reported thatood aidillion metricercent from the previouswhich emergency food aid amounted toMt The increase,our-year decline, was due to higher food aid needs, particularly inumper world grain harvest; high stock levels in donor countries', low grain prices;ommitment on the part of the

According to the mosl recent USDA estimates, total world grain production (wheat, coarse grains, and milled rice)illillion tons, downast year and down from thearvestillion. This isumper crop, with wheatillion tons, coarse grainsillion,orecastillion ton rice crop. World oilseed production (soybeans, cottonseed, peanut oil. sunflower seed oil,s forecastillion tons.

rawdown of world grain reserves accumulated during the last three years may be necessary to meetonsumption needs. Slightly tighter world grain suppliesre not likely toignificant impact on the availability offood aid, the supply of which can be boosted by the major food doriating countries in response to an unexpected increase inemergency food aid needs.

* People targeted for emergency food aid in countries where the host government cither denies access to organizations or diverts some of the aid for its own needs may not receive assistance.


The overall "demand" for emergency'assistance through0 is likely to exceed the willingness of major donor countries lo respond. Governments willto prioritize humanitarian emergencies according to their national interests. Only some "supply" components of humanitarian assis-tanct- notably food- are likely to Ik*The capacity of international

humanitarian aid organizations to respond will continue to be limited by resources and hostile environments.

Political Will

The decisions of countries to respond to humanitarian emergencies will depend upon whether or not their national interests outweigh competing domesticotentially negative political reaction at home, and the dangers and substantial costs involved insuch assistance.

While democratic governments will continue to respondumanitarian emergencies, their willingness to undertake major humanitarianforcefulremain coristiained.

Over the next few years, the perception ofor failure of NATO's militaryin the Balkans, particularly the costly humanitarian and reconstruction efforts in Kosovo, willenchmark forhumanitarian interventions.


Nationalthe OECDthe bulk of financial resources for emergency humanitarian relief. These funds are provided to UN organizations, the ICRC. NGOs, and recipient governments through bilateral grants. The data provided by various international agencies concerningfor humanitarian emergencies isoften noncomparable, and sometimes contradictory (see

Although overall funding for ongoingemergencies has probably temporarily spiked upward owing lo the crises in Central America and Kosovo, the longer-term funding trend is likely to continue downward absent new emergencies. Hurricane Mitch andthe earlier cases of Bosnia and Herzegovina orelicited considerable resources that normally would not go into the humanitarian assistance pipeline.

At the same time, there is evidence that thewith the Balkans is at leastthreatening the overall resources available for responding to other humanitarian emergencies. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is concerned that support for Kosovo is diverting relief efforts fromhumaniiarian emergencies in other countries. For example,ercent of die UN appeal for Kosovo was funded, but onlyercent of the Great Lakes appeal wasfromercenthe same pattern of largesse toward Kosovo and parsimony toward Sub-Saharan Africa isso far this year according to Ihc UN High Commissioner.

Funding of UN Consolidatedof4 ioercent8 (sees of earlyhe UN had received onlyercent of7 billion requested for humanitarian emergencies Ihis year.

In the future, donor countries are likely to focus their funding for humanitarian response even more on crises of strategic or regional importance:

in need in countries that arcsignificant for one or more major outside powers may receive more humanitarianthan others which are as or more needy but less strategically significant.

Absent several major new emergencies, the longer-term funding trend is likely to continueath of gradual decline:

funding is likely to decline for long-lasting conflicts where attempts at political resolution continue to fail, particularly if they are not in strategically imrxxtant countries.

In the future, major donations from the private sector arc likely to provide an increasing share of the funding for humamtarian emergencies. Continuing economic growth in somecountries enables private organizations and wealthy individuals to play larger roles inumber of public purposes, including large-scale humanitarian assistance. In some countries, such as Nigeria, there is increasing pressure for foreign investors to providehumanitarian support.

There continues to be interest on the part of some major donors in shifting funds from emergency assistance to post-conflictor "pcacebuilding" assistance. The World Bank has also expanded its post-conflict prograrnrning assistance. Should more major donors move in this direction, funding foremergency response probably would decline.

Original document.

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