Opinion
Attacks on aid workers, journalists bad for humanitarian accountability
Publish Date: Sep 02, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img


By Simon J. Mone

War and calamity around the World continue to deprive humanity of peace, basic needs and good health, forcing millions of people to live in dire humanitarian conditions.

This always compels aid agencies to urgently put together resources in order to try and ease the pain of suffering populations.
 
Money for such humanitarian missions always comes from donors. It goes to support peoples’ basic needs, education, and health among other interventions. While helping suffering populations however, aid workers have continuously become targets of attack by extremist groups.
 
These attacks have become a major concern for aid agencies who give their all to try and contain human suffering. Even journalists who follow up and document different interventions, covering news and human interest stories have also been killed and severely assaulted.
 
Their work is being made difficult when they find themselves stopped at checkpoints and denied access to beneficiary communities. Journalists have had cameras and communication equipment confiscated and vandalised. This has discouraged aid workers from delivering services and restoring hope to vulnerable people.
 
For aid workers to apply themselves freely and unhindered, the environment in which they operate needs to be safe and secure. It has however, not worked out the way they would have liked. Recent statistics show increased incidences of attacks on aid workers with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reporting that 2013 saw the highest number of aid workers killed compared to all other years.
 
Of 460 incidences of violence reported against aid workers in 2013, 155 have been fatal. This was said to have triple the number over the last 10 years. The leading offenders are reportedly found in Afghanistan, Syrian Arab Republic, South Sudan, Pakistan and The Sudan.
 
Radical Islamic militants are responsible for this high rise in incidences of aid worker attacks in these countries. They do not allow for free movement of services and workers. This impedes service delivery to displaced people and hinders the objectives for which Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) principles were established. The growing number of displacements means there is added responsibility for aid agencies. Thus there is need for an increase in the number of aid workers who have the courage and commitment to respond to increasingly various complex situations around the World.
 
More personnel are required to join humanitarian efforts in order to save lives and restore hope of people in crises. This also requires funding among other resources.
 
Donors’ trust to provide more funding requires that aid agencies account for all resources that they spend. The HAP process was created to consider different views of beneficiary groups, aid workers and other stakeholders including government, opinion leaders and donor community in aid delivery.
 
Accountability mechanisms enable organisations that work on behalf of vulnerable groups to demonstrate value for money in creating useful change through their interventions. Holding agencies accountability leads to improvements in quality of intervention.
 
This gives satisfaction to vulnerable people. It reduces the possibility of exploitation and subjecting the needy to abuse. Such accountability cannot happen if aid workers themselves are forced to flee to safety instead of focussing efforts in aiding needy people, due to being continuously attacked. In the process they are denied the responsibility account for humanitarian assistance that they provide.
 
HAP principles aim at humanitarian welfare, non-discrimination, impartiality, refraining from taking sides in hostile environments, neutrality, and independence. This, unfortunately is not being given chance to happen. Incessant attacks won’t allow.
 
smone@mail.com

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Makerere University students strike can be averted
On Monday, 20th October 2014, Makerere witnessed yet another student’s strike. It was even reported by some sections of the media that One student had been injured....
Is Uganda
Being in the 91.3 Capital FM studios on Saturday 18th October for the Capital Gang hosted by Mr. Oscar Semweya Musoke reminded me of the saying- a good anvil does not fear the hammer....
Why Vision 2040 is and will still be illusive
Most policies in Uganda are very clear on paper but very ineffectively implemented due to the process always followed while formulating them; a policy should be drafted after a research, needs assessment, or a problem that needs to be solved....
Municipal bonds good, but let
I recently read in one of Uganda’s dailies that the Kampala Capital City Authority (“KCCA”) seeks to issue municipal bonds to raise much needed revenues for development purposes....
Educate a girl and reduce poverty
Despite the enormous progress of Universal Primary Education which has raised primary school enrolment from 2.7 to over 8.2 million in recent years, girls continue to suffer exclusion in education systems....
Scientists should take advantage of the president’s love for science
On several occasions President Museveni has come out to express his love for science and science based initiatives especially in value additions and energy as engines to drive economic growth...
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter