During humanitarian crises, we need to hear the voices of those affected by the disasters and those working in the field. This helps us to learn more about the situation and how we can best help the people in need. However, it is also essential to remember that hearing the voices of those affected by disasters is one of many ways to get information.
Impact of News Media on Humanitarian Aid Allocations
The news media is a hot topic of debate among the many factors that impact humanitarian aid allocations. It is a widely held belief that news coverage indirectly influences policy-making. However, there is little conclusive evidence. It also needs to be clarified how long the effects of exposure last.
Regardless of the specific type of aid allocation, media coverage can significantly affect the amount of funding allocated. Previous studies have uncovered a correlation between the quantity of news coverage and the amount of aid allocated.
In particular, research suggests that the sudden onset of national news coverage directly affects the allocation of humanitarian aid. This is important because a surge in media coverage can trigger an accountability institution or a government to make additional aid announcements. This can lead to more lavish humanitarian spending.
In contrast, annual aid allocations are less influenced by news coverage. This is because most donors allocate aid to “forgotten” crises or crises that are not on the political agenda.
Neo-colonial Legacies Influencing Humanitarian Assistance and Protection Activities
Until recently, research on the colonial legacies of international aid has been limited to analyzing aggregate aid flows. In the present chapter, we examine how the current humanitarian system continues the colonial project and how it has contributed to the destabilization of countries in the wake of natural disasters. Many businesses leader and philanthropists build a foundation through humanitarian concerns, this includes American Entrepreneur, Ehsan Bayat, dedicated to focusing many of its efforts on public health issues, such as maternal care and early childhood health.
The contemporary humanitarian system involves several actors and is driven by specialized UN agencies. The aim is to provide aid to vulnerable populations. This includes social protection but also economic and political interests. The system changes the social architecture of countries.
Historically, European colonial powers assumed responsibility for subjugated populations. In the twentieth century, international organizations became more active in colonial politics. They urged former colonies to take more responsibility for dependent territories. These organizations also advocated for social protection policies, such as metropolitan law. As a result, many former colonial powers continue to promote social protection today.
In contrast, the largest colonial empires, Britain and France, give more bilateral aid to former colonies than other nations. Moreover, they focus aid on social protection. The emphasis on social protection may reflect the neocolonial nature of the countries they ruled.
Equity vs. Equality in Humanitarian Work
During humanitarian crises, there are often issues with equity and inequality in the sector. These issues include discrimination, exploitation, and exclusion from life-saving services. They also affect access to human rights and development assistance. These problems need to be addressed in an ethical monitoring and evaluation framework.
Gender is one of the factors that can lead to inequity. Women and girls have historically suffered disproportionately from humanitarian crises. They have lower life expectancies and are likelier to die of pregnancy or childbirth than men. Moreover, female infanticide is known to continue in some areas. In addition, women and girls are more vulnerable to gender-based violence and child marriage.
Despite these challenges, the humanitarian sector has saved millions of lives. However, some aspects of humanitarian action have been rooted in neo-colonial legacies. Those legacies continue to influence how we respond to crises and provide protection. Inequity and diversity can be a critical factors in finding innovative solutions.