IPI HomePublicationsPolicy PapersCooperation from Crisis? Regional Responses to Humanitarian Emergencies

 

print print  |  share share back back

Policy Papers - September 13, 2013

Cooperation from Crisis? Regional Responses to Humanitarian Emergencies

Jérémie Labbé, Lilianne Fan, and Walter Kemp

 

 

As the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, could the humanitarian crisis afflicting the country and its neighbors provide an entryway for regional cooperation? This policy paper examines how regional responses to humanitarian crises have succeeded or failed to meet humanitarian objectives in order to inform approaches to contemporary crises. It also assesses whether such regional responses contributed to strengthening regional integration and cooperation, paving the way for increased regional stability and an improved capacity to respond to emergencies.

The report explores two different humanitarian crises: the war in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in 2008. Examining the ways in which countries in each region and regional organizations addressed humanitarian needs, it draws a number of lessons that could be applied in contemporary crises:

  • Regional ownership over the response is crucial, but not necessarily spontaneous. External actors can usefully contribute through a balanced mix of pressure and technical support.
  • Preexisting regional organizations can provide a valuable institutional framework on which to build the response.
  • An approach that focuses on the specific needs of the most vulnerable individuals can help to depoliticize discussions while strengthening trust among regional stakeholders.
  • Complementary policy-level and expert-level processes can equip the response with both political commitment and regular working relationships for addressing tangible needs.

The Global Observatory

In Lebanon, Clerics Support Efforts to Bring Men on Side of Equality
Anthony Keedi believes a win-win exists between gender equality and what they're preaching.

Key Global Events to Watch in April
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

April 05, 2014
IPI Opens Middle East Regional Office
International Peace Institute President Terje Rød-Larsen inaugurated IPI’s new Middle East Regional Office with a recognition of the area’s critical importance to the world and the rapid political changes underway in the countries of the region, and he asserted that IPI has an “important role” to play there.

March 25, 2014
Adebajo, Panel Discuss African and African-American Nobel Peace Laureates
The ten Africans and three African-Americans who have won the Nobel Peace Prize comprise a complex group of peace leaders, said Adekeye Adebajo, Executive Director of Centre for Conflict Resolution, on March 25th. He spoke as part of a panel at the International Peace Institute’s launch of Africa’s Peacemakers, Nobel Laureates of African Descent, edited by Mr. Adebajo.

March 20, 2014
Ukraine Foreign Minister: Crisis is "Stress Test for the International Community"
“We are open to dialogue,” said Andriy Deshchytsia, acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine, at IPI in Vienna on March 20th. However, he noted, at this time, there is no communication between him and his Russian counterpart. “We need to talk,” he said.

View More