Disaster and Development: The Politics of Humanitarian Aid
As "natural" disasters increase in frequency and scale, the cost of humanitarian assistance elbows development budgets aside. Catastrophes force aid agencies to look for immediate relief for the victims of apparently no-fault natural disasters. But how far is it possible to view such disasters as natural? This text argues that we allow ourselves to ignore the political dimensions of humanitarian aid and disaster relief, which operate as part of a far wider global battle for resources and markets. It highlights the links between disaster, aid, development and relief, placing case studies in the context of the globalization of the economy, the "free" market ideology of the industrialized nations, the rapacity of financial short-termism and the rise of new forms of colonialism.;The book examines seven recent and, in some cases, continuing major disasters, and analyzes the political agendas that can be said to be common to all these disasters. It then puts forward a political framework for humanitarian aid, reviewing the possible consequences, the political issues to be addressed and possible ways forward.
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