///International Humanitarian Crises

International Humanitarian Crises

Just over 20 years ago to the month, International Affairs carried an article on the state of the international disaster relief system.1 The article is of contemporary interest in two senses. In the first place, two decades ago disaster relief was not regarded as an issue of major concern to the international community. It was not a subject that would seem to fall naturally into the orbit of a journal con- cerned with substantive global and regional issues. Today, that is not the case. Humanitarian affairs have become big international business. The ‘humani- tarian enterprise’ occupies the attention of more and more bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental organizations and finds itself a relative ‘growth industry’ when compared to development.2

Twenty years later, it is worth considering the reasons for this evolution…

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