Your reference to the Copenhagen Summit as “discussions
on economic development” is misleading (Issue 3-1995).
The World Summit on Social Development (the “Social
Summit”) did indeed discuss economic development, but
in the context of the wider themes of poverty eradication,
employment and social integration.
As one-fifth of humanity lives in absolute poverty,
world leaders committed themselves to the eradication
of poverty, full employment, and respect for all
human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Conferences do not change anything in themselves.
It is people that must do that. Each of us now has a duty
to ensure that our governments honour commitments made in
Standing for humanitarianism in an inhumane
world, members and representatives of the Red Cross and Red
Crescent Movement have an added responsibility to be informed
about the impact of poverty and social injustice on human
lives, as well as relieving the suffering they cause.
Editor, Development in Practice
I should like to thank Red Cross, Red Crescent for
the wonderful insights you bring into the Movement’s
work. I wanted especially to say how much I welcomed your
recent material from Cambodia. The story about landmines
made me recall my time there in 1993. I shall never forget
the people in this wonderful country who so much deserve
a chance but whose lives remain blighted by landmines and
the legacy of genocide.
Dr Terry Duffy
University of Ulster, Magee College
Northern Ireland, UK
As a Japanese citizen, I read with interest your article
on Hiroshima in Issue 2 - 1995 and recalled the fear I felt
when I visited the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Museum. I would
like every visitor to our country to visit this Museum and
to recognise how ferocious the atomic bomb was.
Just one month ago, I had a chance to meet a 17-year-old
girl who was visiting Japan from Papua New Guinea. She was
quite angry about French nuclear experiments and worried
about the effects they will have on her descendants.
I hope that Japan will remain the only country
ever to be attacked by nuclear weapons, and not just the
Japanese Red Cross Volunteers
What to do?
While Deborah Eade (Issue 2 - 1995) was right about much
in her article critiquing the split between emergency and
long-term relief assistance, I believe she underestimates
long-on going efforts within NGOs to bridge this gap. Particularly
in the 10 years since the Sahelian famine, international
NGOs have been exploring new ways to prevent, mitigate and
prepare for crises and to respond to and rehabilitate people
once crises have struck. We are all learning that returning
the destitute to the “status quo” is ridiculous;
facilitating herd re-seeding and increasing access to training
and credit for women returnees are two of the many experiments.
What puzzles me is how Eade expects agencies to operationalise
many of her criticisms. How can we start addressing the
needs of individuals without grouping them by the causes
of their vulnerabilities? The men and women farmers, herders,
fishermen and traders I met in Mali may all be individuals
with “needs and priorities [which] may not coincide”,
but they all seemed to be suffering equally. Many responded
by rationing food, selling their produce, labour and assets,
migrating or taking on a debt. How should we address their
needs on the scale demanded while being increasingly constrained
by falling food aid and shrinking budgets? In that case,
I suggested preventive and responsive interventions such
as temporary food for work, while strengthening existing
projects’ seed/cereal banks, credit and subsidised
food sales. Constructive suggestions are the best follow-up
to a good critique.
Food Security Technical Advisor
Catholic Relief Services
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