Humanitarian Aid and Secrecy Don’t Mix

Photo courtesy of futureatlas.comBy Larry Kilman

Thursday, 8 June 2017

This is why transparency is so important for aid workers and NGOs.

According to the New York Times, a kidnapped American aid coordinator in Yemen had a secret job overseeing US commando shipments. This dual role muddies the waters between humanitarian aid and military actions, and immediately raises suspicions about aid workers in general.

Organizations that are tempted to enter such secret arrangements might be driven by good intentions. They’re well-placed to help out and might believe the intervention is in a good cause. But the possibility of exposure is a danger not only to the organization and its workers, but to the entire humanitarian aid sector itself. It is akin to the damage caused by police masquerading as journalists; it puts the entire question of independence in question and endangers innocent people.

Governments and the military might have good reasons for secrecy, but humanitarian organizations do not. Transparency is the best policy when it comes to humanitarian aid.

Photo courtesy of futureatlas.com

 
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