Humanitarianism and humanitarian aid, have grown into a massive system made up of a myriad of different international, national and local organisations. In 2015 the monetary value of humanitarian response amounted to $24.5B . The changes in the scope of humanitarian operations have occurred in parallel with shifts in practices and a much more broadened interpretation of the core principles and functions of humanitarian aid . As donors started to fund humanitarian aid in combination with development aid, the landscape, conduct and actions of humanitarian aid, has become entangled with inherently political intentions and agenda, euphemistically referred to as ‘State building’, ‘peace building’, ‘resilience’, ‘bridging the gap’, and ‘addressing root causes of conflict’.
The post-Cold War era has also witnessed the expanding developmental role of NGOs as well as active engagement in advocacy and peacebuilding. NGOs have also increasingly been viewed and have assumed the stance of being a source of countervailing power to local and global structures of power.
This article argues that gender mainstreaming into humanitarian responses is not enough to eliminate the problem of horrendous (mostly) gender-based crimes against women, men, non-cis gendered groups and children in these countries. The pervasive occurence of rapes is a culmination, instead of symptoms, of sexual and gender-based violence within those countries.
Over the years we have seen several humanitarian crises emanating from both man-made and natural causes. Humanitarian crises take different forms and specifically in sub-Saharan Africa, they are multidimensional and complex. Humanitarian crises could arise as a result of sudden natural disasters such as earthquake, on-going natural catastrophes like drought or man intentionally provoked situations like conflicts and wars. We are also noticing a new trend of violent extremism and terrorism especially in the Horn of Africa countries requiring humanitarian response.
It is evident that there is a great deal that humanitarian actors can contribute towards curbing several factors that can result in a great loss of people and communities
The sudden attack by a group of raiders from South Sudan on the 15th of April, 2016 which claimed 208 Ethiopian Nuer lives and 108 children abducted, helps one to revisit the recurrent ‘conflict induced humanitarian crisis’ in the Gambela region of Ethiopia.