Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed examines the reality of the compromises Médecins Sans Frontières has made – some successfully and some less so – to try and help the people suffering most in the world today.
Humanitarian action at any price?
It is written by Médecins Sans Frontières insiders, but is far from a PR exercise. Decisions made in the ‘heat of battle’ by Médecins Sans Frontières are unpicked and critiqued.
Released just a few weeks before Médecins Sans Frontières celebrated its fortieth anniversary, the book sets out to deliberately puncture a number of the myths that place humanitarianism above politics.
Writers describe how, in fact, it is the difficult negotiations with varying parties, each of whom have their own vested interests, that can permit an aid agency to work in a given area – or not.
At a time where humanitarian actors are questioning their ability to overcome the obstacles they are encountering, this book seeks to help fuel the debate on their ambitions and the best ways of fulfilling them.
The reality of Médecins Sans Frontières efforts
Case studies from recent conflicts such as Yemen, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan lay bare the reality of Médecins Sans Frontières' efforts to reach the most affected people, and explore just what the limits of compromise should be.
There are also a series of thematic essays that explore broader issues, such as the real usefulness of aid responses to natural disasters.