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Updated: Oct 25, 2023

By Anab Mohamed

Exploiting humanitarian appeals by warring sides in attempting to garner favor and legitimacy through what seems no less than a propagandist gimmick should be a wake-up call to the international community of humanitarians as to why this "decision" to establish such an agency is perilous:

  • This is intended to falsely claim that the goal is to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to people affected by the war, when in fact it is reasonable to argue that the main interest of any warring party is its own military strategic goals and objectives. Aid delivery will be influenced accordingly

  • This statement suggests that humanitarian aid can be manipulated and used as a propaganda tool to gain global support. Furthermore, it can be used to coerce communities into compliance since it could be used as a bargaining chip.

  • When a warring side is allowed to manage aid distribution, it could divert the resources in ways that could potentially be harmful, whereby civilians would be deprived of the needed aid, while the warring side exploits it for military purposes.

  • Another serious implication of allowing a warring side to manage aid distribution is that it could potentially prolong the conflict by giving the warring side more control and contributing to the further shrinkage of civil space where peace-building efforts can take place.

Simply put, humanitarian aid is not a military matter, and the delivery of humanitarian aid should not be weaponized. Thus, in order to mitigate the harmful consequences of the effects of military management of aid, humanitarian organizations should not compromise their impartiality and should be vigilant to attempt of gaslighting the humanitarian community. Humanitarian organizations' work should be guided by the firm belief that no warring side should have control over aid management. Ever. Humanitarian aid should not be a tool of war.

*This is an original piece written exclusively for PeaceofSudan.Space and has not been published elsewhere.


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