More than ever, your support is decisive!

Humanitarian staff unload food supplies in Sebba, on November 11, 2022. @ECHO

Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, the UN Water Conference, the humanitarian debate, and in this editorial the urgent need for relief for the beleaguered Armenians of Artsakh, as well as the implications of government decisions for Official Development Assistance and humanitarian aid.

More than ever, your support to Armenians of Artsakh is essential….

….pour share our concern and solidarity with the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, victim of a blockade by Azerbaijan which has cut off the only road to Armenia since December 12.

Artsakh is the territory given to Azerbaijan by Stalin during the Soviet Union (USSR). Artsakh voted for independence in a referendum on December 10, 1991, at the time of the break-up of the USSR, like Armenia, Azerbaijan and other republics, but under international rules validating Stalin’s choice, Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, is officially part of Azerbaijan.

Artsakh is home to 120,000 men, women and children who live on their ancestral land, of which the 13th-century monasteries are intangible proof, as are the history books, memories and cemeteries. But military force and realpolitik intend to condemn them to submission, reclusion, exile or death!

Here we are faced with the scorned right of a people to self-determination, in the face of the diktat of Stalin’s choice, endorsed today by force of arms and diplomatic conformism. But where is the famous “duty to protect” so dear to the UN and humanitarian organizations? Shouldn’t what was good yesterday for the populations of Kosovo, Libya and East Timor also apply today to the Armenians of Artsakh? Is there a double standard here, and why?

Armenia and Azerbaijan are currently engaged in tripartite international negotiations with the United States, the European Union and Russia. The Armenian Prime Minister, NIkol Paschinian, had to go under the knife and say that Artsakh was in Azerbaijan, while demanding guarantees for the safety of Armenians in Artsakh.

Abandoning Artsakh to Azerbaijan opens the way to the risk of ethnic cleansing, destabilization and confrontation in the South Caucasus.

Let’s fear that this calculation, whose logic is understandable in the name of peace and stability, could provoke exactly the opposite, i.e. Azeri military action against Artsakh, leading to ethnic cleansing against a backdrop of rivalry between a Western bloc and Iran’s ally Russia, which would then see the Caucasus tip into confrontation. Just light the fuse!

Seriously, who could guarantee the safety of Artsakh’s 120,000 Armenians if they came under the control of Azeri President Ilham Aliyev’s regime, which is just like Turkish President Erdogan for his opponents and minorities? Would we not be witnessing a colonization of settlement, as Turkey is doing today in northern Syria, from which it has expelled the resident Kurdish population? So, who can really commit to ensuring this security, the United States, the European Union, NATO or Russia and Iran?

This is the dilemma and the tragedy of a people living on their ancestral lands, who risk being sacrificed on the altar of the law of the strongest, endorsed by the powerful who modestly look the other way. Yet NATO did protect Serbian enclaves after Kosovo’s de facto independence was recognized by Western countries.

In any case, if this Artsakh crisis were to end badly, if it were to provoke war or ethnic cleansing and forced exile, then we would have to ask out loud who is responsible, and whether a status quo and good-neighborly solution would not be preferable, with serious security guarantees.

Read the letters we’ve received from the inhabitants of Artsakh, which we publish in this issue, and come along to the Salle Gaveau on June 28 to listen to actors, actresses and intellectuals read these letters, which say “Artsakh is our birthplace on this planet” or “I’m afraid of genocide”.

If we all mobilize, if others do so in other countries, if eminent moral and intellectual authorities rise up, if certain political leaders show dignity and courage, if the UN listens, if President Macron is faithful to his commitments, then perhaps together we can save Artsakh, whose people simply want to live free in their own country!

Friends and family ask me why I stand by Artsakh. The answer is simple. Every people has the right to live freely in their own country, especially small peoples who are always the most threatened, if not sacrificed, in history, like the indigenous peoples we also want to honor in this edition.

If you’d like to support the Armenians of Artsakh, the Coordination des Organisations Arméniennes de France (CCAF) is organizing a rally on Sunday June 4 at 3.30pm at Place du Trocadéro in Paris.

More than ever, your support to humanitarian aid is essential….

… to mobilize together, wherever you are, to increase resources for Official Development Assistance (ODA) and humanitarian aid in France and around the world. In fact, why not rename APD as APDH, i.e. Aide Publique au Développement et à l’Humanitaire (Official Development and Humanitarian Aid), to finally recognize the existence of humanitarian aid as an inescapable international reality that concerns everyone.

And this is precisely the moment in France. Already in 2018, as part of Emmanuel Macron’s first quinquennium, the CICID took historic decisions to significantly increase ODA, humanitarian aid, partnerships with NGOs and the development-humanitarian nexus in particular. This year, we have a new appointment with ourselves regarding our country’s role in international solidarity.

And I’d like to take this opportunity to dispel an opposition that needs to be overcome. You can be a sovereignist and still believe that France has international responsibilities towards other peoples. One can be a universalist or a European federalist and recognize the historical reality of nation-states, their role in broader alliance frameworks up to the level of the United Nations, and their duty to contribute to the development of countries and populations on our planet who need it.

We are now entering the ODA and humanitarian sequence of Emmanuel Macron’s second five-year term. Broadly speaking, the trajectory of increase is already set. In 2022, we reached 0.56% of GNP, and the Law of August 4, 2021 (LOP-DSIM) presented by the government and then voted by parliament set France’s contribution at 0.7% in 2025! All that’s left to do, of course, is to translate this into priorities and action plans.

The problem is that the recent Presidential Development Council of May 5 set 10 strategic priorities, but said nothing about the 0.7% which is the means! Nothing either about the role of humanitarian and development associations as operational partners! Is this a cause for concern? Is the announcement reserved for the “Summit for a New Global Financial Pact” on June 22 and 23 in Paris? In any case, the Law of August 4 set France’s contribution at 0.7% from 2025.

A word about the 10 priorities of the Presidential Development Council. There’s nothing to say about the 10 priorities, except that one of them is missing, and it’s a big one: the 11th priority is water! It’s astonishing to discover that, in the wake of the UN Conference on Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there’s nothing on water at a time when its scarcity, pollution and the impact of global warming causing drought and flooding have never been such a threat worldwide, and even in France now, with fires and 50 departments already on water alert this spring!

M. Edouard PHILIPPE, Premier ministre
a réuni un Comité interministériel de la coopération internationale et du développement à Matignon le 08.02.18.
Crédit photo Benoît Granier, Matignon

For a Humanitarian Aid for the Public Aid.

And finally, on humanitarian aid. Out of a total ODA of over 16 billion euros in 2023, humanitarian aid will account for around 900 million euros, including 250 to 300 million (FUH, NUOI, AAP) via the Fonds d’Urgence Humanitaire (FUH) of the Centre de Crise et de Soutien (CDCS) of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. This effort is all the more commendable given that we’ve come a long way, and the catch-up is real. But in today’s world, it’s not enough! I’m not trying to be corporatist or a trade unionist here. Rather, let’s take stock of the needs and risks in today’s world.

We are facing a double phenomenon of global disruption. On the one hand, the war in Ukraine reveals that we are entering a period of confrontation between the Western bloc and another bloc led by China, Russia and part of the so-called global South. This logic of confrontation will exacerbate tensions, alliance systems and conflicts. The grain and fertilizer war between Ukraine and Russia is a case in point.

On the other hand, we are simultaneously confronted with gigantic global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, water scarcity and pollution, demographics in Africa and others. Here too, confrontation will be the rule, and we can see how water is becoming an object of dispute between users and nation-states, as far afield as Spain and Portugal with the Douro River.

The combination of geopolitical antagonism and the state of the planet, its inexorable warming, its resources and its inhabitants can only generate tension and conflict. In this increasingly tense, sustainable context, humanitarian action could become an increasingly sought-after response, and its experience and engineering between emergency and development make it a major player in the possible solutions to be implemented.

In this context, where the scale and pace of threats are changing, the response must anticipate rather than follow. So, of France’s 16 billion euros in ODA, one billion for humanitarian aid is simply not up to the challenge. In today’s world, and in the one that’s shaping up, we should be thinking more along the lines of 2, 3 or 4 billion euros for humanitarian ODA in France. The future of ODA also involves humanitarian aid, and that’s why I suggest we talk more in terms of Official Development Assistance and Humanitarian Aid, and France could then become one of the world’s leading funders of humanitarian aid.

Alain Boinet, président of Défis Humanitaires

More than ever, your support to Défis Humanitaires is essential…

Since the start of the year, the number of readers has risen by 25% to an average of 4,000 visits each month, partly because the number of articles has increased from 4 to 7 each month.

This represents a real effort that stimulates and motivates us, but your support with even a modest donation on (faireundon) will greatly encourage us to continue in this direction. I would like to thank you in advance on behalf of the authors who publish articles and interviews for you.

Our magazine is produced on a voluntary basis, with no institutional support to date. That’s why we’re launching an APPEAL to you, as well as to foundations, associations and philanthropists, to support this publication, which has been hailed by many of you, such as Francis Charhon, former director of the Fondation de France, Médecins Sans Frontières and now editor of the fascinating magazine “Chroniques Philanthropiques“, who recently emphasized on social networks the uniqueness of Défis Humanitaires and the interest and diversity of its articles. So, thank you for (faireundon).

THANK YOU in advance.

Alain Boinet.

Madame, Monsieur,

Le 28 juin prochain marquera les 200 jours de blocus total de la seule route qui relie le Haut Karabagh à l’Arménie. 120 000 habitants du Haut-Karabakh, dont 30 000 enfants vivent un drame majeur dans un pays en voie d’effacement. Des attaques se répètent par ailleurs contre le territoire souverain de la république d’Arménie.

Pour soutenir les Arméniens du Haut-Karabagh et d’Arménie, l’Ambassade d’Arménie en France et la Représentation du Haut Karabagh organisent une soirée caritative, à laquelle nous serions heureux que vous participiez. 

Une dizaine d’artistes et d’intellectuels porteront l’émotion de tout un peuple en souffrance en lisant des témoignages personnels des habitants du Haut-Karabagh et d’Arménie. 

« Arménie, la route de la vie » 

MERCREDI 28 JUIN 2023 à 20H 


45 rue de la Boétie – 75008 PARIS 

Réservation par internet sur le site de la salle Gaveau : ou par téléphone :, du lundi au vendredi de 10h à 18h. 

Nous espérons sincèrement pouvoir compter sur votre présence à cette soirée exceptionnelle en soutien à l’Arménie et au Haut-Karabagh.