This is the 70th edition of Défis Humanitaires whose objective is to promote humanitarianism, to establish the causal links between geopolitics and humanitarian crisis and to alert and mobilise in the face of the major challenges that threaten us.
In the last editorial (DH 69 October 2022), in the face of the scepticism displayed by some journalists and politicians, I wrote that Vladimir Putin’s threats to use weapons of mass destruction rather than lose the war should be taken seriously without yielding to them. Since then, this high-intensity war in Ukraine has been globalised into a conflict over values and the political model launched by Russia, with the support of China and other countries, against the Western model.
In the meantime, on the ground, this war is intensifying with the destruction of heating infrastructures, water distribution stations and the conflict is evolving into a “hybrid war” where all means are used as a weapon: sabotage (gas pipeline, submarine and terrestrial cables), energy, investments, information, migratory flows and tomorrow, perhaps, the internet!
Should we consider that this war has become global and, even more so, that it is becoming a war of civilisation, to use the title of Samuel Huntington’s book. In any case, the world is becoming fragmented, more uncertain and more dangerous. This can lead us to fear negative consequences for the major international agendas, notably the fight against climate change, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and, by extension, new conflicts.
As dramatic as the war in Ukraine is, with its millions of displaced people and refugees and its countless collateral effects which will also affect us directly (food, inflation, energy, risk of recession), in this issue 70 of Défis Humanitaires we are still attentive and mobilised on other emergencies, to present you with useful analyses for humanitarians and their partners, institutions, parliamentarians, journalists, academics, students, think-tanks, water and climate actors, and political decision makers.
To keep you as informed as possible.
In this edition, the report “Burkina Faso: humanitarian aid in a dangerous spiral“, by Pierre Brunet, humanitarian and writer, alerts us to the delirious increase in the number of people displaced by the fighting, which has increased by 7000% since August 2018. Today, out of 20 million inhabitants, 10% are displaced by this conflict which continues to spread and deepen at the risk of chaos! And yet, humanitarians are faced with the challenges of accessing relief supplies to populations at risk.
Similarly, the latest ALNAP report (350 pages) on the state of the global humanitarian system for the period 2018 – 2021 is presented by Eva Miccolis in a synthetic way in 11 pages with graphs! The observation is simple, during these 4 years, we have seen an increase in the number of conflicts, their intensification and frequency. The number of displaced people has doubled in 10 years and food insecurity has increased by 33% in the last 5 years. What lessons can we draw from this?
Antoine Vaccaro, President of Force For Good, warns us about generosity in times of crisis as humanitarian aid also requires financial resources. The end-of-year period, in France and in other countries, is traditionally the time when 60% of donations to charities are made. However, recent studies have shown that the number of new donors is decreasing and that the average donation of the largest donors is decreasing. So what can be done to mobilise generosity in the service of the general interest at a time when needs are increasing both in crisis situations around the world and in France? Antoine Vaccaro reminds us of the key responses to promote in the face of these challenges.
I am calling on you.
As you can see, Défis Humanitaires remains faithful to its mission of providing information, analysis and proposals for humanitarian aid that is committed, relevant, more effective and able to adapt to each context and to respect the societies, cultures, people and countries where it provides relief and assistance.
In this context, I do feel that our readers expect more from us. But, honestly, this is where we reach our current limits of a very limited budget and full volunteer work.
This is why I am launching an appeal today to support Défis Humanitaires in a concrete way. But, to do what, you may ask? Concretely, if the means allow it, we have the project to adopt a new press-type layout with a greater number of texts and agency photos. In this way, we also want to produce regular humanitarian reports on the ground in crises. We also have an ambitious project to publish the second edition of the Study on International Humanitarian NGOs, for the period 2006-2021, with reference figures for this 15-year period as well as a presentation of the major issues facing the humanitarian sector today.
In this very motivating perspective of developing Défis Humanitaires, a number of personalities have recently constituted a multi-disciplinary Committee of Experts which brings together specialists from the fields of humanitarian aid, philanthropy, foundations, partnerships, communication and publishing, international relations and geopolitics. Their commitment sends a strong positive message of support and participation in this project, which we invite you to join by supporting it concretely now.
I encourage you to participate personally today:
– By making a donation to Défis Humanitaires via HelloAsso.
– By sharing this edition and its articles with your friends and colleagues.
-By sending us (defishumanitaires.com) your comments and proposals, testimonies of your humanitarian action in the field and by telling us what you think of Défis Humanitaires.
For almost five years now, with this 70th edition, Défis Humanitaires has been offered to you each month free of charge and in complete editorial independence. Today, I am calling on your support in order to continue and develop a publication that is read with interest in many countries, from sub-Saharan Africa to the United States, from European countries to France and the Middle East. I warmly thank you for participating in this new type of humanitarian project, which is innovative, and which is above all useful to humanitarian actors and their partners in saving lives with populations in danger.
President of Défis Humanitaires.