Humanitarian Action: The need to scale back, not up

DuBois, M.
Publication language
Date published
20 Jun 2019
Humanitarian Law & Policy
Development & humanitarian aid, humanitarian action

Your father has a heart attack. The ambulance crew arrives in minutes. They save his life. A success. But they do not leave. The emergency specialists assess and then begin a series of interventions to change your family’s diet and fitness practices, establish a more equitable relationship between the genders, treat your brother’s multiple sclerosis and help your sister with her math homework. As these direct interventions do not solve the underlying structural causes, the paramedics decide they should launch programs to spark economic development and improve government performance in the health and education sectors.You appreciate the attention, but their good intentions do not overcome their knowing very little about health and education systems or economic development, and the neighbors are pissed off because the ambulance now takes three days to respond to heart attacks.