Débat sur l’aide alimentaire: assistance, dépendence ou alibi? Bruxelles, UNRIC, 02/09/2010

Invitation to a panel discussion on:

Humanitarian aid: assistance, dependence or alibi?

Man-made and natural disasters cause immense suffering for millions of people every day.  There are currently more than 27 million internally displaced persons and 10 million refugees in the world. One out of every six people in the world is chronically hungry.  Humanitarian aid workers strive to ensure that all those who have experienced a traumatic event and need life saving assistance receive it regardless of where they are in the world and regardless of their religious or social group, or nationality.

Potential beneficiaries may be located within a zone of conflict or in areas with poor infrastructure, making it difficult and dangerous for humanitarian agencies to deliver assistance.


On the other hand there are claims that the provisions of humanitarian assistance can give a mistaken sense of security and protection by the international community and in fact the influx of aid and aid workers can create huge interferences for the future recovery of the local economy.

In the case of certain countries and regions, some even go as far as to talk of  a ‘humanitarian alibi’, pointing to the misuse of the humanitarian idea and the efforts of humanitarian workers by governments eager to do as little as possible in economically unpromising areas.            

To what extent is humanitarian assistance creating aid dependence and difficulties in putting recipients on a more sustainable development track?

This will be the focus of a panel discussion organized by the UN Brussels Team to which we have the pleasure of inviting you to. The event is held in observance of World Humanitarian Day that took place on 19 August.

2 September 2010, 13.00 to 14.30


Geert Vansintjan, Belgian Ministry for development Cooperation, Head of Unit D2.1 – Humanitarian Aid, Food Aid, Rehabilitation,

Antoine Gérard, Director OCHA,

Benoit Thiry, WFP Deputy Director,

Alain Lallemand, reporter, Belgian daily “Le Soir”,

A representative of OXFAM and Voice (tbc)

The panel members will give short 7-10 minute introductions followed by a debate.

The debate will be moderated by Janos Tisovszky, Deputy Director, UNRIC and former Spokesperson of the General Assembly President.

 UNRIC meeting room.  8th floor, Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat, 155.  Entrance block C2 (behind the Security Container)  

Language: English.

Registration:  [email protected]

For more information:

Alexandra Froger [email protected] Tel. +32 (0)2 788.84.61

Jean-Luc Onckelinx [email protected] Tel. +32 (0) 476 215 485