Keen, D. (1998). Aid and violence, with special reference to Sierra Leone. Disasters, 22(4), 318-327.

Tuesday 24 January 2023

Aid and Violence, with Special Reference to Sierra Leone is an article written by David Keen, which investigates the relationship between international aid and violence in Sierra Leone. The author mentions three contemporary challenges for international organisations. The first is people’s hatred for refugees, the second is the budget crisis facing international organizations such as the UNHCR and WFP, and the third is the changing pattern of conflicts, as armed conflicts last longer and have more significant impacts. These issues compel international organisations to rethink traditional humanitarian aid. The author argues that some humanitarian aid such as food could encourage rebels, thereby promoting violence. In the case of Sierra Leone, the author criticises the tendency of foreign aid to create aid-dependence in states, harming local economic development, and the tendency to wrongly assess the proper duration of aid, causing frustration for local people. More importantly, the author finds that aid to Sierra Leone has not been helpful in ending military conflict. Institutionally, organizations responsible for distributing aid have tried to ignore the dangerous situation in Sierra Leone, as they still plan to use traditional methods, which raises worries in the author.

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