International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award

5-2016

Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Development and Social Change (IDSC)

Department

International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Professor Ken MacLean

Second Reader

Professor Jude Fernando

Abstract

This report analyzes the complex relationships between conflict, displacement, aid, and economics. Providing a brief overview of the context of civil war in Syria and an analysis of development literature on micro- and macroeconomic consequences of conflict and displacement, it critically analyzes the role of emergency humanitarian aid in contribution to the persisting conflict in Syria. It then discusses relationships of humanitarian aid and conflict through past cases of war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Rwanda. These two case studies have been chosen in order to demonstrate how aid can inadvertently become contributive to funding war economies, and also how the humanitarian principle of neutrality may render aid implementation and civilian safety vulnerable to manipulation. Finally, this report offers implications to consider for the current conflict economy in Syria, suggesting that it is imperative for humanitarian donors and practitioners to more responsibly allocate aid and resources.

This report analyzes the complex relationships between conflict, displacement, aid, and economics. Providing a brief overview of the context of civil war in Syria and an analysis of development literature on micro- and macroeconomic consequences of conflict and displacement, it critically analyzes the role of emergency humanitarian aid in contribution to the persisting conflict in Syria. It then discusses relationships of humanitarian aid and conflict through past cases of war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Rwanda. These two case studies have been chosen in order to demonstrate how aid can inadvertently become contributive to funding war economies, and also how the humanitarian principle of neutrality may render aid implementation and civilian safety vulnerable to manipulation. Finally, this report offers implications to consider for the current conflict economy in Syria, suggesting that it is imperative for humanitarian donors and practitioners to more responsibly allocate aid and resources.

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