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The Price of IndifferenceRefugees and Humanitarian Action in the New Century$
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Arthur C. Helton

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250318

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199250316.001.0001

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International Bureaucracy and the Debasement of Mercy

International Bureaucracy and the Debasement of Mercy

(p.199) 7 International Bureaucracy and the Debasement of Mercy
The Price of Indifference

Arthur C. Helton (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Duplication of efforts is endemic in the humanitarian ‘new economy’ that has emerged over the past decade, and gaps are more prevalent than structure in international humanitarian action. Any future impetus for reform of the humanitarian components of the UN, moreover, must come from outside system, if at all. The problem of internal displacement could provide this impetus. Nevertheless, decisive reform is needed, and the bureaucratic trend is clear —consolidation of the varieties of entities and functions involved in the provision of humanitarian assistance and protection in order to become more effective. This trend should be promoted and institutionalized. Ultimately what is needed is a consolidated UN humanitarian agency with a fully integrated budget and programme, an Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) with budgetary, and programmatic authority.

Keywords:   bureaucracy, duplication, humanitarian agency, humanitarian assistance, institutionalization, internal displacement, protection, UN reform

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