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Tackling The Global Challenge: Humanitarian Catastrophes

  • Author(s): Iserson, Kenneth V.
  • et al.
Abstract

“Humanitarian catastrophes,” conflicts and calamities generating both widespread human suffering and destructive events, require a wide range of emergency resources. This paper answers a number of questions that humanitarian catastrophes generate: Why and how do the most-developed countries—those with the resources, capabilities, and willingness to help—intervene in specific types of disasters? What ethical and legal guidelines shape our interventions? How well do we achieve our goals? It then suggests a number of changes to improve humanitarian responses, including better NGO-government cooperation, increased research on the best disaster response methods, clarification of the criteria and roles for humanitarian (military) interventions, and development of post-2015 Millennium Development Goals with more accurate progress measures. [West J Emerg Med. 2014;15(2):231–240.]

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