You don’t give hair extensions to people in a war zone… or do you?

Do we need to change how we think about what refugees need and what qualifies as legitimate humanitarian aid?  IRIN recently featured, SECURITY: New report on R2P challenges humanitarians.  Ironically, civilians successfully fleeing conflict on their own is often the best means of civilian protection available.

The report also indicates that sometimes the requests for assistance are not what one would expect.  After escaping near death, refugees often wanted “non-necessity” items to preserve ceremonies and traditions.  Guitar strings, bead and hair extensions were deemed important for wedding celebrations, music and dancing.  After losing the home they knew, it makes sense that it is genuinely important to be able to preserve that which is familiar, life-affirming, and solidifies a sense of belonging and community in their displaced location.

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U.N. Antigenocide Policy – Too Late for Darfur?

FCBDBFF5-F30C-4BB2-893D-1DCA0A7D505AThe Obama administration supports the U.N. doctrine for multinational military action to stop genocide after diplomacy is exhausted. The Responsibility to Protect doctine was endorsed by the U.N. in 2005. Now support is needed to implement it “when a new genocide” occurs. Too late for Darfur?

Supporters of implementing the doctrine include China and Russia. Opponents fear the policy will be exploited by major powers to interfere in sovereign nations for economic and strategic goals. What do you think?

Read the complete article at WSJ.