Reactive aid programmes

Paternalistic development assistance
1. As international cooperation for development and local capacity building has weakened, there has been a perceived increase in humanitarian activity in response to crisis situations. It is worrying to note the reappearance of paternalistic" views of development aid, consisting in giving priority only or principally to reactive responses to dramatic situations, mass famines or the sequelae of wars and displacements. Emergency solidarity is absolutely indispensable at certain times of crisis and uniquely dramatic situations and has to be valued, but there must also be insistence on the permanent needs for cooperation and collaboration by the developed countries with the third world. As the international development agencies with most experience in the field are suffering financial crisis, agencies devoted to charitable or philanthropic work are beginning to appear in many parts of the world as the model for international cooperation.

2. The question of the third world and the inequalities increasing there are in danger of becoming an issue that only interests public opinion and governments when it exceeds a certain "dramatic threshold" which causes it to be reported as "news" in the press and television and to become the focus of solidarity campaigns which soon evaporate. A framework is thus taking shape of "permanent and persistent violations" of the economic, social and cultural rights of a substantial and increasing majority of the world's population, threatening the solidarity of international humanitarian principles and human rights. The permanent exclusion of parts of the third world leads to exclusion of social sectors and groups.

(D) Detailed problems