Case study: Humanitarian space restrictions

Humanitarian space restrictions

CARE is working in a country experiencing a complex emergency. Although the country’s government made a public statement promising “full commitment to unhindered access for the provision of humanitarian assistance to all persons in need,” aid agencies face numerous challenges, such as flight bans, delays in processing or denials of travel permits, and limitations on staff numbers. Government officials have subjected humanitarian workers to threats, arrests and intimidation, physical and verbal abuse, and hijackings at gunpoint. The government has expelled representatives from several NGOs for seemingly arbitrary reasons, which NGOs have reason to believe are meant to disrupt humanitarian activities. Operating in this environment requires careful liaison with all levels of the government; advocacy at the local, national, and international levels; and working in coalition with other humanitarian agencies to achieve common goals.