FULLY BOOKED War and aid: does humanitarian intervention work?

Talk May 11, 2010 7:00 PM

What is the reality of the humanitarian aid industry and what impact is it having on the people at the receiving end? How is the money spent and is there enough accountability to make sure it is spent in the right way?
Do you agree with Linda Polman, author of War Games: The Story of Aid and War in Modern Times that the humanitarian aid industry, the media and warmongers the world over are locked in a cycle of mutual support?
We will also be discussing Western intervention in countries such as Kosovo and Iraq. Those and other interventions may have been driven by humanitarian principles but have they worked?
In his recent book, The Thin Blue Line: How Humanitarianism Went to War Conor Foley argues that the multi-billion industry that has emerged in the past 20 years has played a leading role in shaping foreign policy in the West and that international law has been used to override the sovereignty of the poorest countries of the world.
Join us to discuss the criticisms that have been levelled at the aid industry and humanitarian intervention.
With Conor Foley, humanitarian aid worker who has worked for a variety of human rights and humanitarian aid organisations and writes regularly for The Guardian Comment is Free; Linda Polman, freelance journalist and author of We Did Nothing: Why the Truth Doesn’t Always Come Out When the UN Goes In; Amany Abouzeid, ActionAid human security policy coordinator and Sarah Bailey, research officer for ODI Humanitarian Policy Group.
Moderated by Humphrey Hawksley, leading BBC foreign correspondent, author and commentator on world affairs.