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What happens to aid projects after the money is spent? Or the people and communities once the media spotlight has left? No Dancing, No Dancing follows the return journey of a former aid worker back to the site of three major humanitarian crises--South Sudan, Iraq and East Timor--in search of what happened to the people and projects. Along the way, he looks for answers to ho What happens to aid projects after the money is spent? Or the people and communities once the media spotlight has left? No Dancing, No Dancing follows the return journey of a former aid worker back to the site of three major humanitarian crises--South Sudan, Iraq and East Timor--in search of what happened to the people and projects. Along the way, he looks for answers to how we can better respond to the emerging global humanitarian crisis. Meeting young entrepreneurs striving to build their businesses, listening to tribal leaders give unvarnished views of foreign aid or negotiating the release of a kidnapped colleague, this riveting work brings the reader into the global humanitarian crisis while engaging with questions of cultural imperialism, Western aid models and foreign interventions.


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What happens to aid projects after the money is spent? Or the people and communities once the media spotlight has left? No Dancing, No Dancing follows the return journey of a former aid worker back to the site of three major humanitarian crises--South Sudan, Iraq and East Timor--in search of what happened to the people and projects. Along the way, he looks for answers to ho What happens to aid projects after the money is spent? Or the people and communities once the media spotlight has left? No Dancing, No Dancing follows the return journey of a former aid worker back to the site of three major humanitarian crises--South Sudan, Iraq and East Timor--in search of what happened to the people and projects. Along the way, he looks for answers to how we can better respond to the emerging global humanitarian crisis. Meeting young entrepreneurs striving to build their businesses, listening to tribal leaders give unvarnished views of foreign aid or negotiating the release of a kidnapped colleague, this riveting work brings the reader into the global humanitarian crisis while engaging with questions of cultural imperialism, Western aid models and foreign interventions.

30 review for No Dancing, No Dancing: Inside the Global Humanitarian Crisis

  1. 5 out of 5

    Calzean

    The author has worked for years in NGOs and the UN through Asia and Africa. He now works as an academic. His book seems to have been written with a specific outcome in mind; that most aid projects fail. In this book he revisits three countries where he had previously undertaken humanitarian projects - South Sudan, Iraq and Timor-Leste. His aim was to see what has changed since the projects and related aid ceased. He was not surprised that generally there was little evidence of change due mainly The author has worked for years in NGOs and the UN through Asia and Africa. He now works as an academic. His book seems to have been written with a specific outcome in mind; that most aid projects fail. In this book he revisits three countries where he had previously undertaken humanitarian projects - South Sudan, Iraq and Timor-Leste. His aim was to see what has changed since the projects and related aid ceased. He was not surprised that generally there was little evidence of change due mainly to the lack of ability of aid projects to understand and work within the complexities of the local culture, relationships and beliefs.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘I once bought the life of a Sudanese man with eight cows.’ Denis Dragovic was once an aid worker (1). In 2010 and 2011 he returned to South Sudan, Iraq and East Timor, sites of three major humanitarian crises, to see what had happened with the projects he had worked on. This book is both an account of Denis Dragovic’s experiences as an aid worker and a reflection on how to make aid more effective. The aid landscape is littered with stories of well-intentioned aid which fails. There are many reaso ‘I once bought the life of a Sudanese man with eight cows.’ Denis Dragovic was once an aid worker (1). In 2010 and 2011 he returned to South Sudan, Iraq and East Timor, sites of three major humanitarian crises, to see what had happened with the projects he had worked on. This book is both an account of Denis Dragovic’s experiences as an aid worker and a reflection on how to make aid more effective. The aid landscape is littered with stories of well-intentioned aid which fails. There are many reasons why aid projects fail. These can include cultural barriers, misdirected or misappropriated funds, and a focus on delivering tangible items without enough focus on the skills transfer required to maintain those items. And, sadly, it is too often the case that the world’s attention moves from one crisis to another without effectively addressing any of them. ‘Aid needs to harness both the ambitions of donors and the dreams of the people it is meant to assist.’ Aid also needs to consider local cultures, religions and traditions. Aid means to assist, rather than to impose. I have so many questions about aid after reading this book. Who is the primary client? Is it the aid recipient, or the donor? How do we differentiate between the aid needed in an emergency and ongoing aid needed as societies and countries rebuild? How do we measure success, and when do we measure it? I was troubled by some of the examples of assumed western superiority, frustrated by some of the cultural barriers to success, and heartened by some of the achievements recounted. Just think how much more effective some of this aid could have been if some of those providing it had taken the time to find common ground with those who needed it. Already much of the world has shifted focus. There are humanitarian crises across the globe, with millions of people seeking refuge as a consequence. Much of the western focus has been on keeping ‘them’ out rather than on helping ‘them’. Othering people makes it so much easier to ignore ‘them’. But I’m also reminded of the proverb: ‘If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day; If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime’. And yes, there’s more than one way to fish. My copy of this book is filled with Post-It notes, marking parts I want to reread or reconsider. There are no neat, easy solutions to the global humanitarian crisis, not is there a single cause. This book is not a comfortable read, but it is an important one. Note: My thanks to Dr Dragovic for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes. Jennifer Cameron-Smith (1) And now, Denis Dragovic researches the consequences of war on society and the state. His professional career has spanned over a decade as a consultant to various UN agencies and as a senior leader with international NGOs in conflict and post-conflict environments in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. He holds a PhD in political theology from the University of St Andrews, UK, where he studied the role of religious institutions in post-conflict statebuilding and a Masters of Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He is currently a Senior Member in the Migration and Refugee Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal where he holds responsibilities for hearing appeals by asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected by the Australian government. His current research builds upon his prior research and focuses on practical elements of refugee decision making.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    An interesting read mostly on the failings of various humanitarian projects in Iraq, Sudan, and East Timor. Our author has many lessons learned from his experiences providing aid, and also returning years later to see how various aid projects worked out. It's an illuminating read on a subject that most probably aren't even aware of-- the nuances of aid work. Areas where humanitarian aid fails: When the time frame for projects is too short. (This apparently is common.) Too much is done for afflicted An interesting read mostly on the failings of various humanitarian projects in Iraq, Sudan, and East Timor. Our author has many lessons learned from his experiences providing aid, and also returning years later to see how various aid projects worked out. It's an illuminating read on a subject that most probably aren't even aware of-- the nuances of aid work. Areas where humanitarian aid fails: When the time frame for projects is too short. (This apparently is common.) Too much is done for afflicted people instead of involving them, and little or no training is provided for them. Aid worker leave, water systems etc break down, no one knows how to fix it. Lack of ownership given to the people. Having it belong to the government or to a private organization means they don't think its really theirs and they don't contribute. Wrong type of people hired for projects. Experts of a field that don't know how to work with people, corporate experts that don't know the culture of the region. Beaucrats who despise the locals. This one is so sad. People who actually have disdain for the local populations they are supposedly there to help. Aid provided by the military. The same military that is occupying a country. This creates an feeling of imperialism. Locals are very skeptical about the occupying military also providing aid. Trying to enforce foreign cultural norms too quickly on a country which is different. This creates resentment. The book gives a great many examples of where things tend to go wrong. It also provides some great solutions though that seem worthwhile to pay attention to. This book seems like a really important read, maybe particularly for anyone looking to involve themselves in humanitarian work. By the end of the book however, I did find a slight itch of dissatisfaction in not knowing enough about the author's motivation for his profoundly challenging endeavors. I wanted to know, why he chose the three countries he did? It was never explained why he chose countries where so much was likely to fail given the circumstances. Can we apply the same frustrations in humanitarian failings to countries where the scale of the challenges aren't as great? This isn't a criticism of his work, but rather, just a curiosity I never got the answer to that I'd love to know more about.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alasdair

    This insightful book highlights the constant challenges that confront practitioners in the humanitarian aid and development sector. Ranging from topical debates on local agency, accountability and unmet expectations, to the complex considerations of complicity and compromise that have framed much of the philosophical reflection over the past 25 years, its vivid descriptions of the ‘interconnectedness that is the chaos of war’ urge us to recognise the capabilities of humanity struggling to mainta This insightful book highlights the constant challenges that confront practitioners in the humanitarian aid and development sector. Ranging from topical debates on local agency, accountability and unmet expectations, to the complex considerations of complicity and compromise that have framed much of the philosophical reflection over the past 25 years, its vivid descriptions of the ‘interconnectedness that is the chaos of war’ urge us to recognise the capabilities of humanity struggling to maintain a sense of normality in an abnormal world.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Andrew George

    This eminently readable book takes a longitudinal approach to the author's service as an aid worker in Africa, the Middle East, and East Timor. Years after serving in these locations, the author tells of re-visiting projects, people, and places and asking the question: what lasted after we left? The lessons learnt are of interest to anyone who has worked in the field of foreign aid, the military, or in fact the domestic charity sector. Highly recommended. This eminently readable book takes a longitudinal approach to the author's service as an aid worker in Africa, the Middle East, and East Timor. Years after serving in these locations, the author tells of re-visiting projects, people, and places and asking the question: what lasted after we left? The lessons learnt are of interest to anyone who has worked in the field of foreign aid, the military, or in fact the domestic charity sector. Highly recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Let's question what we are advancing with aid and development financing. What do we perceive of what others believe constitutes the rule of No Dancing? Let's question what we are advancing with aid and development financing. What do we perceive of what others believe constitutes the rule of No Dancing?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tanveer Ahmed

    Denis is a superb talent and this book brings together his unique experiences to give an unflinching or the complexities in delivering aid.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melanie S

    Heads up: charity is now a global industry Denis Dragovic draws on his front-line experience as a professional in the humanitarian aid field to discuss the repeatedly disappointing outcomes of such noble missions as famine relief, infrastructure repair, female empowerment, democracy building, and other types of "foreign aid." I have no connection to the 'industry' other than what shows up on my news feeds or my TV, but Dragovic's eye-opening catalog of past efforts and their present status confir Heads up: charity is now a global industry Denis Dragovic draws on his front-line experience as a professional in the humanitarian aid field to discuss the repeatedly disappointing outcomes of such noble missions as famine relief, infrastructure repair, female empowerment, democracy building, and other types of "foreign aid." I have no connection to the 'industry' other than what shows up on my news feeds or my TV, but Dragovic's eye-opening catalog of past efforts and their present status confirms what my taxpayer's/donor's radar has been pinging: the epic efforts of multi-million dollar efforts to rescue and remake the world, piece by piece, are a dismal failure. The author's insider perspective combines with a genuine commitment to transparency and accountability to serve up a list of fundamental flaws, from government-agenda tainted charity, to unrealistic objectives determined by foreign administrators and imposed from on high on an exhausted and bewildered clientele, to the mis-allocation of funds to efforts which generate short-term statistical "success" as opposed to lasting improvement. Dragovic also highlights the ongoing success of a few efforts, and examines what makes these rare exceptions to the "money-down-the-rathole" norm. I applaud the author's courage and honesty, while I fume inwardly at the massive waste and corruption generated by well-meaning but uninformed donors, charitable organizations whose first loyalty is to their own continued growth, and hornswoggled taxpayers like myself who would never knowingly contribute to this mess. The lesson I take away from all this is one the author alludes to in his conclusions. I'm not religious, but Mother Theresa of Calcutta my actually have the answer: true change is the product of cultural familiarity, life-long commitment, and love. Think globally, act locally. I wish to thank to author for giving me an ARC of this book; this review is voluntary and represents only my personal opinion.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ana-Maria Bujor

    As someone who has to go to other continents and work with local organizations, I found this very useful. Sometimes I don't know where to start and the last thing I want is to waste resources and appear as some snotty, entitled "westerner" showing up only to disappear shortly after. I liked the realistic and very humane perspective on working with people who have been through hell. It is easy to tag people as being lazy, uneducated, hopeless when you don't make any effort to hear about their pro As someone who has to go to other continents and work with local organizations, I found this very useful. Sometimes I don't know where to start and the last thing I want is to waste resources and appear as some snotty, entitled "westerner" showing up only to disappear shortly after. I liked the realistic and very humane perspective on working with people who have been through hell. It is easy to tag people as being lazy, uneducated, hopeless when you don't make any effort to hear about their problems. This book explains how some of the big international organizations fail in their goals. They send unprepared and even unpleasant/corrupt "experts", they don't leave enough time for the communities to learn and most importantly, they don't work with the local communities to create a sustainable model that empowers the people living there. Sure, a lot of good work has been done, but what if we could do so much more? Great book to take off your rose tinted glasses

  10. 5 out of 5

    Beth Ellor

    We all need to know this! When our inboxes are filled with appeals for the latest humanitarian crisis, and the news media give us glimpses of the devastated lives of our fellow humans, this is the narrative we desperately need to know and to deal with. While in many ways Denis Dragovic's account is deeply distressing and discouraging, his eye for the humanity and unique qualities of each of the cultures and individuals he introduces us to gives hope that he is not alone in this service. We can on We all need to know this! When our inboxes are filled with appeals for the latest humanitarian crisis, and the news media give us glimpses of the devastated lives of our fellow humans, this is the narrative we desperately need to know and to deal with. While in many ways Denis Dragovic's account is deeply distressing and discouraging, his eye for the humanity and unique qualities of each of the cultures and individuals he introduces us to gives hope that he is not alone in this service. We can only hope that his core message of autonomy and local input into the provision of aid will penetrate the institutional practices of what has become an industry often becoming a formula and overtaken by the profit motive. We are all human, but we don't all want or need the same things. Keep yelling from the rooftops, Mr Dragovic!

  11. 4 out of 5

    David O'Brien

    'No Dancing...' was a compelling read. It is very refreshing to read an honest account of the long-term impacts of aid work. Despite the author's findings that many of the physical outcomes from the programs were not sustainable there is evidence that the capacity of the community has been significantly enhanced. Denis shows that building and nurturing relationships with the community is of paramount importance and that funding agencies too often overlook this benefit in an effort to quantify a 'No Dancing...' was a compelling read. It is very refreshing to read an honest account of the long-term impacts of aid work. Despite the author's findings that many of the physical outcomes from the programs were not sustainable there is evidence that the capacity of the community has been significantly enhanced. Denis shows that building and nurturing relationships with the community is of paramount importance and that funding agencies too often overlook this benefit in an effort to quantify a project's success.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tash Turgoose

    Such an incredible book - an important story that everyone should read, to get a glimpse inside some of the realities of our world. As many times as my heart was broken by the atrocities detailed in the story, it was also sewn back together by people’s actions. When a book begins with ‘I once bought the life of a Sudanese man with 8 cows’, you know it’s going to be a good one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne M

    Very informative. I enjoyed reading of his observations when he returned to those countries. Everyone had the best of intentions. I do support church groups that the members live for years with the people.Hard to understand other countries cultures unless you have interacted with them.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Pfeifenberger

    Insightful Well written account of life as an aid worker. The facts are interspersed with enough anecdotes to make for entertaining reading. The book provides some interesting insights into the workings (and failings) of international aid. Recommended for everyone who has an interest in helping the less fortunate.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Justin Meyer

    Both an observer and a participant with heart and intelligence. There is much revealed on the ground in the world of aid which confirms our fears. But there is also hope and some hints on finding a better way for development.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    This is a very interesting book. This book will have you contemplating and wandering about how lives in other countries could be so different than your own. This is a book that I truly believe everyone should read!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tomas Bella

    Čo sa stane s humanitárnymi projektami, keď neziskovky odídu? Dobrá nápad a téma, slabučká kniha.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kym

    I was moved and inspired by Denis's personal journey, his accounts and characterisation of the people, places and cultures, and his analysis/commentary of the broader issues. Highly recommended! I was moved and inspired by Denis's personal journey, his accounts and characterisation of the people, places and cultures, and his analysis/commentary of the broader issues. Highly recommended!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lorena

    Very Eye Opening Very well written and reflective. I learned a lot about the pros and cons of humanitarian efforts, especially this linked to the US government.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Parsons

    It took me a while to get around to reading this book (mainly being a first time mother took some time getting used to). But finally finishing it off, I feel a sense of gratitude for the life I am living which is something I believe not a lot of people do these days. "Above all else we need to remind ourselves at every opportunity that the people, not the projects, are the heart of responding to the emerging global humanitarian crisis." Well done on writing an eye opening book, Denis. (Please pass It took me a while to get around to reading this book (mainly being a first time mother took some time getting used to). But finally finishing it off, I feel a sense of gratitude for the life I am living which is something I believe not a lot of people do these days. "Above all else we need to remind ourselves at every opportunity that the people, not the projects, are the heart of responding to the emerging global humanitarian crisis." Well done on writing an eye opening book, Denis. (Please pass my regards to Dijana and Little miss)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alan Dragovic

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christina Anderson

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stene

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hugo

  26. 4 out of 5

    Steve Smith

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Lynn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Colette Langley

  29. 4 out of 5

    D.B. Moone

    No Dancing, No Dancing: Inside the Global Humanitarian Crisis is a Biography/Autobiography written by author Denis Dragovic, a former humanitarian aid worker from 2000 to 2010 with CHF International, a US-based humanitarian organization now known as Global Communities. Dragovic’s book is based on his return visits to Iraq, South Sudan, and East Timor a decade after he left the international aid industry. The purpose of his return was to follow-up on the work he had undertaken in rebuilding the c No Dancing, No Dancing: Inside the Global Humanitarian Crisis is a Biography/Autobiography written by author Denis Dragovic, a former humanitarian aid worker from 2000 to 2010 with CHF International, a US-based humanitarian organization now known as Global Communities. Dragovic’s book is based on his return visits to Iraq, South Sudan, and East Timor a decade after he left the international aid industry. The purpose of his return was to follow-up on the work he had undertaken in rebuilding the countries left devastated by war. Although he was no longer with CHF International, Dragovic was driven by a personal conviction to see for himself what existed of the people and the projects he engaged in while he was an aid worker. What he discovered on his return journey to Iraq, South Sudan, and East Timor by talking to the few people that had not departed their community, and revisiting the programs initiated to improve the livelihood of the communities impacted him and changed his view of the international aid industry. NOTE: CHF International, now Global Communities is only one of many International Aid Programs. For Instance, Dragovic talks about The International Rescue Community (IRC) which is made up of numerous international aid programs. What I found striking is while all the International Aid Sites I googled claimed to be “International Non-Profit Organizations that work closely with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable,” or words very similar does not appear to be the case after reading No Dancing, No Dancing: Inside the Global Humanitarian Crisis. The Western Governments are widely entrenched as the governing bodies and make the decisions pertaining to global humanitarian aid. Upon Googling the IRC I read their statement of who the IRC is, “The International Rescue Committee helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and regain control of their future.” While on the IRC website, including taking a look at their Board of Directors and Overseers, the listing included numerous aid organizations, one organization still listed is Global Humanitarian Forum which appears to have lasted from 2007 to 2010 when it was “obliged to shut down due to a lack of money and indebtedness.” Many other names and organizations on the list got my attention: The 75th U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Morgan Stanley, American Express, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Pfizer Inc., Michael Blumenthal (former Secretary of the US Treasury) Senior Vice President of Bank of America, and too many Holding Companies to list. The list is enough to verify the government’s involvement. But returning to Dragovic’s return journey to Iraq, South Sudan, and East Timor in order for him to see firsthand if the work he provided over his tenure in each geographic locale had endured after the humanitarian aid packed up and left. What Dragovic found was that all his efforts had come down to essentially being a temporary band-aid on the geographic localities he was assigned. Denis Dragovic did everything with heart and in his power, he could do, the failing was not on him but rather on those on the other end making all the decisions. Regardless of the various aid organizations claims “of being International Non-Profit Organizations that work closely with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable,” as I previously mentioned, this is untrue as you will discover by reading Denis Dragovic’s eye-opening book. Those on the other end making all the decisions was the government. They decided when there was a humanitarian need, how much money would be provided to the individual aid organization along with a time frame and what could and could not be done. The money, which was never enough to “bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable” had to be dispersed to cover health, safety, education, economic well-being, and much more. Dragovic writes, “The money we had received for this grant was from the United States Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, whose mandate is ‘saving lives, alleviating human suffering, and reducing the social and economic impact of disasters’, while the next office along in the chronology of development, the Office of Transitional Initiatives, is the one tasked with ‘helping local partners advance peace and democracy [by providing] short-term assistance targeted at key political transition and stabilisation needs.’ Having received money from OFDA rather than OTI meant that our contracts were shorter, limited in scope and bound by measures of success that were formulated so that they could feed into OFDA’s global indicators of success. We needed to save lives and alleviate human suffering not help local partners. So we went for the logistical nightmare that would lead to finishing the job quicker at the expense of building local markets, supply chains and trades skills, but where we could we did our best to balance the two competing demands.” Anyone who has been part of a government organization knows band-aids are status quo. From personal experience, it is easy for me to equate humanitarian aid to military involvement in the same light as Dragovic’s book. It should be just as easy for all citizens. In his book Dragovic talks about the urgency to fix the humanitarian crisis in detail. He wrote of South Sudan, “In South Sudan the international community had rushed in to provide aid during the conflict when human suffering was at its peak and by all accounts in both countries succeeded in their responsibilities. As the fighting subsided and the humanitarian crises passed, the aid industry was supposed to, at least on paper, transition away from lifesaving support to longer-term development by adopting transitional programming—small-scale activities that should grease the wheels of long term development as it rolls into town. This did not occur as planned. Transitional programs such as the one in Mundri/Lui clearly required long-term commitments but were hampered by short-term contracts and donor expectations of immediate, quantifiable results. Returning to South Sudan five years after the transitional program was expected to have paved the way for long term projects, I found none. They were there, somewhere, operating through expatriates based in regional centres driving in for a day and then returning back to the sanctuary of their compounds. These projects were mainly focused on building the capacity of the government. But gone were the projects that worked to strengthen communities from within the community, helping people to help themselves instead of relying upon the government. These projects had ended as quickly as they had come, ours being the last in the area.” The key words here are “this did not occur as planned.” There was no longer-term developmental, transitional programs that included providing the requisite life-sustaining support of food sources, housing repairs or kits, hospital repairs to include equipment and supplies, water treatment facilities and more. However, the real need was to provide those left with the training to care for themselves and their communities when the humanitarian aid workers left. This training should include running and repairing essential facilities such as the water processing plants, providing food sources whether managing the development of fish ponds or clearing land and growing crops. This takes time; a band-aid is not going to hold up. Neither is focusing on developing governments or forcing our will upon the people. Humanitarian aid should always include a means of helping people help themselves instead of expecting the government to provide for the people. This is a signifcant problem. The aid workers do what they can and leave too soon. Dragovic believes there are those operating in South Sudan as contractors with community support who are there when there is money and leave when the money runs out. This is not representative of the people of South Sudan but it is representative of the international communities relevance. It is a problem that reaches across the globe. As such, we cannot brush it off with a wave of the hand and say, “It is their problem,” because it is as much our problem. War is devastating to a society. We know this from first-hand accounts of going to war. We’ve either been sending our loved ones off to war or have gone ourselves since World War I and we continue to deploy to Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan to name a few. We know what war does to those who go to war, whether a soldier, support staff or leader. Our country has not been left in squalor, without food, water, medical facilities, material, equipment and the knowledge of how to recover. Although, the citizens of Puerto Rico know not from war but the devastation of their entire island what it’s like to be on the other side. And as U.S. citizens what is happening, or more appropriately put, what is not happening is shameful. In his book Dragovic tells us, “These wars are the most devastating as they destroy the social fabric of a society. The wealthiest flee at the outbreak, saving themselves and their relatives, transferring cash, selling assets and moving to neighbouring countries or the West. The poorest tend to leave last, if at all, as they have fewer resources with which to start anew, so they remain behind, buffeted by the winds of war. The young, having missed years of education are shell-shocked and traumatised, a generation or two or even three, lost. People who have lived most of their lives accustomed to the vagaries of conflict don’t plan for the future.” I encourage everyone who reads this blog to purchase a copy of NO DANCING NO DANCING: Inside the Global Humanitarian Crisis by Denis Dragovic. It is not fiction, it is real life, and it has the ability to affect all of us. We hear of crises and we remain glued to the TV until there is no more information and then we lose interest. We watch from afar and feel bad for a while but we are not affected so we stop thinking about what it’s like for those suffering and in need of humanitarian aid. There are wars and catastrophes happening around the world but our global humanitarian aid system is failing the people. The system is broken for all the reasons I have given and so many more but you can and should read about in Dragovic’s book. We have a responsibility to know what’s happening in other countries and to their people. Syria is a perfect example but Dragovic addresses the state of Syria in his book. When you read No Dancing, No Dancing: Inside the Global Humanitarian Crisis, you will read about the dangers of being a humanitarian aid worker. You will read first-hand accounts Dragovic had with an angry Anti-American Ayatollah, slave traders, resistance fighters, negotiating the release of a kidnapped aid worker and so much more. I can’t say it enough, I strongly recommend you read Dragovic’s book. The world is changing and you will look at the world through new eyes after reading this book. Dr. Denis Dragovic is an author of literary and scholarly works on humanitarian aid and rebuilding countries after the war. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and a Senior Member on Australia’s Administrative Appeals Tribunal hearing appeals from asylum seekers denied protection. He is a fascinating man who cares and you can get a glimpse into whom he is through his website and be sure to also visit him on Facebook. NO DANCING NO DANCING: Inside the Global Humanitarian Crisis is available for purchase from the following bookstores: Books-A-Million Amazon IndieBound Barnes & Noble I am embarrassed to bring this up but how can I review a book on humanitarian aid and not consider how hurricane Maria severely maimed Puerto Rico, a commonwealth of the United States with 3.4 million residents? Recently, a Harvard study estimated the death toll in Puerto Rico is 4,600. According to a Yahoo News Report last night (June 6th, 2018), “White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended the Trump administration’s response to last year’s hurricane in Puerto Rico. Sanders said the government’s reaction “was at a historic proportion” in response to a question from Yahoo News about whether President Trump still felt he deserved a perfect score for handling the damage in light of a new study that estimated nearly 5,000 people died in the storm’s aftermath. “The federal response once again was at a historic proportion. We are continuing to work with the people of Puerto Rico and do the best we can to provide federal assistance, particularly working with the governor there in Puerto Rico and will continue to do so,” Sanders said. Puerto Rico did not receive a band-aid. Is this an indicator the world is suffering a global humanitarian crisis or is this because the United States government left Puerto Rico to ride out Hurricane Maria on its own? And while Puerto Rico is not war-torn, although it may as well be, as they remain in need of humanitarian aid while the government is satisfied with the aid Puerto Rico has received. In a Vox article titled What Every American Needs to Know About Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Disaster by Brian Resnick and Eliza Barclay, updated October 16, 2017. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is quoted in this article as saying, “Make no mistake — this is a humanitarian disaster involving 3.4 million US citizens.” It also speaks to our reaction, “The initial recovery response from the US federal government has been lackluster, and President Trump’s comments have not inspired confidence.” We just entered Hurricane season 2018 and water and electricity are still scarce. The Guardian wrote, “Islanders are angry about perceived US indifference.” I brought Puerto Rico up because although they were not at war, they were left in a war-torn state after the hurricane that resulted in 4,600-5,000 deaths. This is to give you an idea of the need for long-term humanitarian aid. Band-aids do not work. We know this and yet we continue to slap band-aids on a disaster instead of using humanitarian aid as it should be utilized.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anton Smolčić

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