The World Humanitarian Summit is a first-of-its-kind gathering with grand ambitions to revolutionize the international aid system. Unfortunately, it is also shaping up as something of a train wreck.
The atmospherics have been distressing in the weeks running up to the U.N.-organized, Istanbul-based summit, which will begin on May 23. One of the world’s most important humanitarian organizations, Doctors Without Borders, pulled out of the gathering with a bitter denunciation of the world’s failure to protect civilians. The government of Kenya offered that it is contemplating shutting down refugee camps and expelling their 600,000 occupants back into Somalia and South Sudan. The European Union, meanwhile, announced a major aid program to stem refugee flows in conjunction with the government of Sudan — a country still headed by a president facing a genocide indictment at The Hague — that will reportedly be used to help build detention centers for would-be migrants and will provide the Sudanese government with high-tech equipment to track both migrants and its own citizens.
The above excerpt was originally published in Foreign Policy.
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