A series of events—the latest an Israeli shelling Tuesday which killed at least nine—has shattered the relative calm between Israel and the Palestinians since the election of Hamas in January. Responding to an earlier shelling which Israel denies, Hamas called off a self-imposed truce and raised fears of a new round of Palestinian-Israeli violence.
Judith Kipper says the economic boycott of the Hamas government has created a major crisis in the Palestinian territories: "The situation is extremely dangerous because the humanitarian despair is really, really drastic, particularly in Gaza: people are hungry and dying." She says both Israel and the United States miscalculated when they sought to cut off the newly-elected Hamas government from international aid.
The U.S. State Department, linking development to national security, is taking steps to improve coordination of the country’s fragmented foreign assistance programs. The moves hark back to the foreign aid goals of the Marshall Plan, but are seen by many as too limited.
"This Humanitarian Response Review...is an independent assessment of the humanitarian system in which the experts identify reasons why the aid commuity sometimes falls short of its goals. The report seeks to demonstrate what the humanitarian system's current capabilities are and shows where the shortfalls lie. Already, it has prompted the discussion of how the entire humanitarian system can ensure faster and better responses to the eneds of people in distress."
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »