Centre d’Etudes de la Coopération Internationale et du Développement (CECID) de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
Humanitarian transition - Refugee camps
Emergency or development humanitarian aid has long been the monopoly of the Western countries. A situation that, after the colonization contributes to inequalities between donor and recipient countries. The multitude of interventions and the modus operandi of humanitarian aid reinforce the miserable image of the recipient countries. Nevertheless, in the last years, in the face of multiple changes in the world, a calling into question of this occidental model of intervention or cooperation progressively emerges on the African continent.
This work, carried out in Burundian context, especially in Mahama refugee camp in Rwanda, highlights two elements. On the one hand, the importance of the emergency humanitarian aid for the beneficiaries is recognized. On the other hand, the limits of the humanitarian aid, among others incompatibility between the local culture of the beneficiaries and the projects developed by the international NGO are pointed out. The lack of integration of the beneficiaries into the projects concerning them is one of the causes of the gap between the NGO’s offers and the real and priority needs. The local NGO “Maison Shalom”, which proposes another way of managing, aimed at the autonomy of the persons concerned, yields encouraging results. The research clearly shows that the humanitarian transition is real in the Burundian context, but also that this transition is necessary if we wish the dignity of the population concerned.