Excerpt: When a state is overwhelmed by an emergency or disaster, the governor may request assistance from the federal government. Federal assistance is contingent on whether the President issues an emergency or major disaster declaration. Once the declaration has been issued the FederalEmergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides disaster relief through the use of the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), which is the source of funding for the Robert T. Stafford Emergency Relief and Disaster Assistance Act response and recovery programs. Congress appropriates money to the DRF to ensure that funding for disaster relief is available to help individuals and communities stricken by emergencies and major disasters (in addition, Congress appropriates disaster funds to other accounts administered by other federal agencies pursuant to federal statutes that authorize specific types of disaster relief).This report describes the various components of the DRF, including (1) what authorities have shaped it over the years; (2) how FEMA determines the amount of the appropriation requested to Congress (pertaining to the DRF); and (3) how emergency supplemental appropriations are requested. In addition to the DRF, information is provided on funds appropriated in supplemental appropriations legislation to agencies other than the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Aspects of debate concerning how disaster relief is budgeted are also highlighted and examined, and alternative budgetary options are summarized.
Reports by region: Asia
Disaster Relief Funding and Emergency Supplemental AppropriationsCongressional Research Service (CRS)Published January 26, 2010
From New York to the Field: A Dialogue on UN Peace OperationsInternational Peace InstitutePublished January 1, 2010
On June 19, 2009, the International Peace Institute (IPI) convened a daylong conference entitled “Special Representatives of the Secretary-General and UN Member States: Towards an Interactive Dialogue,” held as part of an ongoing IPI dialogue on peace operations designed to make partnerships between UN member states, the UN Secretariat, and Special Representatives of the Secretary-General more productive. This meeting note reflects the conversations held that day.
Security Sector Reform: A Case Study Approach to Transition and Capacity BuildingThe Peacekeeping and Stability Operations InstitutePublished January 1, 2010
This paper explores the definition of SSR as it has emerged in the international community, including the United States, its bilateral partners, and various intergovernmental organizations. It examines the makeup of the security sector, identifies emergent principles for implementing SSR in the community of practice, and specifies the outcomes that SSR is designed to produce. The supporting case studies of Haiti, Liberia, and Kosovo assess the impact of SSR programs on host nation security sectors. The authors conclude that those conducting SSR programs must understand and continually revisit the policy goals of SSR programs in order to develop concepts that support a transitional process that moves forward over time.
Defense Sector Reform: A Note On Current PracticeHenry L. Stimson CenterPublished December 12, 2009
In countries recovering from conflict, defence institutions may be particularly resistant to change, often because change would entail loss of political control or decreased access to wealth, including reduced ability to exploit natural resources. Although bilateral defence assistance has been a staple of international aid for decades, assistance to equip and train partner defence forces cannot be equated with defence sector reform. Such assistance may not address corruption, human rights abuses, or the likelihood of internal conflict in recipient countries, whereas the core principles of security sector (system) reform emphasize good governance, transparency, efficiency, fairness and equity in recruiting and promotion, accountable and sustainable financing, respect for human rights, and local ownership based on democratic norms. Failure to reform the defence sector in broad terms-including its governance and oversight-will likely impair a country's ability to build transparent, accountable, and efficient public institutions in general, and may also interfere with the larger economic recovery or development process. This practice note highlights good and bad practice and lessons learned regarding the design and implementation of defence sector reform programming.
Protecting Civilians in the Context of UN Peacekeeping Operations: Successes, Setbacks and Remaining ChallengesUnited NationsPublished November 1, 2009
Excerpt: Since 1999, an increasing number of United Nations peacekeeping missions have been expressly mandated to protect civilians. However, they continue to struggle to turn that ambition into reality on the ground. This independent study examines the drafting, interpretation, and implementation of such mandates over the last 10 years and takes stock of the successes and setbacks faced in this endeavor. It contains insights and recommendations for the entire range of United Nations protection actors, including the Security Council, troop and police contributing countries, the Secretariat, and the peacekeeping operations implementing protection of civilians mandates.
Protect and Serve or Train and Equip? U.S. Security Assistance and Protection of CiviliansOxfam AmericaPublished November 1, 2009
Abstract: This paper looks at the implementation of US-supported SSR programs, and particularly at how they have integrated protection of civilians. The paper identifies current gaps between global standards of good practice—with which US doctrine and principles increasingly conform—on the one hand, and actual US practice in the field on the other. Oxfam believes that protection of civilians must be a cornerstone of US foreign policy, so effective links between SSR and protection must be present in practice as well as in principle. The paper concludes by offering legislative and policy recommendations that can help ensure that US-supported SSR serves as an instrument of protection.
In Our Stead: Developing and Enhancing International Security Assistance CapacitiesThe Stanley FoundationPublished October 15, 2009
In this paper, Ron Capps of Refugees International examines some existing security intervention capabilities, a few likely scenarios where they might be needed, and what the United States can do to help enhance existing and promote additional capacity. Capps uses the term "security intervention" to cover a range of activities including international peacekeeping, reconstruction and stability operations, and military intervention. The paper can also be found on the Stanley Foundation's site here.
Drawing on the Full Strength of America: Seeking Greater Civilian Capacity in U.S. Foreign AffairsRefugees InternationalPublished September 1, 2009
Excerpt: The objective of this paper is to describe the causes and effects of the lack of human capital and capacity at State and USAID and offer suggestions on how to rebuild these capacities. The paper proposes that the atrophy of civilian capacity, and the resultant inability of the U.S. government to globally project elements of soft power, place an unfair burden on our military, present the wrong image of America to the world, and reduce our effectiveness in promoting international security, thus making America and the world less secure.
Protecting Civilians in Uncivil WarsPublished August 1, 2009
Abstract: This article proposes a framework for thinking about the different dimensions of a comprehensive and coherent civilian protection agenda: the nature of the problem i.e. threats facing civilians during armed conflict, the sources of the contemporary protection agenda, the pillars upon which the protection agenda should rest, and the principal agents of protection. Second, identifies several problems with the current agenda: the gap between capabilities and expectations, the lack of operational guidance, coordination and coherence problems, the tensions between internal and external modes of protection, and the role of the state. The article finishes by suggesting three important areas for further research and action: enhancing state capacity in relevant areas, bolstering the resilience of local communities at risk of harm, and strengthening the ability of peacekeepers to protect civilians.
United Nations Reform: U.S. Policy and International PerspectivesCongressional Research Service (CRS)Published July 27, 2009
Excerpt: Since its establishment in 1945, the United Nations has been in a constant state of transition as various international stakeholders seek ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.N. system. Recent controversies, such as corruption of the Iraq Oil-For-Food Program, allegations of sexual abuse by U.N. peacekeepers, and instances of waste, fraud and abuse by U.N. staff, have focused renewed attention on the need for change and improvement of the United Nations. Many in the international community, including the United States, have increased pressure on U.N. member states to implement substantive reforms. The 111th Congress will most likely continue to focus on U.N. reform as it considers appropriate levels of U.S. funding to the United Nations and monitors the progress and implementation of ongoing and previouslyapproved reform measures.