The Securitization of Humanitarian Aid: A Case Study of the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya

  • Leah Kimathi
Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)


The delivery of humanitarian assistance has always been a risky business. Now more than ever, there are more humanitarian organizations delivering aid in high-risk environments like refugee camps and war-torn regions. Within this operating environment, humanitarian principles such as neutrality, impartiality, and humanity have often failed to protect aid workers from violent attacks as they increasingly venture into a world inhabited by “surplus populations.” As a result, security is now embedded in the conceptualization, planning, and delivery of humanitarian aid. Paradoxically, there is an enduring tension between humanitarianism and security especially at the operational level. This tension leaves frontline humanitarian workers exposed to the same elements of insecurity that persistently threaten the lives of those they endeavor to help. This contribution investigates how the securitization of humanitarian aid plays out in the Dadaab camp complex and how this affects aid delivery including the humanitarian community.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leah Kimathi
    • 1
  1. 1.Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and TechnologyNairobiKenya

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