Blood Aid: How Humanitarian Aid Empowers Warlords and Prolongs Conflict

By Gregory Zitelli


This article analyzes the intersection of humanitarian aid and warlords and critiques the unintended causes of humanitarian aid. The author creates a theoretical framework to conceptualize how warlords manipulate humanitarian aid for their own benefit through direct diversion of resources, indirect diversion of resources, and other intangible benefits. Policy prescriptions to enable effective aid distribution include improved security in humanitarian zones to separate civilians and militants and enhanced collaboration among humanitarian agencies to act collectively against resource manipulation.

About the Author:

Greg Zitelli earned an International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and a Political Science and International Studies from Elon University. He has studied abroad in Senegal and has interned in Rwanda. He focuses on transnational security issues in Africa, particularly in post-conflict contexts.

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