Changing tracks as situations change: humanitarian and health response along the Liberia-Côte d'Ivoire border.
AbstractIn recent years, protracted crises and fragile post-conflict settings have challenged the co-existence, and even the linear continuum, of relief and development aid. Forced migration has tested humanitarian and development paradigms where sudden-onset emergencies, violence and displacement arise alongside ongoing development work. Drawing on Médecins Sans Frontières interventions in the region from December 2010 to May 2011, this paper examines aid and healthcare responses to displacement in Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia; it focuses on challenges to the maintenance of preparedness for such foreseeable emergencies and to adaptation in response to changing situations of displacement and insecurity. This 'backsliding' from development to emergency remains a substantial challenge to aid; yet, in exactly such cases, it also presents the opportunity to ensure access to medical care that is much more urgently needed in times of crisis, including the suspension of user fees for medical care.