In this compelling and powerful paper, Adelina Kamal urges readers to critically rethink the humanitarian approach to the conflict in Myanmar, and suggests a new type of aid architecture to enable this—a locally-led, horizontally-constructed ecosystem that supports people and organisations on the ground and prioritises inclusivity, diversity and collaboration at its heart.
This article invites readers to consider a new form of humanitarianism that has emerged out of people’s resistance to military atrocities in Myanmar and across the world—called Resistance Humanitarianism.
Resistance Humanitarians challenge traditional aid actors because their operational presence and coverage can go deep inside the hardest-hit areas – usually inaccessible to the large INGOs and UN – and they have significant operational advantages, including the acceptance of the population, access, and data that reflects ground realities.
Kamal suggests that Resistance Humanitarians are breaking down the barriers between aid providers and recipients, removing the rigid sectorisation of human rights, humanitarianism, development and peace, and developing new norms, notably solidarity, ingenuity and adaptability. She encourages traditional humanitarian actors to rethink their approaches so that they fit better into the contexts where they operate, properly address humanitarian needs and build strong community resilience.