Part III: From Europe to the Third World
in A history of humanitarianism, 1755–1989
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This short introduction offers an overview on the third part of the book, which opens on the development programmes that, from the early 1950s, made up the main activity of international aid, now fully deployed on a global scale. The aim of these programmes was the economic and social advancement of Third World countries and flanked interventions for the industrialisation and mechanisation of agriculture, projects for sanitation, education and professional training. The areas of activity on which international humanitarianism grew over time became an integral part of development politics. In the late 1960s, the armed conflicts that shook the fragile and still mobile postcolonial set-up brought back to the centre of humanitarian action aid for the victims of war. The conflict immediately following the secession of Biafra from Nigeria (1967–69) was just the first in a series of dramatic events that captured public attention. Such emergencies formed the complicated context in which international aid was mobilised.

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