Humanitarian accountability
Anglo-American relief during the Hamidian massacres, 1894–98
in Aid to Armenia
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This chapter examines the activities of the British-based Armenian Relief Fund (ARF) and the American National Armenian Relief Committee (NARC) in the aftermath of the Hamidian massacres. Working on the margins of inter-state diplomacy, the two institutions played an important fundraising role, through which they attempted to prove transparency and accountability to the donors. Although an Anglo-American cooperation was not formalised, in the Ottoman Empire the joint efforts of the ARF and the NARC, as well as the complex networks that they joined and fostered, concurred in conceptualising and implementing relief. Moreover, being on the spot allowed the two organisations to realise that relief alone was not adequate to cope with the Armenian suffering and that interventions needed to be adapted to the local context, where Armenian actors would have to be involved in the implementation of employment schemes and resettlement plans. The chapter suggests that the responses to the Hamidian massacres rather than the First World War are a watershed in the history of humanitarianism by means of open and multilateral negotiations between states and non-state actors.

Aid to Armenia

Humanitarianism and intervention from the 1890s to the present

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