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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Koen Vlassenroot on the humanitarian industry in Goma

Over the last 20 years, the Congolese city of Goma has attracted almost 100 international NGOs, due to its history of violent conflicts, natural disasters and vast refugee population. In ‘The Humanitarian industry and urban change in Goma’, an article co-authored with Karen Büscher for Open Democracy, RVI Fellow Koen Vlassenroot writes: ‘In sharp contrast to the main objectives of their interventions, humanitarian organizations contribute considerably to the increasing marginalization and exclusion of the urban periphery, and to the confirmation of a “ville duale”, where … old colonial structures of inequality and social and spatial segregation are being reconfirmed’.

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