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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Crisis Caravan

The Crisis Caravan

What's Wrong with Humanitarian Aid?

Linda Polman



In her controversial, no-holds-barred exposé Linda Polman shows how a vast industry has grown up around humanitarian aid. The Crisis Caravan takes us to war zones around the globe, showing how aid operations and the humanitarian world have become a feature of military strategy. Impassioned, gripping, and even darkly absurd, journalist Linda Polman "gives some powerful examples of unconscionable assistance...a world where aid workers have become enablers of the atrocities they seek to relieve" (The Boston Globe).


The humane desire to lighten a little the torments of all these poor wretches . . . creates a kind of energy which gives one a positive craving to relieve as many as one can.—Henri Dunant, humanitarian aid worker and founder...

Praise for The Crisis Caravan

“Particularly timely just now… Polman finds moral hazard on display wherever aid workers are deployed. In case after case, a persuasive argument can be made that, over-all, humanitarian aid did as much or even more harm than good… Her style is brusque, hard-boiled, with a satirist's taste for gallows humor. Her basic stance is: J'accuse.” —Philip Gourevitch, The New Yorker

“A reporting tour de force, devastating.” —The Sunday Times (London)

“Marvelous, cool, brusque, fearless.” —The Guardian (London)

“Ms. Polman's prose is scorching.” —The Economist

“A disturbing account…Raises profound questions not just about the palliative efficacy of aid, but whether it fuels and prolongs conflict.” —Financial Times


Reviews from Goodreads

Linda Polman

Linda Polman is an Amsterdam-based journalist who for fifteen years has reported from war zones for a range of European radio stations and newspapers. She is the author of We Did Nothing, which was shortlisted for the Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage.

image of Linda Polmano
Patricia Hofmeester


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