Photo by: Rachael Towne

The end of 2011 brought little rest to the global development community. And the headlines so far this year aren’t boding well for civil society and for many of the aid effectiveness plans so highly touted just a month ago in Busan.

Egyptian authorities have been raiding NGO offices, often interrogating their leaders for hours for dubious reasons. The fatal shooting of two staff members forced Médecins Sans Frontières and others to re-evaluate their Somalia operations.

Humanitarian crises are looming from Mauritania to South Sudan, where local authorities have denied U.N. officials access to at least one town and, on New Year’s Eve, MSF lost track of 130 staff members.

Meanwhile, relief efforts continue in the Philippines, India and elsewhere — as does violence in Dadaab, Kenya’s largest camp for refugees who fled last year’s devastating drought in the Horn of Africa.

“I don’t expect a dramatic increase in world hunger. What we have is dramatic enough,” Jose Graziano da Silva said earlier this week as he officially assumed the Food and Agriculture Organization’s helm.

Will last year’s plans and pledges bear fruit this year? Will we see better coordination and crisis prevention, more civil society participation and public-private partnership?

A few weeks ago, we asked the Devex community to name the top global aid and relief story of 2011, and, not surprisingly, the ongoing Horn of Africa famine response and Arab Spring democracy movements topped that list. This week, we’re looking ahead: What will be the biggest humanitarian and global development story of 2012? Leave a comment below and vote on Facebook.

Read last week’s Development Buzz and check out what 2012 predictions by some of the Devex 40 Under 40 International Development Leaders in London.

About the author

  • Rolf Rosenkranz

    Rolf Rosenkranz oversees a talented team of in-house journalists, correspondents and guest contributors located around the globe. Since joining Devex in early 2008, Rolf has been instrumental in growing its fledgling news operation into the leading online source for global development news and analysis. Previously, Rolf was managing editor at Inside Health Policy, a subscription-based news service in Washington. He has reported from Africa for the Johannesburg-based Star and its publisher, Independent News & Media, as well as the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, a German daily.