This article takes the example of the Tana-Beles project – a scheme sponsored by Italy to respond to the 1980s famine in Ethiopia – to demonstrate that postimperial international relief policies and practices were woven into the very fabric of the colonial past. Postcolonial humanitarianism emerges as the transformation of colonial practices and relationships into new policies, which did not depend on the interests only of former metropoles, but also of the new independent states and on the agenda of international organizations. Furthermore, this article contends that private companies had a prominent role in shaping postcolonial humanitarianism because they could benefit from both the favourable policies of donor countries and the relationships they established in the long run with the authorities of recipient countries. Finally, the history of the Tana-Beles project enables us to re-read the international response to the Ethiopian famine within a larger timeframe. On the one hand, this appears to be rooted in the previous colonial period, on the other it embraces the years thereafter when the schemes, relationships, and strategies set in motion during the famine were developed further.

The Tana-Beles Project in Ethiopia and the Making of Postcolonial Humanitarianism, 1938–1994 / Salvatici, Silvia. - In: THE HISTORICAL JOURNAL. - ISSN 0018-246X. - STAMPA. - (2023), pp. 1-23. [10.1017/S0018246X23000535]

The Tana-Beles Project in Ethiopia and the Making of Postcolonial Humanitarianism, 1938–1994

Salvatici, Silvia
2023

Abstract

This article takes the example of the Tana-Beles project – a scheme sponsored by Italy to respond to the 1980s famine in Ethiopia – to demonstrate that postimperial international relief policies and practices were woven into the very fabric of the colonial past. Postcolonial humanitarianism emerges as the transformation of colonial practices and relationships into new policies, which did not depend on the interests only of former metropoles, but also of the new independent states and on the agenda of international organizations. Furthermore, this article contends that private companies had a prominent role in shaping postcolonial humanitarianism because they could benefit from both the favourable policies of donor countries and the relationships they established in the long run with the authorities of recipient countries. Finally, the history of the Tana-Beles project enables us to re-read the international response to the Ethiopian famine within a larger timeframe. On the one hand, this appears to be rooted in the previous colonial period, on the other it embraces the years thereafter when the schemes, relationships, and strategies set in motion during the famine were developed further.
2023
1
23
Salvatici, Silvia
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1345361
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