chapter  24
International organizations and crisis management
ByEva-Karin Olsson, Bertjan Verbeek
Pages 13

In times of crisis, international organizations (IOs) are often called upon for help. Such crises may have both domestic and transnational features. In 2012 the domestic revolt in Syria, which had started the previous year, escalated and the United Nations (UN) was asked to help work towards a permanent solution. When in 2011 the situation in Somalia caused the population to fl ee across the border, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was instrumental in providing shelter and food for those in need. Another example is the involvement since 2008 of the European Union (EU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB) in trying to solve the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis. The involvement of IOs in times of crisis comes as no surprise, since IOs are usually founded to meet trans-border problems. Many governments, but also public opinion and civil society actors, therefore naturally turn to IOs for solutions, all the more so when a situation occurs for which no obvious intergovernmental, i.e. exclusively between states, solution seems within reach.