What Is the Relationship of Medical Humanitarian Organisations with Mining and Other Extractive Industries?

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PLoS Med
9(8): e1001302

In developing countries, extractive industries have far reaching consequences on health through environmental pollution, some communicable diseases, violence, destitution, and compromised food security. The rapid expansion of extractive industries and the increasing frequency of environmental disasters are bound to engage medical humanitarian organisations in developing novel types of expertise.

While humanitarian organisations might be called to intervene in areas occupied by the extractive sector, in this Essay Philippe Calain argues that oil and mineral exploitation reveals a fundamental clash of values between humanitarianism, the for-profit sector, and privatised global philanthropy.

Specific medical humanitarian organisations can respond to these challenges in different ways, based on their position between pragmatic or principled approaches, and their willingness to develop new technical capacities.Dans les pays en développement, les industries extractives ont des conséquences importantes sur la santé, à travers la pollution environnementale, certaines maladies infectieuses, la violence, la destitution et une sécurité alimentaire compromise.