Achieving Peace Through Culturally Relevant Humanitarian Programs

  • Kyle A. Msall
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS)


The current global humanitarian crisis has reached the highest number of displaced persons in history. Among these displaced persons are minority populations who face discrimination in a variety of forms including direct discrimination from host countries, political and policy discrimination, and perceived discrimination through humanitarian organizations and aid workers. There are several international organizations, committees, and projects that provide guidelines for humanitarian organizations. The lack of cultural relevance in these humanitarian organizations and guidelines hinder the ability of these organizations to successfully aid the minority populations. Because of this, individuals within the target populations may believe they are being discriminated against which could reduce peaceful rapport with displaced populations and lead to an increase of violent extremism in regions that contain many displaced persons. This chapter concentrates on the current state of the guidelines and organizations with regard to the lack of focus given to minority populations in terms of cultural relevance within the organizations. This can have detrimental effects on these individuals including perceived discrimination, human rights violations, loss of community, and even the inability to practice culturally specific coping mechanisms. Throughout the chapter, a discussion of these effects and guidelines are presented along with current examples of how the lack of culturally relevant humanitarian programs effect the Yezidi displaced population in Iraqi Kurdistan. Finally, recommendations for psychologists, consultants, organizations, and guidelines are discussed to establish cultural relevancy in humanitarian programs which could promote peace and a decrease in violent extremism among displaced populations.


Peace psychology Cultural relevance Humanitarianism Minority populations Discrimination 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyle A. Msall
    • 1
  1. 1.American University of KuwaitSalmiyaKuwait

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