In times of crisis, working equids can play a critical role supporting vulnerable people in low- to middle-income countries. However, the contributions working equids make are rarely acknowledged in academic research, media reporting, international policy and development initiatives.
This paper explores involvements of working equids in humanitarian crises, including war, conflict, drought, climate change, and natural hazards. It offers ‘critical cases’, informed by document analysis of policy papers, historical texts, and academic publications. In addition, we include results from semi-structured interviews with key informants, primarily field staff working in frontline services in crisis zones, conducted between June - July 2020.
The paper develops evidence pertaining to the role of working equids in crisis situations, expanding the concept of ‘resilience’ to include working animals, and contributing to recent academic discussions in disaster studies and development studies, highlighting the importance for global policy, resilience programming and disaster risk reduction, including efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).