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BBC4 orders emergency aid film

BBC Four has commissioned a feature length documentary from Wall to Wall exploring the history of emergency aid and the current challenges facing the fundraising and distribution of disaster relief.

Made by film-maker Ricardo Pollack, the two hour film The Trouble with Aid features exclusive interviews with former aid workers who have worked in the field over the past fifty years. 

It was commissioned by BBC4 controller Richard Klein and Charlotte Moore, commissioning editor for BBC documentaries. Wall to Wall’s executive producer is Jonathan Hewes and Clare Paterson is commissioning executive for the BBC. 

The programme will be followed by a 45-minute panel programe The Trouble with Aid: The Debate, made by BBC Scotland. Featuring a panel of disaster relief experts, the debate will examine what emergency aid means in the twenty-first century.

It is executive produced by Marcus Herbert for BBC Scotland and Greg Sanderson is the commissioning executive for the BBC.

Both programmes will air on December 9.

Klein said: “It is clear that through the years the aid industry has had a positive impact and saved millions of lives. Whenever there is an international disaster, our natural instinct is to pour money into the problem. But in an increasingly complex world it is valid to ask if emergency aid is always as effective as it could be.

“This thoughtful film brings together some of the most influential figures in emergency aid – past and present – to explore what can – and sometimes does – go wrong in emergency aid.”

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