The world’s first academy for humanitarian relief has been launched, aimed at training 100,000 aid workers from over 50 countries in organizing rapid responses to disasters and emergencies.
The Humanitarian Leadership Academy, launched Monday, is a response to the growing number of humanitarian crises around the world, driven by climate change and conflict, combined with a severe and worsening shortage of people with the skills necessary to coordinate the large-scale response required in the critical first days to prevent mass casualties.
The HLA is being set up by a global consortium of aid organizations with initial £20m funding from the UK Department for International Development, out of a target of £50m. The Save the Children charity has paid the startup costing and is hosting the academy’s hub in London.
Further centers will open in Kenya and the Philippines later this year, and by 2020 the plan is to have ten training centers around the world, which would offer both classroom and virtual training for the surrounding regions, in mobilizing the rapid response in resources and manpower needed in the wake of a disaster.
Jan Egeland, a former UN head of humanitarian affairs and emergency relief, will be the academy’s first chairman. He said the initiative “may revolutionize the entire humanitarian sector”.
Last year witnessed a record number of severe global humanitarian emergencies and the highest number of refugees the world has seen since the second world war. 50 million people were forced to flee their countries.
[Read full Guardian article]