Agencies demand paradigm shift in global humanitarian aid

At the World Economic Forum in Davos last weekend, three of the world’s largest humanitarian agencies and senior representatives from philanthropic and insurance organizations have called for a “paradigm shift” in the world’s approach to humanitarian assistance.

“Over the past decade, the number of people who rely on humanitarian assistance has more than tripled while the cost of responding has increased sixfold,” said Elhadj As Sy, secretary general of the International Federation of the Red Cross. “Our answer cannot be the more of the same. We need to take a longer view, and use more of the resources available to us to strengthen the resilience of communities to be better equipped for the threats that we know they will face.”

Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the World Food Programme, and Tony Lake, executive director of UNICEF, also called for a greater focus on sustainable, resilient development rather than emergency aid.

Their comments came at an event to promote the One Billion Coalition for Resilience, an initiative which aims to bring together aid organizations, governments, the private sector, academia and community groups in a collaboration that works to strengthen the safety, health and well-being of one billion people over the next 10 years.

[Public Finance International]

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