Near-historic level of humanitarian need right now

U.S. Agency for International Development rep Nancy Lindborg spoke with NPR Morning Edition.

“We are probably at a near-historic level of humanitarian need right now … We have, for the first time in the history of USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, four disaster assistance response teams deployed … to high-tempo, big crises around the world at the same time. And this is in addition to … ongoing needs that are being met in Nigeria, Gaza, Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the emerging crisis in Ukraine.”

Lindborg noted a striking contrast between addressing all the current crises and the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last November and December. “It was up and over in about a month,” she says.

“However, what we have now…are really complex, difficult crises that are fundamentally the result of non-democratic governments.” In the Philippines, “Nobody was shooting anyone. And so, for humanitarian workers to be able to go in after there was a clear beginning and move progressively toward a better outcome, there’s something very satisfying about that in contrast with the kind of crises we’re seeing.”

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