UN says humanitarian system must engage earlier and more systematically

With needs rising faster than the world’s capacity to meet them, humanitarian actors must grapple with the challenge of working in partnership to ensure people’s needs are met as quickly and efficiently as possible, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said, opening the Third Annual Global Humanitarian Policy Forum in Geneva.

“We can no longer afford to operate separately or in parallel with one another in silos, we have to work horizontally,” he told the Forum.

Mr. Eliasson pointed to the current year as “a loud warning signal” the international community ought to heed, with humanitarian crises, protracted conflicts and natural disasters “seriously testing the limits and response capacities of individuals, organizations, governments and the United Nations”, and three times as many people now in need of humanitarian assistance compared to 10 years ago.

“We are at a crossroads. The trajectory is unsustainable,” he stated. “We must change the way we work and chart the road ahead.”

[UN News Centre]

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