Overview of Global Humanitarian Response 2014

Global Humanitarian Response for 2014

Around the world, tens of millions of people are affected by crises and need humanitarian aid. Governments and other national and local responders carry the major burden in helping their people in need. Inevitably, in the most intense and large-scale crises, their response leaves some gaps; and the multilateral humanitarian system is founded on the principle of helping to meet those urgent needs that exceed the capacity of those with primary responsibility.

Resources for humanitarian action are unfortunately not guaranteed; in lieu of longer-term predictable funding, they mostly must be raised every year, crisis by crisis.

To stimulate this, each of these plans specifies and justifies the resources necessary to help the people whom they target. Contributions are needed from all sectors—governments, private organizations, and individuals.

A ‘guide to giving’ at the back of this publication shows how. The combined requirements of these plans—some $13 billion as of writing—are formidable, but attainable. Compared to the combined population of the wealthier countries in the world, it equates to a few dollars per capita, to give people in desperate need the full range of help they need.

The largest part of humanitarian action, year in and year out, is in response to protracted, usually conflict-based crises. We do not know what new disasters will strike in 2014, but we already know that millions of people in conflict-affected areas will need help.

Conflict and civil unrest result in physical harm, cut people off from essential services, impair livelihoods, cause deprivation, result in the spread of disease, displace people from their homes and assets, and drain them of their ability to cope. Comprehensive humanitarian aid provides essential life-saving support and also helps people build their resilience to the protracted crises that confront them.
Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda struck the Philippines on 8 November. Millions were made homeless and otherwise affected; the relief, early recovery and rehabilitation will take years. Preparedness and response capacity to deal with storms of this magnitude are now a greater concern for governments and humanitarian actors than ever before.

These strategic response plans presented on the eve of 2014, and those to follow, are the result of structured assessment and analysis of needs. The detailed operational plans and budgets show how the strategies will be turned into action. Prioritization is sharper. Accountability and real-time management will benefit from systematic monitoring and reporting on achievements versus targets. Some of the strategic response plans are taking a multi-year view. Some humanitarian country teams are also timing their assessments and planning to capitalize on local seasonal considerations, like harvests that yield crucial new food security data (as with the Sahel countries for 2014); those strategic response plans are to be completed in the coming months.

Each of the strategic response plans completed to date is summarized in the second section of this document, with links to the whole documents and other on-line information. The new strategic response plan format, combined with the humanitarian needs overviews, replaces the former ‘consolidated appeal’ publications, drawing on the best of old and new methods

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.