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With humanitarian needs increasing worldwide, NGOs continue to deliver the majority of humanitarian aid to disaster-affected populations. How funding modalities function is crucial to ensuring quality humanitarian aid. Hence the focus of this issue is on institutional humanitarian donors, as a key element in the humanitarian system. However, relationships between donors and the organisations they fund often goes beyond the funding itself; when real partnerships exist, it is very much appreciated by NGOs.
Each time a large crisis strikes, the need to link humanitarian aid and development (LRRD) appears on the political agenda. At EU level, Communications in 1996 and 2001 aimed to improve this link but tangible progress remains limited. After the recent Horn of Africa famine, LRRD appeared again as a priority for the humanitarian and development departments in the European institutions and member states. Moreover, the EU is working on its long-term policy and funding priorities for 2014-2020, which should take LRRD into account.
Partnership is essential in humanitarian action. No single agency is able to tackle the increasing humanitarian needs by itself, certainly in the case of mega disasters such as the floods in Pakistan or more recently the famine in the Horn of Africa. For the last decade, and especially since the Indian Ocean tsunami, traditional humanitarian actors have worked hard to strengthen their cooperation in emergencies.