OCHA Report: Humanitarian Aid System in Need for Change

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 02 Apr 2014

Almaty, 2 April – Humanitarian aid system can no longer focus on emergency response only, it must shift to anticipating risks, concludes a new report launched by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) today in Almaty.

The report “Saving lives today and tomorrow: Managing the Risk of Humanitarian Crises” warns that increasingly more people are being affected by more and different disasters, and it happens more often and for longer periods of time. In 2014, some 52 million people are expected to receive aid. Meanwhile, growing world population, rapid urbanization, scarce resources and other modern challenges can further exacerbate or cause humanitarian crises.

Despite such bleak forecasts, there is limited commitment and funding for prediction and reduction of risks of future disasters. A negligible 0.5 per cent of all international aid in the last 20 years went towards prevention and preparedness.

Humanitarian organizations together with development actors and governments should channel their efforts towards one common goal – helping people ahead of emergencies to avoid loss of lives and assets, and quickly rebound after disasters.

“If together we manage this shift towards anticipating risks, we can not only reduce but prevent certain crises, not only save costs but contribute to sustainable development, and not only save lives but empower entire communities,” said Rudolph Muller, Deputy Director of OCHA Geneva office.

The humanitarian community has a unique opportunity to revolutionize the humanitarian system at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. Conclusions and recommendations of the “Saving lives today and tomorrow” report will lay foundation for this global dialogue.

The launch of the report took place within the framework of the second Regional Consultations for the Hyogo Framework for Action post-2015 that brought together up to 100 participants from governments, international organizations, NGOs, and civil society.

For further information, please contact:
Zarina Nurmukhambetova, Public Information and Reporting Associate, nurmukhambetova@un.org, Tel. +77770789778
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