Today, 43% of the world’s poor live in fragile situations and this number is expected to rise to 62% by 2030. Ending humanitarian needs is therefore fundamental to ensuring the stability of communities and societies to live their lives in safety and with dignity.
Humanitarian action must not only strive to address the immediacy of disasters on a year-by-year basis, but ensure that it does so in a way that considers and contributes to addressing the root causes of crises and/or fragility through integrated context-appropriate responses, risk prevention and mitigation, and supporting the establishment of resilient communities. Such a shift will be essential to integrate the increasing complexity of humanitarian contexts characterised by violence and fragility, and to cope with the overstretching of the humanitarian sector due to this ever increasing level of needs. More concretely:
- International humanitarian and development actors must move beyond traditional silos created by mandates and financial structures. Strategic partnerships and frameworks must be developed to overcome the humanitarian-development divide, but this must be done in a manner that does not undermine principled humanitarian action.
- Humanitarian actors must continue to evolve and development actors must equally recognise and act upon their responsibility to continue to support the delivery of basic services, even during crises. Only through such an approach will it be possible, drawing on the joint expertise and collaboration of development and humanitarian actors, to improve resilience whilst meeting basic needs. Recognising the protracted nature of crises, achieving this goal requires predictable multi-year funding commitments and instruments with a focus on holistic, multi-sector and multi-actor area-based approaches tailored to each specific context. This would enable humanitarian programming to look at longer term resilience oriented solutions rather than solely short-term, reactive humanitarian interventions.
- The potential benefits of financial and political investment in crisis preparedness and risk reduction, particularly when addressing underlying drivers of disaster and crisis risk (e.g. urbanisation, poverty, political and economic exclusion, population growth, environmental degradation and resource scarcity), have been extensively documented. Despite this, investments in better risk analysis, and early warning, early action processes that could minimise the impact and frequency of known hazards remain a low priority for donors. NGOs are calling for longer term humanitarian funding to allow the necessary resources and time to allow for early recovery, to build resilience and reduce vulnerability, with a target to increase disaster and crises preparedness and risk reduction funding to 5% of the official development assistance (ODA).
The only way we as INGOs can contribute to ending humanitarian needs is by supporting the development and resilience of fragile and vulnerable communities and societies. While we cannot ourselves prevent political instability, conflicts or natural disasters from occurring, it is only by enabling communities and societies to become more resilient, empowered and self-reliant that the scale of humanitarian needs can be curbed and, eventually, ended.
Recognising the importance of the Agenda for Humanity and the plight of millions of vulnerable people around the world, we as Alliance2015 step up to our collective responsibility and commit to do the following:
- Anticipate risks and take early action by developing new partnerships and increasing our investments in early warning and preparedness measures in high-risk and vulnerable settings to guide our operational work, including that which we implement with and through national partners.
- Contribute actively to regular and coordinated data collection and analysis with respect to risks and vulnerabilities, which will form the basis and driver for determining a common understanding of context, needs, capacities and response.
- Reinforce, rather than replace, in-country efforts for humanitarian preparedness and and response, recognising that local actors and communities themselves are critical “first responders”.
- Increase our investment in actions that build the capacity of national NGO and local CSO partners as well as state actors for better risk analysis, early warning and early action, prevention and preparedness to mitigate the impacts of disasters and other crises.
- Implement more actions promoting area-based approaches that enhance self-reliance, participation and lasting outcomes in at-risk contexts.
- Advocate for predictable multi-year funding commitments and instruments that would enable humanitarian programming to look at longer term resilience-oriented solutions and to allow for early recovery.
- Collaborate with government-led initiatives during crisis responses to the extent that principled humanitarian action permits within any given context.
- Support the integration of local actors into the humanitarian system and the collective sourcing of more predictable financing for humanitarian response at both the national and international level.