Aid groups and donors need to shift from managing crises to managing risks: new UN report

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Kyung-wha Kang. Credit: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

Aid groups should anticipate and prevent a crisis, not just react and treat it, according to a flagship report released on Monday by the UN lead humanitarian agency, OCHA.

The report entitled "Saving Lives Today and Tomorrow" calls for aid groups and donors to shift away from responding to crises in a purely reactive manner.

It encourages them to adopt an approach that proactively anticipates and prevents crisis through effective risk management.

Over the last 10 years, the number and scale of humanitarian crises have skyrocketed and funding requirements have increased by 430 per cent.

In some countries, says the Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under Secretary-General Kyung-wha Kang, the crisis has become the norm.

"Organizations that are providing responses to emergencies are overstretched and the cost is rising. This path is unsustainable. Business as usual is no longer an option. If we have any chance of coping with future crises and reducing human suffering, we need to redouble efforts to prevent them from happening in the first place. We need to address the root causes of the crises. Not just the symptoms."

The central argument of the report, concludes Ms. Kang, is that there is a need to shift from managing crisis to managing risks.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’25″

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