UN humanitarian work similar to "walking over a mine field"

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An Iraqi child receiving assistance from the UN. OCHA/IAson Athanasiadis

Efforts are being made to optimize the response of humanitarian agencies in emergencies, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

An annual global humanitarian policy forum is taking place at UN Headquarters on Wednesday, which OCHA organized as what it called a "dynamic discussion" between senior UN officials and the public.

Questions to UN leaders included whether the organization is the right body to run the global humanitarian response and if the humanitarian system is broken.

Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, shared his vision of the UN's humanitarian work.

“We are working in a way that reminds me of walking over a mine field. It's just staggering the suffering of the world and the needs that we're supposed to deal with. We need to bring in all the actors, and do it in a more effective way and use the scarce resources in a better way.”  (16″)

Alongside Mr Eliasson was Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

She said local governments of countries experiencing crises need to be a significant part of the humanitarian response effort.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration:  1’11″


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