At the outset of 2018, United Nations humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock described a humanitarian system “under strain” due to a record number of protracted crises across the Middle East and Africa — and a growing gap between requested and granted funding.
In recognition of World Humanitarian Day, we look back on five key conversations about the state of humanitarian crises — and what they mean for the professionals working on the front line of crisis response — in Long Story Short, our global development news show.
1. The cost of desensitization
When the public becomes desensitized to humanitarian crises, it sends a ripple effect across the development industry — impacting funding, access, and aid worker security.
Devex New York Correspondent Amy Lieberman quantifies the cost of tuning out — and what this means for ongoing crises in countries such as Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Syria.
2. The global response to Venezuela's humanitarian crisis
The humanitarian situation in Venezuela has been deteriorating rapidly, with nearly 90 percent of Venezuelans living below the poverty line, 50,000 Venezuelans crossing the border to Colombia each day, with the International Monetary Fund projecting inflation to reach more than 13,000 percent this year.
Reporter Teresa Welsh discussed how Venezuela reached this point, and the complexities for local, regional, and global entities responding to the crisis.
3. Inside the Ebola response
In May, just four years after the 2014 Ebola epidemic took 11,000 lives across West Africa, the World Health Organization announced a new outbreak in DRC. The confirmed cases drew international concern — and a speedy response from the DRC government and its international partners.
4. What NGOs should do when donations become disasters
When a major disaster unfolds, people around the world gather donations to send to survivors. But acts of compassion can quickly turn into a logistical nightmare for NGOs and disaster responders working to support survivors on the ground.
Humanitarian adviser Juanita Rilling joined Long Story Short to explain what disaster relief organizations need to know about handling these donations — from the tax implications to preventing them in the first place.
5. Breastfeeding in humanitarian crises
In the midst of crisis — when many lack access to basic needs such as food, shelter, and health care — breastfeeding can be a life-saving intervention for infants.