New policy explains Australia’s approach to humanitarian response

From 2012 to 2016, Australia says it aims to provide lifesaving aid to more than 25 million people suffering from crises through the delivery of “appropriate and effective” humanitarian action and support for effective international humanitarian response.

This is the key directive outlined by the Australian government in the new humanitarian policy it unveiled Dec. 16 at the U.N. headquarters in New York, USA. In its policy, the country committed to respond within 48 hours of an aid request from a developing country suffering major humanitarian crisis and to respond more effectively to simultaneous disasters.

The policy also identifies three overarching goals: increase Australia’s capacity to deliver humanitarian action, make Australian humanitarian response more accountable and integrate lessons into future humanitarian action.

The policy is expected to see Australia increasing its contribution to “trusted implementing partners” with local capacities in developing countries, deploying more experts and specialists during disasters, integrating early recovery efforts in its humanitarian response activities, and promoting increased focus on protection and prevention at the international level.

Among other things, the new policy also includes details on how Australia will determine its response to humanitarian crises and a guide on how tasks and responsibilities are delegated within the Australian government.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.