UK Rolls Out New Humanitarian Policy

The United Kingdom will make disaster resilience a key part of its country programs and increase significantly its contributions to multilateral agencies involved in emergency response as part the country’s new humanitarian policy.

U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell launched the new policy on Thursday, Sept. 15. The policy outlines how the U.K. aims to help build resilience against disasters and the country’s priorities when responding to humanitarian crises. It builds on the U.K. government’s response to a recent review of the country’s humanitarian response system.

The policy directs that the U.K.’s first line of response to emergencies and crises will be to support the multilateral system, particularly the United Nations.

“The multilateral system has the mandate and experience to be the first line of response to humanitarian emergencies when international assistance is required,” the policy reads. “The UK has committed to significantly increase its core contributions to those multilateral agencies that have demonstrated they can deliver swiftly and appropriately to emergencies.”

In cases where U.N. capacity to respond is stretched, the U.K. said it would provide additional aid to other multilateral partners and to governments, civil society groups and international non-governmental organizations where appropriate. The United Kingdom would also provide direct assistance and technical expertise “where needs are overwhelming.”

Further, the U.K. government plans to allocate more resources for efforts to build disaster resilience at various levels. It is also set to explore new ways of funding the Red Cross, NGOs and private sector groups during emergencies.

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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.