Humanitarian Health Action

IASC Principals meeting; Humanitarian Funding Conference 2011; Other meetings

Interagency issues - Monthly Highlights - February 2011

The adjustments required to adapt the current humanitarian response business model to the changing operating context were the main topic of discussion. During the last Principals meeting in December 2010, five committees had been established to forward the discussions on the evolving context for humanitarian action. The WHO Director-General and HAC Assistant Director-General participated.

Some of the issues discussed are listed below:

  • Humanitarian leadership – Leadership must be adequate to the demands of an emergency. Both the numbers and quality of staff available for deployment to emergencies must be improved. What can and cannot be offered by way of support to national capacities must be clarified.
  • Coordination – Clusters should support and integrate into national coordination structures, handing over the coordination function as soon as feasible. The provider of last resort (PoLR) role must be clarified so that undue pressure is not put on the PoLR to fulfil all unmet needs.
  • Accountability – Any approach must put affected people at the centre and seek their views during programme planning, implementation and review.
  • Building national capacity for preparedness and early recovery – Greater emphasis must be put on preparedness and disaster risk reduction. Cooperation with national and local disaster management institutions must continue during peacetime and during gaps between natural disasters.
  • Advocacy and communications – Messages to the media must be consistent among partners and at all levels. The humanitarian system must be made clear in order to manage expectations of what can be achieved.

The meeting agreed to continue discussions during the next IASC Principals face to face meeting in New York on 19 April.

Humanitarian Funding Conference 2011, 25 January 2011, Geneva

The UN Secretary-General called for greater worldwide funding for humanitarian action in 2011, saying that extra efforts are needed to secure sufficient and predictable funding for urgent, life-saving humanitarian work.

International humanitarian funding in 2010 was the highest ever recorded – US$ 13.7 billion – but funding for consolidated and flash appeals as a percentage of requirements was 61%, compared to an average of 70% in recent years. Adequate funding during an emergency makes a vital difference in the lives of those affected. Yet many emergencies do not receive enough resources, a trend that need to be reversed.

The 2011 Humanitarian Appeal launched last November requested US$ 7.4 billion, the biggest annual appeal ever launched.

Other speakers included the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, the Minister for International Development Cooperation for Sweden and the Chief Executive Officer for Muslim Aid.

Other meetings

  • The 13th Emergency Directors Meeting will be hosted by WHO on 14 March.