New report calls for better humanitarian response for most vulnerable


By Navdha Malhotra

An older man being carried to safety from the recent flooding in Sri Lanka. The report states that the humanitarian system does not adequately assist the most vulnerable in disasters, such as the recent floods in Sri Lanka. HelpAge Sri Lanka/HelpAge International 2011 Former UK Liberal Democrat leader, Lord Ashdown has called upon the international humanitarian community to find new ways of responding to the natural and man-made disasters of the 21st century.

His Humanitarian Emergency Response Review (HERR) highlighted the importance of responding to the needs of the most vulnerable groups.

The independent review made particular mention of HelpAge International's recent study on humanitarian financing for older people.

The report states that the humanitarian system is poorly equipped to ensure an equitable response for the most vulnerable. It says that while the issues faced by these groups receive much attention, the mechanisms to overcome these challenges are lacking.

Rising scale and intensity of disasters

It is predicted that by 2015 around 375 million people will be affected by climate- related disasters every year. Even more will be impacted by conflict and other emergencies.

With a rise in the scale and intensity of disasters, a change in the way the international humanitarian system responds is essential. 

Seven key themes for future responses

Stressing the importance of improving the leadership of the international community Lord Ashdown said "for too long the performance of the international humanitarian system has been inconsistent and far less than the sum of its parts".

The report suggests that future responses be framed around the seven key themes of:

  • anticipation
  • resilience
  • leadership
  • innovation
  • accountability
  • partnership
  • humanitarian space. 

The HERR was presented to the UK's International Development secretary, Andrew Mitchell, on 28 March 2011.
Download the results of  Lord Ashdown's Humanitarian Emergency Response Review.

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  • shahid Iqbal (08 April 2011)

    Helpage is doing wonder job by creating awareness among society about the strength of elders.

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