Overview of Global Humanitarian Response 2014
During 2013 we saw people across the world struggling to cope with the impact of conflict and natural disaster. It has been a year dominated by three major crises: Syria, where 9.3 million people in the country are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance; the Philippines, where Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda killed nearly 6,000 people, devastated the lives of millions, and destroyed over a million homes; and the Central African Republic where conflict, a coup, rising tensions between Muslim and Christian communities, and the collapse of the state have left the entire population of the country in fear and directly or indirectly affected by the crisis. All those cases have challenged the humanitarian community’s response capacity. But the demands for our help and support have not stopped there.
In Yemen, despite progress towards stability, renewed conflict increased the gap between humanitarian needs and our means to respond. In Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo we continue to see complex emergencies in countries of chronic vulnerability requiring solutions that bring together economic, political, social, development and humanitarian perspectives. We have seen progress in some countries, for example Kenya and Zimbabwe which do not feature in our 2014 appeal. Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, the Sahel, the occupied Palestinian territory, Myanmar and Haiti still require substantial levels of humanitarian support.
UN agencies and partner organizations are working together to transform the way we do our business by strengthening humanitarian leadership, streamlining coordination mechanisms, improving accountability to affected people, building capacity for preparedness and response, and strengthening partnerships with a broad range of countries and organizations at the national, regional and global levels. We have called this our Transformative Agenda as we seek to make our response efforts faster, more strategic, flexible and inclusive.
The strategic response plans for 2014 set out in this document are based on a systematic and focused assessment and analysis of humanitarian needs to build a solid evidence base for comprehensive humanitarian action. In the coming months, we will seek further improvements including monitoring frameworks for each major crisis and revamped methods for determining funding requirements and tracking the use of resources. We will continue to seek ways to become more inclusive, accountable, inter-operable and adaptable to help the growing number of people in crisis, and to work with the full array of actors involved in humanitarian work including the private sector. Improving humanitarian action while keeping costs down is one of our objectives, for example the use of cash transfers complementing the physical delivery of goods and services, mobile phone and crowd-sourcing technology for better communication with disaster-affected people, and information technology to better map where the people in need are and what is being done to support them.
This document outlines strategic response plans and resource requirements to respond to humanitarian emergencies around the world in 2014. It represents the synthesis of the work of hundreds of organizations committed to life-saving humanitarian action across the world. There are links to the full response plans, and a Guide to Giving which explains how donors, including those from the private sector, can support the response plans.
I have seen girls and boys, women and men in desperate circumstances this year in the Central African Republic, Jordan and Lebanon, the typhoon-devastated parts of the Philippines, and many of the other countries I have visited. It is hard to put into words their despair, but also the dignity with which they endure the most painful and difficult circumstances. We count on your continued support as we work to save lives and support the millions of people caught in the midst of crisis across the world.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator