United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Kyung-wha Kang, launched in Geneva the “World Humanitarian Data and Trends 2013” report, authored by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The report highlights major trends in the nature of humanitarian crises, their underlying causes and drivers, and the actors that participate in crises prevention, response and recovery. The report aggregates information from different sources and over time, providing a comprehensive reference point for policy-makers, researchers and humanitarian workers. Beyond providing statistics, the trend analysis shows how the humanitarian landscape is evolving and how the humanitarian system can be more effective in a rapidly changing world.
“It is an effort by OCHA to strengthen the evidence-base for humanitarian assistance in the hope that researchers and policy-makers will have a common baseline to inform their work,” Ms Kang said in her presentation to UN Member States.
Current trends show that rising humanitarian needs, the inability to resolve protracted crises and the interplay of new global challenges, such as population growth, have led to a deficit in the capacity of the humanitarian system and governments to respond. Humanitarian and development efforts should therefore converge to manage risk and build resilience. For example, since the food crisis in 2005, agricultural investment in Africa’s Sahel region has increased considerably. Humanitarian aid has also increased, mostly in the form of emergency food aid but these efforts on their own have not supported the long-term resilience of vulnerable people who continue to face acute poverty, drought, high population growth and environmental degradation. Building long-term resilience will require a common approach by many sectors in terms of humanitarian and development assistance.
This report contributes to OCHA’s efforts to improve data collection and analysis on humanitarian situations worldwide. In 2014, OCHA will work with partners to create a humanitarian community data platform. The goal is to establish a dynamic interface for users to explore and analyze vast quantities of data. More information on this effort will be available at labs.reliefweb.int.
THe download of the report and the data for use in presentations and reports is here.