Conflicts drive 80 per cent of all humanitarian needs and keep countries poor. They have caused an unprecedented forced displacement crisis, which is straining the resources of affected countries and humanitarian organizations alike. The challenge is widespread, affecting countries at all stages of development.
Alongside efforts directed to regions and countries affected by major natural disasters and the impacts of climate change, the global focus of the humanitarian sector could potentially be concentrated on fragile and failed states. This will necessitate significant competency at bridging the humanitarian/development divide, to not only meet humanitarian needs but also address systemic vulnerabilities in order to prevent future humanitarian crises. As members of the international community, RCRC will need to support conflict- and climate-affected countries, through sustainable development strategies that promote resilience and mobility.
Considerations and tension points for the Red Cross and Red Crescent
- If fragility and extreme poverty continue to concentrate in certain countries/regions, how do we better allocate our resources/efforts globally to support this? How do we structure and prepare our organization, its people and skills for a scale-up of activity to address needs in these contexts?
- How will RCRC manage complex cross-border responses with national organizational models?
- How will RCRC support displaced populations and those moving back to home countries with tailored and targeted support services that incorporate reintegration, livelihoods, health and education?
- How do we continue to ensure to build credibility and trust from a public which is often fatigued by crises? How will we sustain operations in a large number of ignored or forgotten crises, where human suffering may be at its greatest?
- The surge in incidents of hate speech and fake news globally has spurred growing concerns in the factors they play in spirals of violence. Intersected with the key role of technology and social media, understanding the unprecedented impacts of this on issues of non-violence and peace is crucial.
What are the possibilities?
National Societies and Movement partners are often the only effective – and sometimes the only – humanitarian organisations in conflict and fragile settings. Our institutional expertise in this work is perhaps unparalleled. Likewise, our global network of branches and volunteers involved in development work and social services means we have a strong foundation on which to build our development approaches. We must however recognise that our development programming and policies require significant updating to be fit for purpose and to meet best practice. In the coming years, RCRC has the opportunity to position itself as a leader in bridging the humanitarian/development divide and developing new competencies and approaches to addressing needs and driving impact.
Are there other elements to this trend that we should be considering?
How do you think it will affect vulnerability and the Red Cross and Red Crescent?
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