International Community Must ‘Anticipate, Not React To,’ Humanitarian Emergencies Like El Niño

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Leaders must act now to stop hunger in Southern Africa
Alexander Matheou, director of programs and partnerships at the British Red Cross

“…[G]overnments cannot deal with El Niño alone. We must forge partnerships between humanitarian and development actors, as well as the international community, national, and local governments to strengthen our immediate relief efforts. … In the longer term it is resilience that will enable vulnerable people to better withstand future challenges: we need to anticipate — not react to — crises like this. … If we are to stay ahead of these growing humanitarian challenges, we need to build resilient communities, by empowering people to break the vicious cycle of disaster-response-recovery-disaster. … Leaders must act now to address the underlying causes of this emergency. So that when the next El Niño comes, it does not carry the catastrophic consequences it does today” (7/20).