More Systemic Crises Require Humanitarian Aid System To Change, Opinion Piece Says
New Humanitarian: Crises have changed. Can the aid industry?
Lydia Poole, independent consultant and researcher focused on reform of the international aid financing system
“The humanitarian system has developed to respond to geographically contained and separate crises that are usually a long-haul flight from the centers of power and wealth that sustain it. But that is no longer how crises work. If you didn’t believe in systemic crises before, hopefully you do now — because like the COVID-19 virus, crises have jumped the species barrier and we don’t know how to contain them. The humanitarian system isn’t broken, or broke. But it is hopelessly ill prepared for our times, out of ideas, and running out of time. … If we are going to break out of our disappointing default — incremental change — we will need to address some of the constraints outlined here. … Open up the system to new ideas and challenge. … Ditch the crowd-sourced and consensus-based processes. … Be willing to think through the impossible. … Be willing to think through the impossible. … Be prepared to challenge the purpose of aid…” (10/29).
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