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Private, Humanitarian Sectors Must Work Together To Ensure Sustainable Development

IRIN: After Davos, let’s turn talk into action
Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Tara Nathan, executive vice president for public private partnerships at MasterCard, both co-chairs of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council for the Humanitarian System

“More and more private sector leaders recognize that business can’t survive in a failing world, as demonstrated by the sessions devoted to humanitarian issues at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos last week. Eight hundred million people live in unstable environments where they are left vulnerable to poverty, food insecurity, conflict, and other upheavals — often for years. Humanitarians, meanwhile, recognize that their ability to respond is at risk because traditional donor funding is not keeping up with changing needs. The statistics are always sobering: U.N. requests to fund emergency and other aid needs have risen continuously over the last three years … Yet donations, largely by governments, fell short in recent years … So how to translate well-intentioned talk in Davos and elsewhere into action? A start, say [Maurer and Nathan], is to look beyond emergency situations to economically and politically fragile environments. Then tap the private sector and other stakeholders to help people rebuild sustainable livelihoods and basic services, with the goal of preventing or speeding up recovery from humanitarian crises. Maurer and Nathan have spent time thinking about that approach, both at Davos and as the leads of a group of professionals from diverse fields who are examining the issue as part of a World Economic Forum initiative. Below, they share some of their ideas…” (1/28).