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With Unprecedented Simultaneous Crises, Time To Reassess Humanitarian Aid Goals

The Guardian: It’s time to reassess the goals of humanitarian aid
David Miliband, president and CEO of International Rescue Committee and former U.K. foreign secretary

“For the first time the U.N. has declared three simultaneous crises — in South Sudan, Syria and the Philippines — as level 3, the highest band of emergency. So this is a period of intense activity for NGOs such as the International Rescue Committee. But it is also a good time to reflect on the goals and working methods of the humanitarian system. … The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), despite some shortcomings, brought focus, attention and resources to development efforts. We need a similar coalition for change in response to humanitarian crisis. Do we need humanitarian goals? … With the MDG revision process under way, and a humanitarian summit announced for 2016, now is the time to debate what purpose humanitarian goals could serve, and what they should be. At the moment we are playing catch up. It is time to get ahead of the curve” (2/28).