Over the past several years, humanitarian crises from Haiti to Pakistan to the Horn of Africa have overwhelmed the capacity of the international system to respond. Climate change, volatility in food markets, chronic poverty and questionable policy choices are expected to significantly increase people's vulnerability and risk to disaster in the future. At the same time, fiscal constraints in traditional donor countries, donor fatigue and increased public scrutiny have put into question the availability and sustainability of resources for humanitarian response. In short, demand for humanitarian assistance is expected to persistently exceed its supply.
Oxfam believes that the problem is more than a simple imbalance between need and resources. Rather, it is time to rethink the way that humanitarian relief is organized and delivered. Oxfam is putting forth a bold new vision for the humanitarian system that puts resilient communities at its core. This vision relies on local leadership (state and non-state) holding national actors accountable, supported by international actors when needed. This is the reverse of the model we have today, one that has persisted for thirty years under UN leadership with a central role for international NGOs. This model has repeatedly incurred tragic delays, immense international footprints, and too little lasting change.
Oxfam is not alone in having such a vision. But as an organization with its roots in the humanitarian mission, its boots on the ground in today's largest relief efforts, and an advocacy capacity to mobilize supporters and sway policy makers, Oxfam is well suited to help lead this challenge.
This members-only visit to Oxfam will examine the problems with the current humanitarian response system and engage NEID members in developing a vision for a bolder better system.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited.Filed under: