Consultation response: the global humanitarian system

10 February 2016

The Royal Society has submitted a response to the House of Commons International Development Committee inquiry into the global humanitarian system. The Society has written to the committee to outline what we think DFID should prioritise at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit.

DFID places considerable emphasis on the use of evidence to inform development policy. It has also been effective at bridging the divide between humanitarian response and longer term development (focusing on protracted and cyclical crises as well as one-off shocks), and at bringing climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction into its development work. In addition, the UK has strong expertise in providing and using science advice in emergencies. In this context, DFID is well placed to prioritise a number of issues at the World Humanitarian Summit:

  1. Promote an evidence-based humanitarian system that draws on the best available science.
  2. Enable internationally coordinated pre-emptive resilience-building by bringing together the humanitarian, development, disaster risk reduction and climate change sectors, and by better co-ordinating funds. 
  3. Adopt a resilience approach to humanitarian work that will ease the strain on the humanitarian sector. This should include long-term planning and proactive investment in measures to reduce the future risk of disaster and limit the costs of disaster response and recovery.