Humanitarian Aid

How to Make Relief More Efficient 
and Effective

Help is on the way: in a refugee camp in South Sudan, January 2014.  JAMES AKENA / REUTERS

Every month, nearly one million people flee their homes because of conflicts or natural disasters. With few wars ending, and new wars starting, the number of people displaced by conflict now exceeds 50 million. Not since World War II have people sought refuge—in their own countries or in neighboring states—on such a scale. The disorder driving mass displacement is unlikely to be transitory. In a growing number of countries, the glue of national identity and state authority is unable to patch ethnic, sectarian, or tribal divisions, all of which are exacerbated by regional rivalries. Faced with such threats, multilateral institutions may be strong enough to prevent interstate war but too weak or divided to stop the fighting, as is the case in Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine. Further adding to the tide of humanitarian misery are climate change and demographic pressures.

The humanitarian sector sustains and improves life

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