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The changing humanitarian landscape

12-12-2012 Feature

Conflict and unrest leave victims worldwide, yet the ability of humanitarian organizations to ease their suffering is ever more in question. Yves Daccord, director-general of the ICRC since 2010, reflects on the challenges posed to those who want to assist and protect those in need, in a keynote lecture on 'The changing humanitarian landscape: obstacles and opportunities,' given at London's Overseas Development Institute on 12 December 2012.


The gap between what people need and what can be provided is growing, notes the ICRC director-general, while the mechanisms that let organizations coordinate their responses to crises are falling apart. How should the ICRC respond? It will focus on partnering with those who are most relevant in a particular emergency, providing they operate on the basis of impartiality, says Daccord. And the ICRC will stick to its model of working directly with the people affected, believing that to be the key to really understanding their needs.