Can a UN Summit Fix a Broken Humanitarian System?

The international humanitarian system is stretched beyond capacity.

holding sign
SOUTH SUDAN, Malakal, 26 February 2016 Credit: OCHA/ Charlotte Cans

The inability of the international community to confront multiple manmade and natural disasters, like the crisis in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, ebola in west Africa and the earthquake in Nepal is a profound contributor to insecurity around the world.There are more people displaced around the world than there has been at any time since World War Two; donors are not committing enough money to provide for the basic needs of people affected by sudden crises, and the international community is not doing a sufficient job of preventing the outbreak of conflict, ending current conflicts, or mitigating the effects of natural disasters.

These failures and proposed solutions to these ongoing challenges are the subject of the first ever World Humanitarian Summit, which kicks off in Istanbul in mid May. This is a UN backed affair, which includes participation of member states, civil society and the private sector. And one participant is on the line with me today to discuss some of the problems and solutions that this conference hopes to address.

Shannon Scribner is Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Policy Manager, and in this conversation she offers an insightful preview of what to expect from this conference, some of the more controversial debates about the role of humanitarian relief and international development that this conference has already sparked, and how a first-ever world humanitarian summit can help mend a broken humanitarian system.

If you have 20 minutes and want an in-depth preview of the World Humanitarian Summit, have a listen.

Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher or get the app to listen later.