The UK must strengthen the way it responds to international emergencies if it is to cope with a predicted rise in the number of disasters caused by earthquakes, floods and conflict, Lord Ashdown warned today, as part of an independent review into the UK’s humanitarian response system.
The review sets out 40 key recommendations aimed at overhauling the way that the UK responds to emergencies.
The recommendations range from high-level policy reforms through to practical measures designed to improve operations on the ground.
These include better anticipation of disasters, with a global ‘risk register’, and greater co-ordination of scientific research, alongside measures to make high-risk countries more resilient to shocks, with UK aid programmes doing more to put in place more effective hazard reduction and contingency plans.
Lord Ashdown also states that there must be better international leadership in humanitarian emergencies setting out that “for too long the performance of the international humanitarian system has been inconsistent and far less than the sum of its parts”. Currently, the UN has responsibility for co-ordinating any response to international emergencies, co-ordinating the efforts of countries and other agencies.