Monday, 28 March 2011

Humanitarian Emergency Response Review

A review into how UK Aid is spent responding to humanitarian emergencies, such as natural disasters, is to be published shortly. The review, by Lord (Paddy) Ashdown, examines how the UK Government can best respond to emergency situations, such as the Pakistan floods and Haiti earthquake, how the best value can be got from UK Aid and the nature of the leadership required in these situations.

In an article for the BBC News, Paddy Ashdown states..."If resilience is the key of this then it (DfID) can't deal with humanitarian emergencies simply as a little sort of pimple, off-shoot of its job... It has to take that into the core of what DfID does and it has, above all, to include that in its development policy so part of your development policy - which DfID regards as its core task, rightly so, too, and does a very good job there - has to be about building up resilience in at-risk countries."

It will be interesting to read the entire report, and see how DFID responds in terms of its 'Disaster Risk Reduction' strategy. Investment in disaster risk reduction (DRR) can not only save huge numbers of lives and protect property, but in many cases can result in a much lower rebuilding cost following a disaster. Some reports suggest that for every £1 spent on DRR, around £7 can be saved in economic losses (The World Bank) - yet in many developing countries affected by natural hazards, DRR is not made a priority. Supporting developing countries in building resilience to natural hazards should be a key component of any aid and humanitarian strategy.

Further information and comment will be published when a copy of the report has been seen.

Editors Note: The report can now be accessed on the DFID website here with DFIDs initial description of the report here. More comment to follow.