HRI praised at the CGI 2009 for contribution to better humanitarian donorship

DARA’s Humanitarian Response Index was featured in a session of the CGI Annual Meeting in New York as one of four outstanding commitments from previous years.

As a preview of its HRI 2009, DARA called for a major reform of the humanitarian donorship system at the Clinton Global Initiative held in New York September 22nd-25th.

Silvia Hidalgo, DARA’s Executive Director, and José María Figueres, DARA Board Member and Former President of Costa Rica, revealed that the initial HRI findings, which will be made known on November 10th in Washington D.C., show a humanitarian system that is not fully equipped to respond to existing needs, especially with disasters expected to take their toll on a larger number of people in the advent of climate change.

With more than 250 million people annually affected by natural disasters and over 39 major conflicts in 2008 alone, Silvia Hidalgo called for a reform of the humanitarian system as a whole and an increase in annual expenditure: “$8 billion may sound like a lot but it’s very little to meet even existing needs. We are concerned and trying to get the system to reform itself in order to be prepared for the increased needs in the immediate future.” Making sure that the right kind of aid reaches those in need is the HRI’s driving force. DARA has found that limited humanitarian access to people in need continues to be the greatest challenge faced in humanitarian assistance. Silvia Hidalgo insisted on the need to increase and unify efforts to open up spaces for the unhindered provision of aid, “with the number of international staff in places like Somalia having dropped to zero.” Developed in 2006, after DARA identified a gap during its participation in the Tsunami Evaluation Coalition (TEC), the HRI is an independent initiative that annually assesses and ranks donor countries against their commitment to improve the quality and effectiveness of humanitarian efforts.

Now in its third year, the HRI is a five-year Clinton Global Initiative commitment. President Figueres stressed that the cost of the project was easily justified by the influence it had. “Through a $1.5 million per year investment we are moving the needle towards better humanitarian donorship and the $8 billion that go into this field.” Based on quantitative and qualitative data, to compile the HRI 2009 DARA visited 13 crises and obatained over 2000 responses. The report will be launched on November 10th in Washington D.C.

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