Countdown to Launch of Humanitarian Response Index 2009

DARA will hold two events for the international launch of its global Humanitarian Response Index 2009 findingson Tuesday 10th November in Washington DC.

The first of these events will be a press conference at the National Press Club, which will then be followed by a special presentation at The Brookings Institute.

Endorsed by Kofi Annan, Jeffrey Sachs and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Humanitarian Response Index (HRI) is the only independent initiative that measures how well governments support humanitarian action around the world. Now in its third year, the HRI ranks 23 of the wealthiest donors (OECD/ DAC members) by analysing their performance against the Principles of Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) that they themselves have signed up to. The HRI is a collective effort that relies on the input of representatives from over 450 humanitarian agencies.

Humanitarian crises threaten the lives and livelihoods of over 250 million people every year. Increased threat of “natural” disasters and conflict, coupled with the compounded effects of climate change, global financial turmoil and limited access means that more and more people need assistance now and in the coming years.

An estimated US$ 10.4 billion was provided by the world’s main government donors for humanitarian assistance in 2008. As both the main funders of humanitarian action and international governmental actors, these donors have a powerful and influential role to play in promoting positive changes in the way the humanitarian sector provides assistance to those who need it the most, when they need it the most.

The HRI was created in 2006 by DARA and is a commitment made at The Clinton Global Initiative. It aims to ensure that resources and funds are used as efficiently and effectively as possible to meet the needs of the millions of people affected by crises.

The 2009 launch will cover how well individual countries -including the US- performed in a year of economic downturn and change. The report includes analysis of the performance and policies of each donor country based on quantitative data, and on field research carried out in 13 major humanitarian crises during 2009.

The presentation at Brookings will include introductory remarks by Strobe Talbott, President of Brookings. HRI findings will be presented by Silvia Hidalgo and Philip Tamminga of DARA. The event will feature a debate by an expert panel made up of Jose Maria Figueres, Former President of Costa Rica; Maria Otero, US Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs (TBC); Ross Mountain, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for the DRC; and Elizabeth Ferris, Senior Fellow, Brookings-BernProject on Internal Displacement, who has contributed an article in this year’s edition of the HRI.

The HRI’s findings of this year’s Humanitarian Response Index will be available on this website following the launch.