Bridging the emergency gap: what will it take?


Friday, 18th May 2018 1pm NY / 7pm CET

International Peace Institute (IPI), New York

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Ms. Teresa Sancristóval, Director of Operations, Médecins Sans Frontières

Mr. John Ging, Director of Operations, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Mr. Bob Kitchen, Vice-President of Emergencies, International Rescue Committee

During their acute phase, contemporary conflicts present a number of challenges for humanitarian actors. Insecurity, growing needs, and the obstruction, denial, or politicization of humanitarian assistance create an environment unfavorable to neutral, independent, and impartial humanitarian action. Even though the humanitarian sector has become increasingly professionalized and well-funded, MSF’s Emergency Gap Project reveals that the first few months of acute crises are often marked by a failure to provide lifesaving assistance and protection to those affected by violence. Beyond the external challenges of the operational environment, MSF also identifies a series of challenges within the humanitarian system itself that they perceive as contributing to this gap in emergency response.

This policy forum will provide an opportunity to bring together different perspectives to explore concrete ways to reinforce the emergency response capacity of the humanitarian sector in complex, acute crises and to ensure that humanitarian actors adequately respond to both emergencies and more protracted crises