UNITED NATIONS – The world is facing more crises than at any point since World War II and the humanitarian community cannot cope unless the globe acts quicker to stop conflict, a top EU official warned Tuesday, September 23.
Kristalina Georgieva made the remarks at UN headquarters a day after the United States expanded an air campaign against jihadists from Iraq to Syria.
“Today we have a footprint of crises in the world larger than ever since the Second World War and the main reason for this is that action is being taken when it is already late,” said Georgieva, the EU’s humanitarian aid and crisis response commissioner.
“Much more attention needs to be given to conflict prevention, conflict resolution, making sure that we act before a war is already in full speed,” she told reporters.
“Otherwise we would be not able to cope with the consequences of humanitarian crises driven by conflicts.”
The commissioner said the world was spending more money on humanitarian aid – up from $2 billion in 2000 to $17-18 billion by the end of this year.
But last year saw a record 450 humanitarians killed, kidnapped and wounded, and Georgieva fears next year may bring a new record because of the scale of conflicts.
“We are falling further behind needs, not because money is not increasing, not because people are not there risking their lives, but because needs are growing much faster than our capacity to cope,” she said.
“And unless the global government system focuses more on conflict prevention, conflict resolution, I doubt we would be able to catch up even if we move even faster.”
Georgieva said the humanitarian plight of civilians in Iraq and Syria has dramatically worsened in recent months, and that it was too soon to tell whether air strikes would fan the number of displaced.
“We have seen inside Iraq internal displacements on a scale that overcomes capacity of the humanitarian community to cope,” she said.
In areas controlled by jihadists, there were probably about 500,000 internally displaced people with almost no help, the commissioner said. – Rappler.com