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Humanitarian agencies face great difficulties in trying to balance meeting shortterm needs with longer-term recovery and development, which are often exacerbated by donors’ procedural and policy practices that can hamper such efforts. Many agencies interviewed mentioned complex funding proposal processes, requirements to spend funds quickly within unrealistic timeframes, and lack of long-term financing arrangements as complicating their already difficult remit. 23 Although humanitarian assistance has traditionally been isolated from development cooperation at both strategic and operational levels both sectors could benefit from a rethink as to how the two could work together more closely.

Lastly, if donors are to fully support GHD Principle 6 “allocate humanitarian funding in proportion to needs and on the basis of needs assessments” they could do more to fund and improve the quality of needs assessments, and promote a continual process of monitoring how needs evolve over the course of a crisis. Pillar 2: Supporting local capacity and recovery Pillar 2 Supporting local capacity and long-term recovery is based on the GHD Principles that recognise that an effective emergency response must meet immediate needs, while respecting and building local capacity to cope with crises, and laying the foundation for longer term recovery and development.

This investment is critical if the system is to respond adequately to the increasing demands on it, much less make the critical improvements needed to function efficiently and effectively. To support their humanitarian partners more effectively, donors could continue to streamline and harmonise their procedures and processes, provide longer-term, flexible funding arrangements, and support contingency planning and coordination mechanisms. Perhaps most importantly, donors could collectively invest in ensuring the success of the UN humanitarian reform process.

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