People wait to get water in a drought stricken area in East Africa

An estimated US$20 billion is needed in 2016 to meet the needs of some 87 million people in need, compared to $18 billion that was required to reach 52 million people in need in 2014.

According to a release by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), this is expected to increase, presenting a critical test to the capacity and ability of the humanitarian community to respond effectively on its own.

‘The world is currently facing an unprecedented number of humanitarian crises, putting more strain on responders. The number of people targeted for assistance has more than doubled over the past decade, with the global funding requirements increasing at a much faster rate. As part of the ongoing efforts to bolster the effectiveness of the humanitarian response system in the region, the humanitarian community in collaboration with business partners and the Government of Kenya, today launched the Humanitarian Private Sector Partnership Platform – East Africa, in Nairobi’ the UNOCHA release states in part.

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Mr Pete Manfield, Head of UNOCHA, Regional Office for Southern and Eastern Africa said the launch of this partnership is a milestone. “Private sector partners play a key role in improving the reach, quality and timeliness of the humanitarian system and in helping to strengthen disaster management across the region,” Mr Manfield said.

Cross-sector partnerships in the region have however been ad-hoc, with engagement focused on single responses or one-off donations. “The challenge however is how the Government and stakeholders can transform this kind of engagements into continuous and sustainable partnerships, in light of surging crises,” stated Mr. Wycliffe Ogallo, Secretary, Liaison Affairs, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, who officially launched the Platform.

A key pillar under the World Humanitarian Summit consultations is the review of how the international humanitarian system ‘inter-operates’ with the broader network of actors that are responding to crises, in addition to building upon local and national capacity.

“Humanitarian and business dynamics are changing rapidly especially around mass population movements resulting from natural and man-made disasters,” notes Mr Dickens Thunde, World Vision Kenya Director, adding: “This necessitates that the two entities cooperate.”

The HPPP aims to provide structured and cost-efficient ways to connect humanitarian, business and government actors in helping communities minimize the impact of disasters and forge faster recovery.


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