The UN Secretary-General’s Report, One Humanity Shared Responsibility, highlights that over 80 per cent of humanitarian assistance, requested by the United Nations, goes towards meeting life-saving needs in conflict settings since major civil wars have increased from 4 in 2007 to 11 in 2014 and peacekeeping missions now last three times longer than in the past. The economic and financial cost of conflict is estimated at USD14.3 trillion, or 13.4 per cent of the global economy. The international community is in a constant state of crisis management which is unsustainable.
It is for the above reasons that the Agenda for Humanity identifies Global leadership to prevent and end conflict as Core Responsibility One. To move beyond perpetual crisis management and achieve the goals of humanitarian assistance which is to save lives and ameliorate suffering, immediate crisis response, rehabilitation and longer term development support must be integrated with effective conflict prevention and long term peacebuilding. This requires an approach to humanitarian assistance which recognises and prioritises the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.
This briefing paper underscores the importance of a gendered approach to humanitarian action and assistance in conflict settings. Effective conflict prevention and long term peacebuilding is needed to replace the perpetual crisis management and to reduce the magnitude of the humanitarian assistance currently needed.