In honor of World Humanitarian Day, Jeremy Konyndyk argues that the core humanitarian imperative—that lifesaving aid should be provided to all in need on the basis of their humanity, regardless of beliefs or identities—is increasingly under threat.
CGD Policy Blogs
Migration and displacement are among the greatest policy challenges of this century. Governance of the humanitarian system is at a crossroads, and key innovations shaking up traditional ways of working provide a window of opportunity for a broader, pragmatic reform effort. CGD has launched a new program built on these three pillars to propose evidence-based ways forward for policymakers and practitioners.
Is it time to ring the alarm bell on a declining US commitment to global health security? For most of the past year, I would have said no. But after the last few weeks, I’m starting to think so. And the simultaneous news of a new Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo underscores the stakes at play here.
What's going to happen in the world of development in 2018? Will we finally understand how to deal equitably with refugees and migrants? Or how technological progress can work for developing countries? Or what the impact of year two of the Trump Administration will be? Today’s podcast, our final episode of 2017, raises these questions and many more as a multitude of CGD scholars share their insights and hopes for the year ahead.
Speculation about the future of the State Department’s Population, Refugees, and Migration bureau has swirled following the Trump administration’s moves to curtail refugee admissions, and a proposal to eliminate the bureau and distribute its components to the Department of Homeland Security and USAID. But I fear that diminishing or removing an empowered humanitarian voice from the State Department weakens humanitarian priorities in US policy writ large. And I believe there are ways to address legitimate concerns about the existing structure without dismantling PRM.
The four main recommendations of the Redesign Consensus: A Plan for US Assistance are to empower USAID as the lead independent aid agency, to create a full-fledged development finance institution, to establish a global development and humanitarian strategy, and to upgrade systems to better manage personnel, procurement, information, and evidence. This proposal concretely advances the dialogue between Congress, the administration, and civil society on reforming the US development architecture. It captures the main conclusions of a series of robust discussions among a diverse group of leaders, experts, and practitioners—and it represents a bold and comprehensive vision for a more coherent and modern development architecture.
When a new refugee flow emerges, there is a short window of a few months for stopping the violence and enabling people to return home. It that window is missed, a new refugee population will likely remain displaced for decades. That’s where the US comes in—a large and coordinated push on the Burmese government can help stop the violence, allow Rohingya refugees to return, and recognize their rights.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh in a matter of weeks. The UN has called the situation “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” What can the international community, and especially the US, do about it? Refugees International's Eric Schwartz and CGD's Jeremy Konyndyk have some ideas.
The very same week that USAID and the Department of State submitted a joint redesign plan to the Office of Management and Budget, the coauthors of four recent reform proposals packed the CGD stage for a timely debate. Fragmentation, inclusive economic growth, humanitarian assistance and fragile states, global health, and country graduation were a few of the big questions that panel members grappled with as they authored their reports.
With Hurricane Irma now pushing a devastating path through the Caribbean, USAID is gearing up to do what it does best. Its Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) do amazing work—deploying rapidly in the wake of natural hazards like hurricanes and often bringing the logistical might of the US military with them. These teams go in big and fast to save lives, distribute food, set up emergency shelter, and prevent secondary impacts like disease outbreaks. But then things begin to falter.