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To meet the needs of the growing number of disaster victims, actors in the humanitarian environment need the support of private partners who can also guarantee their independence.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people are affected by human conflicts or natural disasters. And every year, thousands of volunteers rally round and overcome obstacles and risks to try and relieve the suffering of emergency victims. In less than 48 hours, they activate their networks to provide medical care, shelter, water and food to victims who have often lost everything. First launched in France and now widely internationalized, this humanitarian agenda is constantly adapting to meet the fundamental needs of people in extreme distress.

Emergency crews have learnt from their experience and are now better organized. Yet humanitarian aid is not a universal panacea, and there are still many challenges. Natural disasters are becoming more frequent and devastating, with increasing victim counts. In conflict zones, violence against civilians is increasing and it is becoming harder to access many of the communities concerned. In Syria particularly, humanitarian volunteers such as logisticians, doctors, and nurses run a much higher risk, which means trying to ensure that their actions can be made safer.

The crises facing the world are more complex, last longer and have more lasting consequences for their victims. This is why humanitarian services must think beyond the immediate emergency and help people rebuild their lives and communities, develop programs over the longer term, for example by helping affected populations to protect themselves more effectively from disasters by rehabilitating material infrastructure and reorganizing local health organizations more robustly than before.

Humanitarian NGOs need support from the private sector so they can be properly resourced to act effectively.

One last yet permanent challenge is that this unconditional engagement of humanitarian organizations to aid disaster victims requires substantial financial resources. For NGOs such as Médecins du Monde, private players such as the Sanofi Espoir Foundation play a role as a valuable partner. By constantly supporting them, NGOs can anticipate crises by being provided with advance funds that help them react more quickly. Such funding also ensures that these NGOs can act independently of political authorities and bring aid to all victims worldwide, completely impartially.

Photo : Joël Weiler Emergency Manager at Médecins du Monde.

« Our private partners guarantee our impartiality and independence. »