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19 August 2015: World Humanitarian Day

With the war in Syria, growing crises in Burundi and Turkey, and the interminable Palestinian conflict, geopolitical unrest is causing ever more suffering and displacement, the latest waves reaching the southern limits of Fortress Europe, which increasingly appears to have forgotten the meaning of solidarity. The Nepal earthquake and extreme climatic events continue to show how fragile the planet is, even though considerable progress has been made in terms of response capacity. The increasing number of technological disasters (most recently in China), and the environmental disorder caused by climate change show how important it is that a global ecological vision emerges.

A number of important events are due to take place in the following months: in 2015, the International Conference on Sustainable Development in New York, the International Conference of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent in Geneva, and the COP 21 in Paris; and in 2016, the National Humanitarian Conference in Paris, the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, and HABITAT III in Lima. What needs to emerge from these events is a vision of a more resilient planet, development aid that is more effective in reducing risk and vulnerability, and a humanitarian sector that is more capable of protecting and assisting the victims of crises. As an independent research and evaluation institute working on crisis management, Groupe URD will be doing all it can to contribute to this goal.