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Humanitarian Congress Berlin

For the fourth time, Groupe URC took part in the Humanitarian Congress Berlin, co-organised by MSF Germany and the German Red Cross, on 13 and 14 October. The debates dealt with the changes that need to be made to allow the humanitarian system to meet the enormous needs of an increasingly complex geopolitical landscape. Groupe URD spoke about the food crisis in the Horn of Africa and the lessons learned from previous crises in this region.

This year’s programme focused on the major changes that have taken place in the international and political landscape. Humanitarians are facing new threats and vulnerabilities related to conflicts, protracted emergency situations and climate change, but are not sufficiently equipped to meet current and future challenges. What changes need to be made to establish an operational and reactive humanitarian system that is capable of meeting the enormous needs of an increasingly complex geopolitical landscape?

This year, the Congress underlined once again the difficulties of global coordination, caught up in its own bureaucracy, and highlighted the opportunities and traps related to the World Humanitarian Summit and the Grand Bargain. It pointed out that donors have their responsibilities, but that states who have signed the major conventions and resolutions on conflicts, IHL, refugees and the environment have even greater responsibilities. In the end, humanitarians have to deal with the result of their failures… It also underlined the central importance of intelligence, analysis and debate in order to overcome increasingly complex challenges.

This was the 19th edition of the Humanitarian Congress. Each year it brings together experts from medical, humanitarian and international organisations, political and media representatives, and young professionals interested in humanitarian action. It is an opportunity for the participants to share their experiences, knowledge and ideas about humanitarian action in an international and multi-disciplinary context. By bringing together more than 800 people from all over the world, it has created a community with a shared interest in the major challenges facing humanitarian action.