Building on the UN Secretary General’s report, the French National Humanitarian Conference looked at the major progress that has been made by the humanitarian sector in recent years, due to improved organization, the increased professionalization of actors, and technological progress.

However, limits have become increasingly obvious, notably in terms of capacity. This has several causes: insufficient funding to cover prevention and preparedness needs; programmes that struggle to adapt themselves to local contexts and to take into account long term issues; and insufficient, or inappropriate coordination between the national authorities of host countries and international organisations.

Serious concerns were expressed about the global humanitarian situation, the increased complexity and duration of crises, and the increasingly serious social, economic and environmental consequences of climate change. And yet, these crises, which are often political in nature, cannot be resolved purely by political actions which are often very difficult to put into practice, notably due to the sovereignty of states.

Lastly, a number of areas for reflection were proposed with the aim of “diversifying the humanitarian sector” while at the same time focusing its activities on vulnerable populations. This would be achieved by: including local institutions and humanitarian organisations more in the crisis resolution process and helping to develop their competencies; increasing efforts to limit the effects of climate change; and encouraging stakeholders to act in a more complementary and coordinated manner.

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