This paper was prepared as background for the meeting on “Resources for Humanitarian Assistance,” which was held on September 11-12, 1997 at the Pocantico Conference Center in New York. It reflects the aggregate set of responses of the primary intergovernmental and non-governmental humanitarian service providers to an inquiry regarding their financial, managerial, and staffing concerns, as well as discussions with them and with other experts in the field. Without denying the importance of longer term development assistance and its interconnectedness with humanitarian relief, this paper’s focus has intentionally been limited to humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies, with the recognition that effective emergency aid must be understood within the broader humanitarian framework. The paper briefly analyzes the overall financial situation facing the humanitarian enterprise; examines the ways in which patterns of funding, as well as gross amounts, affect the delivery of assistance; and identifies several options which could strengthen the capacity and performance of the humanitarian system, including investment in preparedness measures and in staff recruitment and training.
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