The Horn of Africa is in the midst of the worst drought in more than 60 years. Although there were clear early warning signs, the international response was insufficient until the crisis reached a tipping point. Now signs are pointing to a similar situation unfolding in the Sahel region of West Africa. Since the beginning of this year, NGOs, governments and early warning systems have pointed to looming dangers in both the Sahel and Horn regions. The international community must improve its ability to prevent the worst effects of chronic crises by more effectively investing in long-term development and by accelerating the response when early warnings are in place.
On May 22, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, Save the Children and Oxfam America hosted a discussion on what NGOs, national governments and the international community can do to respond earlier to immediate crises and to the long-term challenges of areas with chronic food insecurity. Panelists including Catherine Bragg, United Nations Assistant secretary general of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA); Paul O’Brien, vice president of policy and campaigns for Oxfam America; Michael Klosson, vice president for policy and humanitarian response at Save the Children; and Nancy Lindborg, assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance at USAID, discussed the international community’s ability to prevent the worst effects of chronic crises. Brookings Fellow Megan Bradley provided introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.
After the program, speakers took audience questions.