Filed Under:

World's Aid Agencies Stretched To Their Limits By Simultaneous Crises

Play associated audio

For the first time, the United Nations is handling four major humanitarian crises at once: refugee crises in Syria and Iraq as well as civil wars in the Central African Republic and South Sudan, where millions are at risk of famine. Meanwhile, West Africa is experience a devastating Ebola outbreak.

The world's aid agencies are stretched to their limits. Leading the U.S. response to these crises is the U.S. Agency for International Development, whose assistant administrator for the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, Nancy Lindborg, spoke with Morning Edition.

"We are probably at a near-historic level of humanitarian need right now," Lindborg says. "We have, for the first time in the history of USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, four disaster assistance response teams deployed ... to high-tempo, big crises around the world at the same time. And this is in addition to ... ongoing needs that are being met in Nigeria, Gaza, Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the emerging crisis in Ukraine."

Lindborg noted a striking contrast between addressing all the current crises and the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last November and December. "It was up and over in about a month," she says. "However, what we have now...are really complex, difficult crises that are fundamentally the result of non-democratic governments." In the Philippines, "Nobody was shooting anyone. And so, for humanitarian workers to be able to go in after there was a clear beginning and move progressively toward a better outcome, there's something very satisfying about that in contrast with the kind of crises we're seeing."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Neither Snow Nor Rain' Celebrates History Of U.S. Postal Service

NPR's Robert Siegel talks with author Devin Leonard whose new book, Neither Snow Nor Rain, celebrates the history of the U.S. Postal Service.
NPR

How Starbucks Got Tangled Up In LA's Homelessness Crisis

There are 44,000 people living on the streets in and around Los Angeles. With no other place to go, many end up at a Starbucks — to the consternation of some employees.
WAMU 88.5

The Results Of Tuesday's Indiana Primaries

Guest host Lisa Desjardins talks with NPR's Ron Elving about what the results of Tuesday's primaries in Indiana mean for the 2016 presidential race.

NPR

Google And Fiat Chrysler Partner To Make Self-Driving Minivans

This is the first time Google has worked directly with an automaker to integrate its self-driving technology into a passenger vehicle, the companies said in a joint statement.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.