Adapting humanitarian aid to the climate emergency

Seven recommendations.

Stephanie Sodero and Bertrand Taithe, The University of Manchester

Brief Summary

This policy brief summarises seven recommendations that emerged from a research project undertaken by the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (University of Manchester), UK-Med, and Save the Children-UK, supported by the UK Disasters Emergency Committee, on how humanitarian aid needs to adapt to the climate emergency. The resulting recommendations are based on analysis of policy documents and peer-reviewed literature, as well as interviews with and surveys of aid workers operating in various countries, sectors, and organisations. The seven recommendations are, in brief:

  1. Closing the information gap;
  2. Planning for scale;
  3. Acting early;
  4. Resourcing that’s fit for purpose;
  5. Collaborating beyond sectors and borders;
  6. Getting the humanitarian house in order; and
  7. Speaking up.

For each recommendation, we provide examples of successful initiatives that can be scaled-up. These interrelated recommendations are a starting point for a broader galvanising platform to transform humanitarian aid. Based on these findings, this brief offers guiding principles for humanitarian organisations, public and private donors, and national and international policy makers in creating a humanitarian system equipped to deal with the climate emergency.

This policy brief:

  • Outlines current and projected impact of climate change on humanitarian aid delivery;
  • Describes seven recommendations for adapting humanitarian aid to the climate emergency;
  • Provides concrete examples of ongoing initiatives that can be scaled-up for each recommendation;
  • Emphasizes that these recommendations are a starting point for transforming humanitarian aid.