Regional organisations and humanitarian action: rethinking regional engagement

Research reports and studies
May 2016
Sherine El Taraboulsi, Hanna B. Krebs, Steven A Zyck and Barnaby Willitts-King

Today’s humanitarian crises span across regions, spill across borders and require regional responses.

Regional organisations are playing an increasingly significant role in humanitarian action, from disaster risk reduction, early warning systems, humanitarian coordination and aid delivery. While in 1990 there were only five regional humanitarian institutions, by 2015 this number had grown to 30.

This report examines the different roles of regional organisations, how they have engaged in humanitarian action and the different connections and interdependence between international, regional and local organisations. It sets out recommendations on how regional humanitarian institutions can complement rather than compete with their international and national counterparts.