The new head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock, has spoken about his first weeks in the job and how there has “never been a larger need of humanitarian assistance in the world.”
He talks to UN News about his role and shares his thoughts on current events such as the crisis in Myanmar with half a million Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh and how they can be supported there. He also spoke about his first visit holding the post, to the Lake Chad Basin where there are fears that ten million people are “a step away from starvation.”
There are 145 million people in need of the humanitarian assistance the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) provides. Lowcock says that overall “the global humanitarian system is an effective system. Every year we reach tens of millions of people and we save millions of lives, but we don’t have all the resources we need and we’re facing some big challenges. So, the system needs to step up a bit more, and we need to get a bit more support for our work.”
Top of Lowcock’s priorities was to enable more countries to deal with famines and food crises. Through developing systems and better safety nets he believes that such crises can be averted. He also mentioned atrocities committed by combatants as well as refugee crises.
The tone of the interview was largely positive about the impact that the OCHA and UN can have on humanitarian issues, while not shying away from the harsh realities of the system.
The Gardiner Foundation works on providing microinvestment to entrepreneurs and self employed people through our Trade To Aid initiative. We have also developed an Emergency Fund that can be used to support humanitarian efforts in crises and emergencies.