January 9, 2014 - 5:00am

Throughout 2013, international humanitarian actors have faced major challenges responding to conflicts and natural disasters across the globe. Tens of thousands of people died in Syria and millions were displaced while international actors struggled to get access to desperate people. While escalating violence in such diverse countries as South Sudan, Iraq, Yemen and the Central African Republic may have received less media attention than Syria, these situations also posed particular challenges to the international community. At the end of 2013, the international community was mobilizing a major relief effort to respond to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, a storm that affected more than 14 million people and displaced over 5 million. Beyond the headlines, there were dozens of long-standing conflicts and smaller disasters that impacted the lives of millions of people and overwhelmed the capacity of local responders to meet the security, food and health needs of victims. The slow and sometimes inadequate response to these emergencies raise challenging questions about the capacity of the humanitarian aid system to meet the needs of people most affected by these and other disasters.

On January 9, the Brookings-LSE Project on International Displacement and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will host a discussion looking back at 2013 and assess how well the international community responded to crises in 2013 with a particular focus on Syria – a high-profile crisis – and the Central African Republic – a low-profile crisis – as well as the particular thematic issue of access to health care during crises.

After the program, the panelists will take audience questions.

This event will be webcast.

Join the conversation on Twitter at #2013crises.


Elizabeth Ferris
Senior Fellow and Co-Director, Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement
The Brookings Institution

Sophie Delaunay
Executive Director, Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières - USA
Antoine Gérard
Deputy to the Director of Operations
United Nations Office for the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs
Iain Levine
Deputy Executive Director, Program
Human Rights Watch
François Stamm
Head of Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada
International Committee for the Red Cross

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