The Right to Survive
The Humanitarian Challenge in the Twenty-first Century

Paper: 978 0 85598 639 1 / $25.95
Published: June 2009  

Publisher: Oxfam Publishing
146 pp., 8 1/4" x 10 1/4"
four-color throughout

Series: An Oxfam International Research Report
More than 250 million people around the world are affected by emergencies each year. This report predicts that by 2015, this number could grow by 45% to 400 million – partly as a result of the increasing threat of climate-related disasters and conflict.

Many human lives were lost in disasters in 2008, through governments and humanitarian agencies failing to act quickly and effectively enough. Much international humanitarian assistance is politically partial and inappropriate. The predicted scale of humanitarian need by 2015 could completely overwhelm current capacity to respond to emergencies–unless the world chooses to prevent it.

Even in daunting economic times, the world can afford to meet future humanitarian needs and fulfill
vulnerable people's rights to survive. The skills and resources exist to mitigate the threats from climate-related catastrophic events. Indeed, some countries–rich and poor–have already demonstrated the political will to do just that.

The Right to Survive shows that the humanitarian challenge of the twenty-first century demands a step-change in the quantity of resources devoted to saving lives in emergencies and in the quality and nature of humanitarian response. Whether or not there is sufficient will to do this will be one of the defining features of our age–and will dictate whether millions live or die.

Table of Contents:
1) Introduction
2) New threats and old
3) Responsible governments and active citizens
4) Quality, impartiality, and accountability in international humanitarian aid
5) Long-term solutions to long-term problems
6) Resourcing humanitarian action in the twenty-first century
7) Building a safer future

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