Sub-Saharan Africa

This video, created by the Signal Program, uses DigitalGlobe imagery of Blue Nile, Sudan from September 2011 to highlight satellite imagery analysis methods. Signal imagery analyst Isaac Baker uses the measurements and shapes of observable objects to identify military vehicles and ordinance. This type of analysis is used to detect potential threats to civilian populations.

Human rights norms are playing an increasingly important role in humanitarian action. Yet there seems to be a growing confusion on the distinct origins and nuances of these bodies of law among practitioners engaged in humanitarian protection.

The scope and character of peace-building and stabilization missions significantly affect the work of humanitarian actors. Across a range of contexts, humanitarian actors must balance principled action alongside considerations of peace.

Despite improvements in the coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance in recent decades, armed conflict remains a leading public health concern.

During the humanitarian reform process launched in 2005, humanitarian actors introduced early recovery as a humanitarian cluster to facilitate policy linkages between humanitarian relief and development.

As the planet warms, the vulnerability of communities in less developed countries rises. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in 2008, 20 million people were displaced by climate-related sudden onset disasters. Additionally, as AlertNet reports, in 2011, floods, typhoons, and earthquakes caused over $274 billion of economic losses in Asia alone.

As the Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) 2012 Report notes, humanitarian needs in 2011 decreased from those of the previous year. Financing requests dropped by 21% and the overall funding response decreased by 9% from 2010 to 2011. However, despite this shift, the gap in unmet financing widened.

In 2013, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative's Women in War Program, in collaboration with Eastern Congo Initiative, released its new report, '"We Came Back with Empty Hands": Understanding the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Children Formerly Associated with Armed Groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.'

A central tenet of international humanitarian assistance is to fulfill the needs of a population unmet by the state in time of crisis. As such, a great deal of importance is placed upon how this need is calculated, how the collection of information might be standardized, and how the gathered information might be better shared.

Humanitarian actors have increasingly recognized that successful disaster risk reduction (DRR) projects must be conceived as long-term, holistic initiatives geared toward enhancing the ways that states and societies approach resilience. Additionally, the humanitarian sector has learned that the success of long-term projects hinges on the participation of an actively engaged local community.

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