Humanitarian crises are becoming more frequent, severe, complex and protracted. Displacement is occurring on an unprecedented scale. As a result, humanitarian response capacity is stretched while the funding gap is widening. There is increasing recognition that alternative approaches are needed to meet the growing needs of the people heavily hit by crisis and shocks.
Over the past few years, international commitments have created closer links between humanitarian and development programming. These include the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit Grand Bargain commitments, the 2016 New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, and the 2017 New European Consensus on Development.
Emerging experience shows that social protection systems and approaches have considerable potential to bridge the humanitarian-development divide. There is now a clear international consensus to work towards maximising the use of social protection in fragile, conflict and displacement contexts to provide more effective, efficient and sustainable responses to affected populations.
This is why the new guidance package on working with social protection in fragile, conflict and displacement situations from both a humanitarian and development perspective, is both timely and very much needed. The EC Reference Document “Social Protection Across the Humanitarian-Development Nexus: A Game Changer in Supporting People through Crises” is therefore intended to be an introduction to the topic and a gateway to further resources.
A game changer in supporting people through crises
This Reference Document and its Summary were produced as parts of the European Commission’s “Guidance Package on Social protection across the humanitarian-development Nexus (SPaN)”. It is a common product of an initiative jointly led by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR).
The document aims to:
- Articulate what is meant by working with social protection systems and approaches in crisis contexts;
- Provide an overview of global experience and approaches to date;
- Highlight specific challenges and suggest key criteria to inform decisions as to the most appropriate response option;
- Provide guidance on key issues to consider when working with social protection in crisis contexts;
- Highlight key features of social protection-related interventions in crisis contexts and offer practical tips;
- Identify outstanding questions to inform future research