Humanitarian effectiveness and accountability in humanitarian response has received a great deal of attention in recent years. However, despite considerable research underlining its importance, what is often missing or underplayed in discussions and initiatives relating to both these topics is that of the safety, security, and wellness of humanitarian staff and volunteers.
The number of aid workers who are victims of attacks have almost tripled over the past ten years and research has repeatedly demonstrated a strong relationship between deployment to humanitarian crises and conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Apart from being of grave concern in itself, this also seriously affects the effectiveness of humanitarian response.
In this consultation event, the focus was on the following questions:
- What is the relationship between staff and volunteer wellness and humanitarian effectiveness?
- What current good practice exists for improving staff and volunteer wellness?
- What gaps currently exist relating to ensuring staff and volunteer wellness? What concrete improvements could be made?