Private sector actors
In retrospect, it is difficult to comprehend the historical separation of the private sector from the humanitarian system, and the current trend is towards greater attention to and development of private sector engagement. To begin with, the private sector encompasses local and international firms that are often well-placed to contribute to relief efforts directly, given their existing resources within crisis countries (staff, equipment, expertise, technology, political leverage). The private sector also holds expertise that can be adapted to humanitarian ends, such as in transport, logistics or telecommunications; and plays a critical role in the development of more effective vaccines, shelter, water systems, etc. Importantly, just as with local people, the private sector is profoundly (but differently) affected by crisis, and has a direct interest in addressing the needs that emerge, and in helping the economy to recover.