This briefing has been written in response to the drought in the Horn of Africa, which is facing the worst food crisis of the 21st Century. While severe drought has undoubtedly led to the huge scale of the disaster, this crisis has been caused by people and policies, as much as by weather patterns. An adequate response to the current crisis must not only meet urgent humanitarian needs, but also address these underlying problems.
Disaster Risk Reduction has as key role to play in analysing, managing and addressing the causal factors of disaster and their impact on men and women. It is proven to be effective and cost effective. Yet it is systematically underfunded by donors, and not an integral element of humanitarian and development work across the board. To prevent future crises, this has got to change.