Dangerous delay 2: the cost of inaction

Publication date: 18 May 2022
Authors: Emily Farr, Leah Finnegan, Joanne Grace, Mathew Truscott

In 2011, Somalia experienced a devastating famine that killed over a quarter of a million people. Afterwards, leaders in the region made a commitment to end drought emergencies by 2022. The international community sought to ensure that there would be no repeat of the failures that led to famine. Next time, the world would heed the warnings and act early to avoid the crisis. But despite various warnings and alarms over the past two years, the commitment to anticipatory action has proven half-hearted. We are once again responding too late and with too little to avert the crisis.

In this follow-up to their 2012 briefing A Dangerous Delay, Oxfam and Save the Children, supported by the Jameel Observatory, examine what has changed and what has not in the humanitarian system since 2011. They explain how it must evolve in order to enable and fully fund anticipatory action. With the climate crisis set to deepen, the current system must change quickly in order to meet the challenges we face in the years ahead.