CSIS Announces the Task Force on Humanitarian Access
March 5, 2019
WASHINGTON: The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is proud to announce the formation of the Task Force on Humanitarian Access. This bipartisan initiative will be led by CSIS’s Kimberly Flowers and co-chaired by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senator Todd Young (R-IN). The group aims to develop concrete policy recommendations to improve aid delivery while bringing humanitarian access issues to the forefront of foreign policy debate.
“With the dramatic rise of conflicts in the past two decades, it is more important than ever to examine the effectiveness of aid delivery to the most vulnerable,” said John J. Hamre, CSIS president and CEO. “We envision that this task force will make a lasting contribution to the landscape of global humanitarian assistance.”
In 2017, conflicts and disasters left over 130 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. In protracted conflicts, access has become one of the biggest bottlenecks to effective aid delivery. At the same time, political realities and donor fatigue draw into question the traditional support system for humanitarian institutions. Over the past year, CSIS’s Humanitarian Agenda has been exploring these topics to identify areas to improve lifesaving assistance.
The Task Force on Humanitarian Access brings together a diverse group of leaders from the humanitarian space. This initiative consists of two Senate co-chairs and twenty-two experts including former U.S. government and UN officials, leaders from academic institutions and think tanks, on-the-ground NGO and implementing partners, and faith-based organizations.
“As we face growing humanitarian needs around the world, we must ensure that the most vulnerable are able to access life-saving resources, especially when there are government and non-state actors trying to block access to humanitarian relief. From the Middle East to Africa, I’ve seen first-hand the critical value America’s assistance and diplomatic power can have to our fellow men, women, and children abroad. It’s an honor to lead this task force with Senator Young, and I look forward to working with its distinguished members to develop innovative ideas and solutions to increase access to humanitarian aid,” said Senator Booker.
A final report, to be released in the fall of 2019, will provide concrete policy recommendations to enhance access and improve the fundamental outcomes of U.S. foreign assistance.
“As a Marine Corps officer and a former policy staffer for then-senator Richard Lugar, I have seen firsthand both the necessity and the effectiveness of America’s helping hand,” said Senator Young. “I look forward to working with this distinguished group to develop ideas that will help improve our response to humanitarian crises, while also reaffirming the United States’ commitment to our moral and national security principles.”
Kimberly Flowers, director of CSIS’s Humanitarian Agenda and Global Food Security Project, noted, “at CSIS, we believe there is a bipartisan consensus on the need for U.S. leadership in humanitarian relief, and the work of this task force will go a long way towards developing policy solutions that can save lives.”
To learn more about the membership and scope of this initiative please visit: https://www.csis.org/programs/humanitarian-agenda/csis-task-force-humanitarian-access