When and Why is a L3 Response activated?

A L3 Response is activated when a humanitarian situation suddenly and significantly changes and, following an analysis of five criteria – scale, complexity, urgency, capacity, and reputational risk – it is clear that the capacity to lead, coordinate and deliver humanitarian assistance and protection on the ground does not match the scale, complexity and urgency of the crisis. Wherever possible, the IASC endeavours to avoid the need to activate a L3 Response by taking early action in response to early warnings about the possible deterioration of a given situation.

Note: The IASC L3 mechanism is about the need to rapidly ramp-up the response effort so that it is fit-for-purpose – i.e. has the appropriate leadership, and coordination mechanism to deliver assistance and facilitate protection as the scale, complexity and urgency of a crisis develops. It is intended as a short term injection of additional capacity. It does not determine the severity of the crisis itself or relate to any political circumstances.

Source: https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/coordination/ngos/document/what-does-iasc-humanitarian-system-wide-level-3-emergency-response-mean