The idea of a humanitarian-development nexus is not new, however as crises become increasingly protracted, the call to overcome traditional silos is ever more urgent. This challenge, however, cannot rest on the shoulders of humanitarian actors alone. Humanitarian actors must continue to evolve and development actors must equally recognize and act upon their responsibilities relating to conflict prevention and rule of law, more effective disaster risk reduction, and continuity of basic services even during crises, in order to mitigate the impact of crises on vulnerable people. Development actors too must be present and vocal on behalf of affected people. A more holistic approach to financing is also essential to better meet the needs of the most vulnerable people facing protracted crises.
Further, while efforts to bring together humanitarian and development actors to address and end need offers advantages, the exceptionalism of humanitarian action must be safeguarded at all times. The operating principles underpinning development and humanitarian action are, and must remain, fundamentally different. Humanitarian actors, including NGOs, can only respond to human suffering during crises if they are able to operate without threat to the safety of their staff and facilities. In this regard, humanitarian operations must remain neutral and independent in order to maintain dialogue with all actors and, thereby, ensure full access and continuous proximity to affected people. InterAction calls upon the United Nations and member states to work in partnership with NGOs to increase complementarity between humanitarian and development actors, but without undermining principled humanitarian action.