The Business Case: A Study of Private Sector Engagement in Humanitarian Action

Summary

The private sector has long been engaged in humanitarian emergency preparedness response and recovery as a fundamental component of local communities affected by humanitarian crises. Private sector actors are present before humanitarian crises occur and as crises unfold, and they are among the first part of society to respond. Businesses, whether small or large, with interests in affected or non-affected areas can leverage their own expertise, resources, channels and influence to address humanitarian needs and make positive contributions to longer-term sustainable peace and development. Companies, corporate foundations, business networks and other private sector platforms have been working directly and independently with people affected by humanitarian crises, and with humanitarian organizations at the local and international levels, both on operational and systemic humanitarian challenges.

The study is intended for those seeking to involve their company more successfully in humanitarian action and for those seeking sustainable public private sector partnerships. The scope of this study was limited to humanitarian emergency preparedness and response, while recognizing that private sector actors also play an active role in other parts of the humanitarian programming cycle, namely disaster risk reduction and recovery. It may also be useful in helping humanitarian and development actors to better understand the motivations and potential financial and non-financial contributions of private sector actors. The study was conducted in collaboration with private sector partners in order to encourage a greater understanding of private sector humanitarian action.

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