2021 CHS Alliance Annual Report

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The driving force behind all humanitarian action is the commitment to alleviate suffering, regardless of who is suffering, where or why. It is a demonstration of our collective capacity for compassion. Yet, for those with the privilege to support others, comes the responsibility to maintain human dignity and be held accountable for actions taken.

In the years since the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality & Accountability (CHS) was first developed, it has been applied by many hundreds of organisations. This has shown that the CHS puts people affected by crises at the centre, it provides a means by which humanitarian actors (both local and international) can enhance their institutional and reputational strengths. It reminds us that people caught in the crossfires of conflict or struck by disaster are not passive recipients of aid, but active participants in their own recovery.

Though there remains much work to be done, what has become clear is that the application of the CHS is a driving force in realising the dignity and self-determination of individuals and communities facing crises.

The Nine Commitments of the CHS, when successfully applied, don’t narrow humanitarian action to a prescriptive set of actions. Rather, they provide a foundation – and common understanding – from which the vast array of humanitarian actors can meaningfully cooperate and collaborate in increasingly diverse ways, finding new solutions to entrenched humanitarian challenges, steering the future of humanitarian action. And as conflicts increase and intensify, there can be no doubt that such solutions will be sorely needed, not least to inform how the humanitarian landscape and system needs to evolve.

At the CHS Alliance, we know we are only as strong as our membership, and 2021 was a reminder that our membership – diverse, global and committed – is by far our greatest asset. To everyone with whom we have engaged over the past 12 months we owe a debt of gratitude. May 2022 bring us closer.