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Humanitarian Trends in Southern Africa: Challenges and Opportunities

This research was prompted by a growing consensus on the changing nature of humanitarian emergencies towards increasingly complex drivers and inter-connected circumstances as opposed to single shocks. The research was carried out during 2012 by 33 researchers through four research hubs across southern Africa. The authors conclude that the dramatic changes to the region’s risk profile in the past two decades call for new thinking, approaches and partnerships to accommodate a wider diversity of interlinked and fast-paced threats. The research team identified six broad clusters of potential threats with implications for humanitarian action, but stress that they should only be seen as indicative, given the highly dynamic risk profile of the region. The clusters are: environmental threats, aggregate (economic) threats, socio-political shocks, public health threats, aid shocks, compound and composite threats.