“The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) sets out Nine
Commitments that organizations and individuals involved in humanitarian response can
use to improve the quality and effectiveness of the assistance they provide” (The Standard,
2020). As we are facing the current COVID-19 epidemic, we can imagine what those
communities that are poorer are going through. These standards provide assistance to
communities in need after a crisis has occurred. The three standards that are most
important in my opinion are 1-3. Standard one indicates that the humanitarian response
has to be relevant and appropriate and standard two states that the affected communities
have direct access to assistance needed at the right time. Standard number three states that
communities should be prepared for natural disasters and are not negatively affected and
more resilient. Standard number three is trying to prevent negative outcomes that come
with a disaster. A great example of this would be Hurricane Katrina. There was a lack in
response time for all those people affected which resulted in even more negative outcomes
after the storm had passed. The community was left to fend for themselves with no access
to resources for relief. “Hurricane Katrina created a catastrophe in the city of New Orleans
when the storm surge caused the levee system to fail on August 29, 2005” (Fussell, 2015).
“The destruction of housing displaced hundreds of thousands of residents for varying
lengths of time, often permanently” (Fussell, 2015). “It also revealed gaps in our knowledge
of how population is recovered after a disaster causes widespread destruction of urban
infrastructure, housing and workplaces, and how mechanisms driving housing recovery
often produce unequal social, spatial and temporal population recovery” (Fussell, 2015).
Because complex emergencies such as natural disasters, pandemics, and epidemics happen
almost suddenly without warning it is often hard to control the situation once it is started.
Today’s epidemic of the COVID-19 virus is a perfect example of a complex emergency.
Although unfortunate, we learn what to expect and how to prevent more catastrophes
when and if they do occur in the future. Some characteristics of complex emergencies are
high levels of violence, vulnerable populations affected, economic and political collapse,
long-lasting, and even increased migration of refugees or displaced populations. In the last
few years we have seen the borders between the U.S. and Mexico collapse, Puerto Rico be
destroyed and not repaired because of natural disasters, and high levels of violence in those
areas that are vulnerable. Scary thought that these complex emergencies are a recurrent
effect seen almost daily in the U.S. and around the world.
Fussell E. (2015). The Long Term Recovery of New Orleans’ Population after Hurricane
Katrina. The American behavioral scientist, 59(10), 1231–1245.
Examination of the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS)
EXAMINATION OF CHS 2
Your post was interesting since it explains the importance of CHS in the light of a
complex emergency. In particular, you demonstrate how the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the
importance of having solid emergency plans that include relevant standards. By taking this
approach, one gets to understand the significance of CHS. The standards give humanitarian a
guideline on how to operate in emergency scenarios (Abdelmagid et al., 2019). Going back to
your example, the Coronavirus pandemic has been an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that has
exposed the lack of preparedness of health systems. On that note, models like CHS must be
improved to cope with future emergencies. The current pandemic has demonstrated the
shortcomings of humanitarian services, and it is essential to make the much-needed
EXAMINATION OF CHS 3
Abdelmagid, N., Checchi, F., Garry, S., & Warsame, A. (2019). Defining, measuring, and
interpreting the appropriateness of humanitarian assistance. Journal of International
Humanitarian Action, 4(1), 14.