Correction: Humanitarian Response-Brown story

In a story Aug. 25 about a meeting of relief workers and U.S. and foreign military officials, The Associated Press reported erroneously the number of Syrians who have fled their homeland since a Civil War began. The number is 5 million, not five.

A corrected version of the story is below:

UN relief workers, military discuss humanitarian crisis

Relief workers, U.S. and foreign military officials, and field experts are meeting at Brown University to figure out how to work better together as the world faces the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Relief workers, U.S. and foreign military officials, and field experts are meeting at Brown University to figure out how to work better together as the world faces the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945.

The two-day workshop began Friday, and is drawing representatives from the United Nations, the U.S. Agency for International Development, universities including Harvard and Yale, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations.

In March, U.N. humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien said the world faces the largest humanitarian crisis since the organization’s founding, with more than 20 million people in four countries facing starvation and famine.

Only last week, the number of South Sudanese refugees fleeing violence and sheltering in Uganda reached 1 million. Most of the refugees are women and children. In the Middle East, an estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed in their country’s civil war and more than 5 million Syrians have fled their homeland.

Dr. Adam Levine, director of the Humanitarian Innovation Initiative at Brown, said humanitarian organizations and militaries are increasingly finding themselves caught up in the same emergencies. Responding together makes sense in some instances; while in others, it’s more about co-existing in the same place while each fulfills a separate mission, he said.

Levine has responded to humanitarian emergencies around the world, including the Ebola epidemic, and the initiative is hosting the meeting.

“Each different humanitarian emergency has its own complexities with regard to civilian-military coordination,” he said. “That’s why it’s so important to bring together leaders from the humanitarian, military and U.N. communities, to develop guidelines for dealing with these very complex situations.”

The group will discuss pandemics, how to use military capabilities in a humanitarian response, the challenges in providing relief in large cities, climate change, attacks on aid workers and other topics.

The meeting is meant to build on discussions last year at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.


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