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We’re blanketed in snow, but in Switzerland everything still functions perfectly

The first session I attend is on ‘Rethinking Humanitarian Response,’ which is again dominated by Haiti. Is it really all as chaotic as the media depicts? If the response was slow, slow compared to what exactly? What are the respective roles of the UN, government, NGOs, business and military?

I think we have the answers to these questions but not enough time and ongoing interest to build a shared understanding across the different sectors. Still, the room is not hostile and the concluding straw poll shows more people optimistic than pessimistic about the scale-up in Haiti.

Next session on global hunger – everyone is shocked that it’s common for children to be growing up today with stunted brains and bodies.  Strong participation by corporates – Kraft, Yum and others. Their staff worldwide expect them to take a lead and do the right thing. Their leaders are well motivated.

But as I make my way through the snow to the next event, I can’t help recalling Davos 2008 when the global food crisis was the hot topic – I find it disconcerting that there’s no real accountability system for assessing what was actually taken forward from past summits.

I notice though it seems to be all water and dry sandwiches at the hospitality suites this year – in keeping with the times I guess.

*This blog is also published on FT.com

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