Earthquakes. Floods. War. Disasters and emergencies are rarely out of the headlines. But the world system for responding to disasters and emergencies is being challenged as never before. Huge environmental and political changes are threatening agencies’ ability to help people affected by emergencies. Meanwhile, critics are raising doubts about how effective the whole humanitarian system is. With humanitarianism standing At a Crossroads, this report examines the pressing issues the sector faces and puts forward concrete recommendations for action by senior humanitarian leaders: (i) investing in disaster risk reduction and preparedness, described in the report as 'the most effective way to mitigate the increased threat posed by environmental and demographic changes'; (ii) focusing on improving humanitarian independence and leadership, to protect humanitarian response from being distorted by short-term political interests and security objectives; and (iii) finally strengthening the professionalism and accountability of the humanitarian system to disaster-affected populations.