WHS: Global call for the improvement of the humanitarian system

WHS: Global call for the improvement of the humanitarian system

Istanbul, May 21, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

On May 23-24 in Istanbul will be held the World Humanitarian Summit under the aegis of the UN. In the conference will be sought solutions and funds for the relief of 125 million people who are in need of immediate aid.

The World Community, the European Union and its Member States, will address a joint call for a global partnership to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the humanitarian system in the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey.

As major humanitarian donors and key policy making actors, the EU and its Member States will play a leading role at the summit on May 23-24, which will gather over 50 heads of state and about 5,000 bodies from the area of humanitarianism, development and policy, in order to move from crisis management to effective prevention and early action, and to strengthen the resilience and self-sufficiency. Over 125 million men, women and children around the world in need of humanitarian assistance. Despite unprecedented contributions in recent years, donors can not fully meet the growing humanitarian needs created by the current emergency.

To ensure efficient and effective funding to address the financing gap of USD 15 bn, “the great deal”, a proposal submitted by the High Level Group of the United Nations for humanitarian funding in its report entitled “Too Important to Fail: addressing the humanitarian financing gap”, will be launched in the framework of the Summit.

“Our goal for the next five years is to grant an additional USD 1 bn to people in need of urgent assistance to save lives, with the savings from administrative and auxiliary activities of donours and humanitarian organizations. In a few months, we have managed to negotiate an agreement between the very important factors of humanitarian ecosystem – an agreement which resolved issues that prevent and hamper life rescue work for many years”, said the European Commission vice president and co-chairman of the group, Kristalina Georgieva.

Upholding respect for international humanitarian law is one of the EU priorities at the Summit, in order to ensure the rapid and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need. The EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianidis said: “The attacks against civilians, doctors, medical facilities and workers in the humanitarian sector, are now commonplace in areas of conflict and crisis around the world. Our contribution can be decisive, if we maintain respect for international humanitarian law at the top of the agenda of the World Humanitarian Summit. The protection of civilians and those working in the humanitarian sector, as well as ensuring access to humanitarian aid, are not a choice but a humane requirement”.

Given that humanitarian aid is necessary and allows the rescue of millions of victims of violent conflicts and natural disasters, long-term solutions are needed. EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica underlines the importance of bridging the gap between humanitarian and development aid, which is another priority at the summit: “The medium and long-term assistance are essential to support partner countries regarding the repair of damaged infrastructure and assistance, so that people can return to normal life. With the aid of linking help, rehabilitation and development, the improvement of resilience, efficiency and effectiveness of the assistance we provide, we can better address the root causes of many recurrent crises, not only the consequences”, Ms Mimica concludes.