World Vision Releases Goals For World Humanitarian Summit
The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), took place this week in Istanbul as a global call to action by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The two-day Summit brought together 55 Heads of State and Government and other officials from 173 countries. Hundreds of representatives from the private sector and thousands from civil society also attended, marking a diverse range of actors discussing new ways to alleviate suffering, including by addressing the social, economic and other inequities that could ignite simmering tensions into violent conflict.
“This unique Summit has set us on a new course,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in closing remarks. “It is not an end point, but a turning point”. Governments, people affected by crisis, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and the United Nations had come together to support the Agenda for Humanity and its five core responsibilities. “Implementing this Agenda is a necessity if we are to enable people to live in dignity and prosperity,” he declared.
The Summit is designed to be held at the highest political level possible bringing together about 5,000 participants representing global leaders from government, business, aid organizations, civil society, affected communities and youth, among others.
The Summit has three main goals:
- To re-inspire and reinvigorate a commitment to humanity and to the universality of humanitarian principles.
- To initiate a set of concrete actions and commitments aimed at enabling countries and communities to better prepare for and respond to crises, and be resilient to shocks.
- To share best practices which can help save lives around the world, put affected people at the center of humanitarian action, and alleviate suffering.
In response to the Summit, Christian Relief Organization World Vision outlined their approach to reform and change to better serve the international community.
"With more than 89.4 million people anticipated to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2016 at a global cost of $19.8 billion, bold and fundamental changes are required to achieve a more effective humanitarian system now and into the future," World Vision said in a statement.
"On the basis of our work, learning and experience, World Vision seeks the following outcomes from the WHS to ensure substantive reform is achieved:
Investment in more effective, context-specific and predictable responses
Development of indicators to measure the impact of humanitarian action in contexts that are highly susceptible to natural hazards, fragility and conflict. This must include improvements in the safety and well-being of the most vulnerable children, and build and tailor humanitarian response capacity and capabilities by context and risk type.
Increased financial and resource commitment to education and child protection.
Globally, an estimated 58 million school-aged children are denied access to education with 36% of those children living in fragile or conflict contexts. Children who do not attend any form of formal or non-formal schooling are more vulnerable to violence, exploitation, neglect and abuse. Children and their families consistently say their main concerns during disasters are education and protection. The continual underfunding of education and child protection needs to be addressed so that no child is left behind.
Multi-stakeholder partnering and innovation must be a priority of all humanitarian actors
No entity can act alone to address the surmounting humanitarian needs. Affected communities need to be empowered as first responders. Resilience and livelihoods of vulnerable communities must be fostered. The necessary transition from delivering aid to reducing need can only be achieved through collective action and true collaboration between governments, private enterprise, civil society and affected communities.
Radically reform humanitarian financing and develop new funding models that are more demand-led, efficient, transparent and accountable.
Financing for humanitarian assistance is designed to respond to the symptoms of crises and is not adequate or appropriate to address the underlying factors and drivers of emergencies. The ‘one size fits all’ international architecture of humanitarian policymaking and response prevents the contextualisation of funding. Sudden-onset natural disasters, responses to complex and protracted emergencies, rural crises (compared with urban ones), national emergencies and regional cross-border crises must make use of the same general funding mechanisms. As a result, funding is not context appropriate, is not targeted according to need and often arrives too late, with funding cycles that are too short."