UN and partners highlight gap between rising humanitarian needs and available resources
Sept.27, New York: As discussions on the new global sustainable development continued at the United Nations in New York, world leaders, UN officials and humanitarian partners focused on one of the most important challenges, namely the growing gap between the increasing numbers of people in need of humanitarian assistance and sufficient resources to provide relief.
“We’re here today to talk about a system which is not broken – but it is broke,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien told participants at the high-level discussion on the future of humanitarian financing.
According to a press release, humanitarian appeals have grown by more than 600 per cent in the past decade, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which is headed by Mr. O’Brien. The global humanitarian appeal now stands at nearly $20 billion.
Most humanitarian funding this year will go to just five protracted emergencies – Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In an effort to find solutions, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier this year established the High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing. Co-chaired by Kristalina Georgieva and Sultan Nazrin Shah, the panel is tasked with examining humanitarian financing challenges and identifying ways in which the gap between rising needs and the resources available to meet them can be closed.
The panel is also working on generating solutions around the issues of more timely and predictable funding, as well as ways in which resources can be used more effectively. It is expected to submit its recommendations in November 2015, and the recommendations will help frame the discussion at the World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul in May 2016.
“Humanitarian crises are the most extreme conditions that people face. If we get humanitarian risk management right, the benefits will flow to other areas, including climate change mitigation and efforts to spur development.”
On the humanitarian side, O’Brien said the UN is already committed to adapting its annual appeal model towards longer-term, more flexible investments in risk insurance, loans and budget support.
It is also committed to better targeting and planning. “We are determined that aid should go where it’s most needed – even where infrastructure is challenging and supply routes are poor,” he added.
The Oslo Times