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World Humanitarian Summit - EU, commitments in crisis prevention and effective financing

Prevention, identification of effective solutions and increased funding are some of the EU commitments at the World Humanitarian Summit.

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The first World Humanitarian Summit took place in Istanbul on 23-24 May 2016. More than 50 world leaders and 5000 humanitarian, development and political stakeholders have gathered to seek ways to reverse the trend of increasing humanitarian needs and to make the international aid system more efficient and effective.

During the summit in Istanbul, the European Union has committed to strengthen prevention and preparedness, improve the international response and help find solutions to support the system.

The European Union was represented by Vice-President of the European Commission Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides and EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica. 

The priorities advanced by the EU at the summit are five:

  • investment in resilience,
  • efficient and effective financing,
  • respect for International Humanitarian Law,
  • preventing and ending crises,
  • bridging the divide between humanitarian and development work.

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At the Summit the "Grand Bargain" has lauched. The efficiency pact, proposed by the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel (HLP) on Humanitarian Financing and negotiated by major donors and aid organisations, aims at helping tackle the funding gap in humanitarian action, estimated to be US$15 billion. The Grand Bargain, that will redirect at least US$1 billion dollars over the next five years, is an opportunity for more donors and aid implementers to join up and endorse more than 50 commitments, such as:

  • including gearing up cash programming,
  • more direct funding for national and local responders,
  • improving joint and impartial needs assessments
  • reducing bureaucracy.

The European Union, that is one of the first donors to have reached in 2016 the global targetof 4% of humanitarian funding earmarked for education, has announced concrete actions in this sector. It will support the 'Education Cannot Wait – A Fund for Education in Emergencies' platform with €5 million contribution. The platform is designed to generate greater shared political, operational and financial commitment for education for children and young people affected by crises. It aims to raise US$150 million in the first year, with an ambition to bring in funding of US$1.5 billion by the fifth year to provide education to a total of 75 million children and young people.

The EU has then reconfirmed at the summit that it is in the process of mobilising a grant contribution of more than €500 million to support countries most affected by the current food security crisis caused by El Niño. 

During the summit commissioners Georgieva, Mimica and Stylianides issued the following statement:

"We welcome the political communiqué endorsed" on the occasion of the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit. "The European Union pledged individual commitments at the summit concerning policies, programmes and funds it is responsible for". The summit has come to an end today, "but our work towards a new global partnership linking political action to prevent crises, development assistance and more effective and principled humanitarian aid has only just begun. The challenges we are facing are complex, and there is no simple solution. [...] The European Union, as the world's largest donor of humanitarian aid, will play its full part in reshaping aid to better serve people in need and calls on all world leaders to do the same."

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