Participation in a Thematic Team as part of the Preparation of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) Istanbul 2016
Over the past ten years, the number of people affected by humanitarian crises and disasters has doubled whereas the overall budgets for humanitarian relief assistance even have tripled. At least 80 percent of humanitarian funding is allocated to refugees and forcedly displaced people - in 2014 the UN has recorded more than 51 Million displaced people. The expected future demands for humanitarian assistance will grow even further, but the existing humanitarian system is already overstretched. Thus, there is strong demand to explore more efficient and effective tools and structures.
Ban Ki-moon, The UN’s Secretary General, in 2013 took up the initiative to call for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS). Until the planned summit in May 2016, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs with the WHS-secretariat facilitates a global process of consultations with all major stakeholders as well as with affected people on major topics and on recommendations and expectations towards outcomes of the WHS and a future humanitarian agenda. DKKV is actively participating in one out of four global Thematic Teams, the one focusing on Reducing Vulnerability and Managing Risk”. Overall, the consultation process focusses on the following emerging issues:
• Ensuring affected people, particularly women, have a stronger voice and influence over humanitarian action;
• Confronting international humanitarian law (IHL) violations and finding new ways to protect and assist people in conflict;
• Developing new approaches for managing recurrent and protracted crises;
• Global action to address the funding gap;
• Adapting the humanitarian system to new contexts, actors and challenges;
• Localising preparedness and response; and
• Creating an enabling environment and investment in innovation to better deal with current and future humanitarian challenges.
In addition, a further set of four cross-cutting issues are being discussed separately:
• Gender equality in humanitarian action;
• Urban risk and response;
• The role of the private sector; and
• Understanding risk.
This first World Humanitarian Summit shall raise the needed awareness and support for these pending humanitarian problems/demands. One important element for this is disaster risk management together with increasing peoples and communities’ resilience as well as building up and enhancing local and national actors’ roles and capacities for preparedness and response. Studies repeatedly show that investments in preparedness and risk management have positive benefit to cost ratios and thus may reduce the demand for relief funding and activities in case of new disasters and crises.
Results of this work are of relevance both for the international humanitarian support by German actors as well as for preparedness and DRM strategies within Germany. Thus DKKV will continue to actively include its network partners within the ongoing workstreams and dissemination of results.