In March 2016, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon announced proposals for improving the effectiveness of humanitarian aid. These suggestions will be brought forth at the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in May 2016 in Istanbul. Proposals to be discussed include ending refugee limbo, increasing refugee access to education, and localizing disaster response.
According to IRIN, the U.N. has worked in consultation with over 20,000 people for improvements in crisis response. The summit will cover the trends and findings pertaining to the utilization of humanitarian aid more efficiently through future crises that arose from this work.
With the influx of refugees to Europe at its highest since WWII, improving the assistance system will be a top priority at the WHS. Concerning the refugee crisis, the summit hopes to merge ideas on how to address the problem more equitably for all states. For instance, the Secretary General recommends that more countries share the financial and hosting responsibilities.
Other ideas that the summit will deliberate upon include providing sustainable livelihoods for refugees in their host countries. This involves providing more immediate access to education rather than refugees remaining in a period of limbo. Another innovative idea to be discussed is a “global finance package,” which would deliver increased funds to hosting countries.
Ban Ki-Moon will also advocate for Security Council members to abstain from vetoing resolutions potentially aiding and preventing crises and atrocities, states IRIN.
In order to successfully provide aid, Ban Ki-Moon says that following international law is an essential factor. Too often hospitals and schools are bombed and destroyed, further disabling quick and effective humanitarian aid provisions. The summit will debate how to competently ensure that international law is respected by all states.
The conference’s discourse on improving humanitarian assistance will also mention the need to localize financing and to empower local organizations.
One round table at the summit will be called “Catalysing Action To Achieve Gender Equality,” covering issues pertaining to gender equality in the face of crises. Myriad women’s needs are left behind in displacement settings. This roundtable will discuss solutions to women’s inclusion in decision-making during crises.
The program’s website states, “The summit is an opportunity to confront these global challenges head-on and generate greater global leadership and political will to end conflict, alleviate suffering, and reduce risk.”
– Mayra Vega