BRUSSELS, 23rd May, 2016 (WAM) — At the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, the European Union has committed to strengthening prevention and preparedness, improve the international response and help find solutions to support an overstrained humanitarian system.
The European Union, EU, is committed to strong progress on each of the five core responsibility areas, for which core commitments have been formulated by the UN. It pledged individual commitments at the World Humanitarian Summit, WHS, concerning policies, programmes and funds it is responsible for. The key priorities advanced by the EU at the summit include: investment in resilience, efficient and effective financing, respect for International Humanitarian Law, preventing and ending crises, and bridging the divide between humanitarian and development work.
More than 50 world leaders and 5,000 humanitarian, development and political stakeholders have gathered at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on 23rd and 24th May to seek ways to reverse the trend of ever-increasing humanitarian needs and to make the international aid system more efficient and effective.
The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit is an opportunity for the global community to strengthen and reshape humanitarian action for the coming years. The European Union, represented by the 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, has announced concrete actions at the summit.
The EU welcomes the launch of the “Grand Bargain” at the summit and is ready to help tackle the funding gap in humanitarian action, estimated to be US$15 billion by the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing. The Grand Bargain will redirect at least US$1 billion over the next five years to the frontline of humanitarian action. The launch of the Grand Bargain, an efficiency pact proposed by the High-Level Panel and negotiated by major donors and aid organisations, is an opportunity for more donors and aid implementers to join up and endorse more than 50 commitments, including gearing up cash programming, more direct funding for national and local responders, improving joint and impartial needs assessments and reducing bureaucracy through harmonised reporting requirements.
The EU is one of the first donors to have reached, in 2016, the global target of four percent of humanitarian funding earmarked for education. With the announcement of its 5 million Euros of support to the ‘Education Cannot Wait – A Fund for Education in Emergencies’ platform, the European Union has taken further concrete action to support this priority at the World Humanitarian Summit. The platform will initially be hosted by UNICEF and 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 crisis-affected children and young people.
Finally, the EU has reconfirmed at the summit that it is in the process of mobilising a grant contribution of more than 500 million Euros to support countries most affected by the current food security crisis caused by El Nino. This is a joint initiative by the EU’s development and humanitarian directorates. A first tranche of 125 million Euros to fund emergency actions was approved in December, 2015. The approval procedure for a second tranche of 414 million Euros supporting both humanitarian and development assistance related to El Nino is under way.