Funding gap: A challenge for the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS)

20-05-2016

Despite the highest ever humanitarian spending globally, the exponential growth of the number of people trapped in long-term crisis has deepened the funding gap. This unprecedented discrepancy between humanitarian needs and the available funding translates into tragic losses in human potential. The European Parliament has stressed the urgency to reduce the gap and the need for 'globally coordinated, timely, predictable and flexible funding'. Hence during the two-year long preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), humanitarian financing has focused much attention. The UN High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, co-chaired by European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, has made several proposals. Among paths to enhance aid supply: the broadening of the funding base that would come from better involvement of emerging government donors and of the private sector; innovative ways of financing such as Islamic social finance or a voluntary levy, and more efficient use of money (local involvement, cash transfers, result-oriented funding). But it is clearer than ever that, to close the gap, decisive action is also required to reduce humanitarian needs. A substantial increase in conflict-resolution capacity in the international community, bridging the humanitarian-development divide in order to better tackle the protracted crises and its root causes, as well as a strong commitment to invest in disaster preparedness and risk mitigation are among the main ideas on the table at the WHS. The summit is literally too vital, for millions of people trapped in humanitarian crisis, to fail.

Despite the highest ever humanitarian spending globally, the exponential growth of the number of people trapped in long-term crisis has deepened the funding gap. This unprecedented discrepancy between humanitarian needs and the available funding translates into tragic losses in human potential. The European Parliament has stressed the urgency to reduce the gap and the need for 'globally coordinated, timely, predictable and flexible funding'. Hence during the two-year long preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), humanitarian financing has focused much attention. The UN High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, co-chaired by European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, has made several proposals. Among paths to enhance aid supply: the broadening of the funding base that would come from better involvement of emerging government donors and of the private sector; innovative ways of financing such as Islamic social finance or a voluntary levy, and more efficient use of money (local involvement, cash transfers, result-oriented funding). But it is clearer than ever that, to close the gap, decisive action is also required to reduce humanitarian needs. A substantial increase in conflict-resolution capacity in the international community, bridging the humanitarian-development divide in order to better tackle the protracted crises and its root causes, as well as a strong commitment to invest in disaster preparedness and risk mitigation are among the main ideas on the table at the WHS. The summit is literally too vital, for millions of people trapped in humanitarian crisis, to fail.