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Procedure : 2015/2051(INI)
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Wednesday, 16 December 2015 - Strasbourg
Preparing for the World Humanitarian Summit: Challenges and opportunities for humanitarian assistance

European Parliament resolution of 16 December 2015 on preparing for the World Humanitarian Summit: Challenges and opportunities for humanitarian assistance (2015/2051(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to UN General Assembly resolution 46/182 of 19 December 1991 on the strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance(1),

–  having regard to the UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Transformative Agenda(2),

–  having regard to the Principles of Partnership (as endorsed by the Global Humanitarian Platform) of 12 July 2007(3),

–  having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution 64/290 of 9 July 2010 on the Right to Education in Emergency Situations(4) and relevant guidelines including those by UNICEF and UNESCO,

–  having regard to the UN IASC Guidelines for Integrating Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action(5),

–  having regard to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 adopted at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held from 14 to 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan(6),

–  having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution 69/313 of 27 July 2015 establishing the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development(7),

–  having regard to the debates in preparation of the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement on 8-10 December 2015 in Geneva,

–  having regard to the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2015(8),

–  having regard to the Global Humanitarian Overview of June 2015(9),

–  having regard to the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles(10),

–  having regard to the UN High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid(11),

–  having regard to the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid of 2007 (hereafter ‘European Consensus’), a joint declaration signed by the Commission, the Council, the European Parliament and the Member States(12), and its Action Plan to be renewed,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (‘EU Aid Volunteers initiative’)(13), and the Annual Report on the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative in 2014(14),

–  having regard to Decision No 1313/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism(15),

–  having regard to the Commission Staff Working Document ‘Gender in Humanitarian Aid: Different Needs, Adapted Assistance’ (SWD(2013)0290)(16),

–  having regard to the report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – Annual report on the European Union’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Policies and their implementation in 2014 (COM(2015)0406)(17),

–  having regard to the Annual Activity Report 2014 by the Commission DG for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO)(18),

–  having regard to the Council Conclusions of 22 June 2015 on Common Principles for Multi-Purpose Cash-Based Assistance to Respond to Humanitarian Needs(19),

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 20 November 1989 and its Optional Protocol on the involvement of Children in Armed Conflict of 25 May 2000; having regard to the EU Guidelines on Children and Armed Conflict (updated 2008),

–  having regard to the Council Conclusions of 26 May 2015 on A New Global Partnership for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development after 2015(20),

–  having regard to the Council Conclusions of 28 May 2013 on the EU approach to resilience(21),

–  having regard to the Council Conclusions of 5 June 2014 on the Post 2015 Hyogo Framework for Action: Managing risks to achieve resilience(22),

–  having regard to the Council Conclusions of 16 December 2014 on a Transformative Post-2015 Agenda(23),

–  having regard to the joint communication of 9 September 2015 entitled ‘Addressing the Refugee Crisis in Europe: The Role of EU External Action’ (JOIN(2015)0040)(24),

–  having regard to the regional, thematic and global consultations in preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit(25),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 May 2015 on Financing for Development(26),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 November 2014 on the EU and the global development framework after 2015(27),

–  having regard to its resolutions of 9 July 2015 on the situation in Yemen(28); of 11 June 2015 on the situation in Nepal following the earthquakes(29); of 30 April 2015 on the situation of the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria(30); of 12 March 2015 on South Sudan, including recent child abductions(31); of 12 February 2015 on the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria, in particular in the IS context(32); and of 15 January 2015 on the situation in Libya(33),

–  having regard to its resolutions of 10 September 2015 on migration and refugees in Europe(34); and of 29 April 2015 on the latest tragedies in the Mediterranean and EU migration and asylum policies(35),

–  having regard to Article 7 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which reaffirms that the EU ‘shall ensure consistency between its policies and activities, taking all of its objectives into account’,

–  having regard to Article 208 TFEU, which stipulates that ‘the Union shall take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries’,

–  having regard to Article 214 TFEU on the Union’s operations in the field of humanitarian aid,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 2 September 2015 entitled ‘Towards the World Humanitarian Summit: A global partnership for principled and effective humanitarian action’ (COM(2015)0419)(36) and its accompanying Staff Working Document (SWD(2015)0166)(37),

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Development and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A8-0332/2015),

A.  whereas, in a very fragile world, we are facing an increase in the diversity, frequency and intensity of natural disasters and famines and an unprecedented escalation in the number and complexity of conflicts;

B.  whereas growing challenges, such as urbanisation, rapid population growth, demographic changes, the prevalence and increased strength of natural disasters, environmental degradation, desertification, climate change, numerous long-lasting and simultaneous conflicts with regional impact and resource scarcity, added to the consequences of poverty, inequality, migration, displacement and fragility, have consequently dramatically increased the need for humanitarian response throughout the globe;

C.  whereas the number of people in need has more than doubled since 2004 to over 100 million in 2015; whereas 250 million people are affected by humanitarian crises; whereas the number of forcibly displaced persons has reached its highest point since World War II at nearly 60 million, including almost 40 million displaced inside their own countries; whereas over half of the world’s refugees are children;

D.  whereas a billion people could be displaced because of climate change by 2050, with more than 40 % of the global population living in areas of severe water stress; whereas economic losses from natural disasters are likely to increase dramatically from the USD 300 billion currently lost annually;

E.  whereas over the past eight years the growing needs and challenges, the lack of sustained commitments and the rising cost of humanitarian assistance have contributed to the current humanitarian system reaching its limits, forcing a number of organisations to temporarily suspend food assistance, shelter and other life-saving humanitarian operations;

F.  whereas humanitarian hospitals are often targets of attacks using weapons of mass destruction; whereas threats and attacks on humanitarian personnel are increasing; whereas the security of humanitarian staff and of injured people is very often threatened; and whereas these attacks constitute a breach of international humanitarian law and a serious danger to the future of humanitarian aid;

G.  whereas humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, and the basic rules of international humanitarian law and the human rights provided for by the Geneva Conventions and the additional protocols thereto, must be at the core of all humanitarian actions; whereas the protection of displaced persons must be guaranteed unconditionally, and whereas aid independence, i.e. aid that is free from any political, economic or security considerations or any type of discrimination, must prevail;

H.  whereas all parties in a conflict, including state and non-state armed parties, must guarantee humanitarian actors such access as is necessary for them to assist vulnerable, conflict-affected civilian populations;

I.  whereas women and children are not only especially vulnerable, and disproportionately exposed to risk, in disaster zones, both during and in the aftermath of emergencies, they also face exploitation, marginalisation, infections, and sexual and gender-based violence used as weapons; whereas women and children face heightened risks as a result of displacement and the breakdown of normal protection and support structures; whereas international humanitarian law requires that all necessary medical care be provided without discrimination to girls and women raped in war; whereas unsafe abortion is listed by the World Health Organisation as one of three leading causes of maternal mortality; whereas maternal health, counselling of women rape victims, and education and schooling of displaced children are major challenges at refugee camps;

J.  whereas the consolidated humanitarian appeal for 2015 reached a record high in UN history at close to EUR 19 billion; whereas, despite record contributions by donors, only a quarter of the global appeal was funded, and the EU has struggled to fund global humanitarian appeals and DG ECHO-supported operations; whereas this reinforces the need for globally coordinated, timely, predictable and flexible funding, tailored to different contexts and sustained by a new public-private partnership for innovative preparedness and delivery methods; whereas the EU has struggled to fund global humanitarian appeals and ECHO operations; whereas the renewed commitment to the 0,7 % aid target, and the timely delivery on pledges, are all the more important in such a context;

K.  whereas the majority of humanitarian crises have human-related causes; whereas 80 % of EU international humanitarian assistance is concentrated in man-made crises that require essentially political and not only humanitarian solutions; whereas poverty and vulnerability to crises are intrinsically linked, emphasising the need to address the underlying causes of crises, build resilience, reinforce capacity for adapting to natural disasters and climate change, and meet the long-term needs of affected people; whereas the consequences of humanitarian crises, such as migration and refugee challenges, will be even greater unless the root causes are addressed and there is better linkage between humanitarian and development cooperation assistance;

L.  whereas humanitarian aid and development are interlinked, especially in light of the need to strengthen resilience to disaster by mitigating risks and protecting against shocks, as a crucial means of reducing humanitarian needs and of combating disruptions to health, hygiene, education, nutrition and even basic shelter;

M.  whereas international, local and regional coordination, information-sharing and joint programming, data collection and evaluation assessments will help improve decision-making, efficiency, effectiveness and accountability in aid delivery;

N.  whereas there is a need to develop greater trust and further cooperation between private sector actors, NGOs, local authorities, international organisations and governments; whereas business resources, expertise, supply chains, research and development capabilities, and logistics can serve to ensure more effective preparedness and humanitarian action;

O.  whereas funding under the EU humanitarian aid chapter, EUR 909 million in 2015, represents less than 1 % of the total EU budget; whereas improving the linkage between relief and long-term assistance is one way to reduce the current discrepancy between the extraordinary humanitarian needs and the means available;

P.  whereas NGOs and international organisations, such as the Red Cross and UN agencies, are currently the main implementers of humanitarian support, providing life-saving assistance and protection to some 120 million people per year;

Q.  whereas prevention, domestic response and domestic capacities play an important role in meeting needs in the best way, and in reducing the necessity for international aid; whereas in 2015, only 2 % of total international humanitarian assistance went directly to local and national NGOs of the affected states, even though their reactivity, knowledge of needs and ability to reach out to affected people is usually better than that of other actors; whereas there is an increasing demand to ensure accountability to crisis-affected people and communities;

R.  whereas humanitarian aid must remain based on the needs as assessed by humanitarian actors, and whereas donors should abstain from using aid as a crisis management tool;

S.  whereas the humanitarian response, and the tools used, should be tailored to jointly assessed needs, and should depend on varying contexts; whereas it is essential that all efforts be made to ensure that respect for human rights and, in particular, for the specific needs of women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, minorities and indigenous people and other vulnerable groups are integrated into humanitarian response efforts;

T.  whereas global actors are encouraged to incorporate humanitarian responses into human rights monitoring and reporting mechanisms;

U.  whereas the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), to be held in Istanbul on 23-24 May 2016, should result in a reshaping of the humanitarian architecture to make it more inclusive, effective, transparent and truly global, in order that it may respond to anticipated increases in humanitarian needs linked to current and future challenges, such as food security, population growth, climate change, fragility, aid workers’ safety, forced displacement and socioeconomic development;

V.  whereas the WHS will follow a number of intergovernmental negotiations – on disaster risk reduction, financing for development, the post-2015 sustainable development agenda and climate change – that will shape the development and humanitarian landscapes for years to come, and will thus provide a unique, critical and concrete opportunity to align objectives, principles and actions, and, for the world, to address the needs, and build the resilience, of the most vulnerable in a more coherent manner;

W.  whereas the EU, as the leading donor, has the responsibility and the necessary leverage to take a leadership role in the quest for better and innovative ways to meet the needs of, and provide viable long-term solutions for, millions of people affected by conflicts and disasters;

X.  whereas the recent escalating, global acute malnutrition rates, and the regional and international spill-over of political instability in Level 3 classified countries, have brought new reminders of the need for the WHS to accelerate transformation in the humanitarian system and better serve people in need;

From global consultations to global action

1.  Welcomes the UN Secretary-General’s decision to call for the first multi-stakeholder World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and the willingness of Turkey to host it; calls on the Member States to support the WHS and to reach firm Council conclusions, with specific commitments and priority areas for action, while pursuing operational efficiency, common quality standards, better coordination and partnerships with emerging donors, based on politically non-biased aid as well as on a common understanding and appliance of humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, and respect for obligations under international humanitarian law;

2.  Welcomes the UN initiative to gather intelligence from all over the world in order to plot natural disasters and conflicts and to resolve how to go about saving and protecting more people from the impact of such crises; welcomes as well the organisation of eight regional consultations that also involved thematic meetings and a global consultation – with representatives from government, civil society, NGOs, volunteer networks, businesses and religious networks – and as well as the initiative of the online consultations and the establishment of a High-Level Panel for Humanitarian Financing, co-chaired by the EU;

3.  Stresses that today’s enormous humanitarian challenges require a more inclusive, diverse and truly global humanitarian system, to be strengthened at the WHS, that, at the same time, recognises the diversity in today’s humanitarian response system and the complementary roles of all actors; calls on the EU to promote a ‘Global Consensus on Humanitarian Action’ that reaffirms the principles of humanitarian aid and the obligations and entitlements under international humanitarian law (IHL), while ensuring people-centred and human rights-based protection responses, and holds governments accountable for their roles and responsibilities in protecting people; raises awareness of the negative impacts of the politicisation of humanitarian assistance, and recalls that the upholding of, and continued commitment to, core humanitarian principles is critical to ensure a humanitarian space in areas of conflict and natural disasters;

4.  Emphasises that, in order to be meaningful, the WHS outcome document should include a five-year roadmap for the development and operationalisation of the concrete political commitments undertaken, including an intergovernmental monitoring and accountability framework, an assessment of the aid organisations’ practices and an impact assessment that includes the participation of relevant stakeholders;

5.  Calls on the WHS to link the post-2015 development agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in order to enhance coherence across policies and institutions for building disaster resilience, and to request a more active role of development actors in building resilience; calls on donor governments to develop, for their national policies, a common set of targets, priorities and indicators linking these frameworks;

6.  Calls on the EU and its Member States, as the largest donors and key operational actors, to lead by active example; emphasises that all EU humanitarian actions should be guided by the principles of solidarity, responsibility and accountability, and should be designed to ensure that vulnerable people are protected, both physically and psychologically; calls for a global, comprehensive and long-term solution for the masses of people fleeing conflict regions; notes that Europe’s role and credibility on the global humanitarian scene is also at stake in the response in the EU to the current crisis;

7.  Calls for the WHS to commit to a systematic, results-based and participatory approach by establishing specific indicators and a work methodology, to be reinforced and shared by donors and implementing agencies, for affected people to take part in the whole cycle of humanitarian action; calls on the WHS to work towards the institutionalisation, better monitoring and evaluation of the UN Accountability to Affected Populations framework;

8.  Underlines that the WHS is also an opportunity for all stakeholders to reflect on the vital need for UN reform towards an inclusive, transparent and effective coordination system, with a more inclusive and operative IASC, with better engagement with partners to enhance complementarity and with the full operationalisation of the Transformative Agenda, and to strengthen the multilateral humanitarian architecture for all crisis by establishing a reliable system of needs assessments serving as a basis for joint appeals (ensuring comprehensive financial tracking), a system of cost comparison between agencies and a monitoring and evaluation mechanism;

9.  Insists that without comprehensive and substantial means, such global action will not be successful; underlines that addressing new and chronic disasters and vulnerabilities requires avoidance of parallel systems, a broadening of the funding base, long-term predictable investments, and compliance with the new sustainable development agenda, notably by promoting joint risk and needs assessment, planning and financing among humanitarian, development and climate change actors; underlines that an increased complementarity between humanitarian and development aid is needed in order to address effectiveness and the humanitarian financing gaps, and should go hand in hand with increased development aid and humanitarian funding; recalls, in this context, the longstanding international commitment to reach the target of 0,7 % of GNI;

10.  Urges the EU, as the world’s largest humanitarian aid donor, to show leadership in the WHS by calling for more flexible methods for delivering humanitarian aid, as well as for proactive and coherent measures and effective tools for preventing crises; urges the EU and other donors to stay true to their financial commitments and to develop ways to reduce the time it takes to convert financial commitments into actions on the ground; points out, in addition, the importance of human rights reporting as an early warning mechanism for crises, and encourages the WHS to take this into account when moving from a culture of reaction to a culture of prevention;

Serving the needs of people in conflict

11.  Calls on the EU to place protection at the heart of humanitarian action within a needs-based response by creating a compliance system, and by mainstreaming it into programming; stresses the need for the institutionalisation of the role of protection officers, and for the development of strategic and integrated approaches with sufficient funds for protection activities also in the first phase of emergencies; urges the EU to commit more strongly to a human rights-based approach in humanitarian action to ensure that the dignity, and the needs and rights, of specific vulnerable groups – especially women, youth, migrants, people living with HIV, LGBTI persons and persons with disabilities – are respected;

12.  Calls on the EU to promote at the WHS a comprehensive agreement on practical ways to reinforce the respect and compliance of IHL, international human rights law (IHRL) and refugee law, such as through the dissemination of the rules of IHL among regional and national administrations, security forces, local authorities and community leaders, and to support the International Criminal Court role to end impunity for violation of IHL and IHRL;

13.  Stresses the need to expand the Refugee Convention and the Kampala Convention to protect and assist displaced people around the world, as well as those affected by climate change, and also to protect them from various forms of violence, such as human trafficking, gender-based violence, and urban and economic violence, since they may have a well-founded fear of persecution or be at risk of serious harm; underlines that migrants must be offered the same level of protection of their rights as guaranteed to all other groups in times of crises; calls for attention to be paid to particularly vulnerable groups, such as migrants, stateless persons and refugees, that are often neglected in the humanitarian debate; calls for a new generation of human rights protection tools to help protect these populations;

14.  Stresses the need for a fundamental shift in the support offered to refugees and to host countries and communities; supports the Synthesis report for the Global Consultation which calls on the WHS to examine a comprehensive “refugee hosting deal” that recognises host countries’ contributions, arranges longer-term, predictable and sustainable financial packages to assist them, makes refugees self-reliant by giving them access to livelihood opportunities, and creates more equitable arrangements for their resettlement in third countries;

15.  Calls on the EU and its Member States to work towards a shared global understanding and operationalisation of humanitarian principles in preparation of the WHS, and to develop jointly a wide, participatory code of conduct among current and new donors in order to share best practices, facilitate access to people in need and enhance existing commitments for good donor practices, such as those reflected in the GHD principles;

16.  Calls on the EU to advocate the inclusion of transparency and accountability as guiding principles in the WHS declaration, by using specific markers and disaggregated data (i.e. for gender and age, with specific variables for children) as the basis for programme design and evaluation, and by promoting an international humanitarian aid transparency standard initiative with the aim of ensuring a global accountability results framework for measuring progress;

17.  Underlines the need to provide nutrition, water, shelter, sanitation and medical treatment, as fundamental rights of every human being; is extremely concerned about the risks of epidemics associated with dire sanitation conditions and limited access to safe drinking water, and over the lack of access to essential medicines in humanitarian crises; calls on the EU to take a leading role in ensuring the appropriate provision of essential medicines and safe drinking water in the context of humanitarian crises;

18.  Calls on the Union and all international actors to improve, in refugee camps, techniques for providing humanitarian assistance, particularly by supplying mobile laboratories to combat infectious disease epidemics, improving methods of distributing emergency aid – taking account of the most vulnerable groups – and improving hygiene and emergency sanitary infrastructure;

19.  Stresses the need to include child protection as an integral part of humanitarian responses in order to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence against children; emphasises that as children are the main drivers of change, it is important to create child-friendly spaces as part of the humanitarian response;

20.  Highlights the central role that women play in conflict and post-conflict situations, given that they are the first responders in crises, holding their families and communities together; calls on donors and governments to mainstream gender equality in humanitarian programming and to support the empowerment of women and girls;

21.  Urges that the provision of humanitarian aid follows international humanitarian law, and that EU humanitarian aid not be subject to restrictions imposed by other partner donors; expresses its concerns over, and condemns, the continued use of rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls as a war weapon in humanitarian emergencies; emphasises that this violence, along with its physical and psychological consequences, needs to be addressed; calls for a global commitment to ensure that women and girls are safe from the start of every emergency or crisis by addressing the risk of sexual and gender-based violence, by raising awareness, by assuring the prosecution of the perpetrators of such violence, and by ensuring that women and girls have access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services, including safe abortions, in humanitarian crises, rather than perpetuating what amounts to inhumane treatment, as required by international humanitarian law and as foreseen in the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols;

22.  Considers that all staff involved in the provision of humanitarian assistance, including police and military forces, should receive adequate gender-sensitive training, and that a strict code of conduct must be put into place to prevent them from abusing their position and to ensure gender equality;

23.  Calls on humanitarian actors to incorporate strategies to prevent and mitigate gender-based violence into all their sector-specific interventions, facilitating the identification of new EU funding instruments, and, to this end, to take stock of the revised Guidelines for Integrating Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action, prepared by the Global Protection Cluster; considers also that humanitarian actors (including the EU) should consult girls and boys (especially adolescent girls) at all stages of disaster preparedness and response;

24.  Calls on the respective humanitarian agencies to strengthen their coordination in order to identify and protect victims, and potential victims, of sexual exploitation and abuse;

25.  Acknowledges the value of the EU’s comprehensive approach in the coordination and coherence of its wide array of external policy instruments to invest in durable political solutions; draws attention to the specific characteristics of humanitarian aid, and stresses that it is imperative to differentiate the humanitarian response from foreign, political, security and counter-terrorism considerations through the adoption of safeguards; deplores any misuse of, or disrespect for, the principles for humanitarian action, since such misuse significantly undermines aid delivery and the security of humanitarian staff; insists that counter-terrorism measures should neither undermine nor obstruct humanitarian efforts, and invites the WHS to address this issue in an appropriate way;

Humanitarian effectiveness

26.  Condemns the consistent thwarting of attempts to deliver humanitarian aid and any action that violates the principles guarding against “non-assistance to persons in danger” and of “non-refoulement” applicable to displaced populations by any actor, whether or not it is a member of the EU; calls on governments to live up to their primary responsibilities to protect and assist civilians, and to put in place legal and policy frameworks to facilitate humanitarian access, and aid delivery, in accordance with IHL; suggests that these frameworks include humanitarian tax exemptions, cuts in transaction costs of remittances flows and simplified customs procedures; calls on donors, host governments and implementing actors to respect the provisions of humanitarian aid and assistance through all possible channels, and to fulfil their responsibilities to ensure that professional, timely, coordinated, appropriate and quality assistance reaches all populations in need, even in remote areas;

27.  Is deeply concerned, in the context of better protection for humanitarian actors, about the recurrent attacks on both humanitarian workers and infrastructures, including hospitals; emphasises that more work is needed to improve their safety, protection and freedom of movement under international law; supports the systematic inclusion of specific clauses strengthening accountability for the protection of humanitarian workers into the legislation and action plans of donors for all countries, as well as firm systematic monitoring and reporting of attacks against all aid workers;

28.  Supports the Commission’s recommendations for a comprehensive dashboard for effectiveness;

29.  Stresses the need for a continued dialogue on the complementary roles and mandates of the different humanitarian actors; considers that there must be a clear distinction between civilian humanitarian and military actors; considers that the civil humanitarian response must be prioritised; invites the WHS to explore new frameworks for better coordination amongst actors as a key element for a more efficient, effective and appropriate humanitarian response; stresses the need for better analysis of local operational capacities, and for better joint assessments of needs and accountability of humanitarian action;

30.  Calls for serious efforts to ensure, in an effective way, the right to education in protracted humanitarian crises, through the provision of the necessary financial and human resources, since the lack of education endangers the future of children and the further development of any society; highlights the importance of continuous education in safeguarding and promoting shared and universal values such as human dignity, equality, democracy and human rights;

31.  Welcomes the Commission’s commitment – given the alarming number of children who are denied education, and the huge potential of education to increase people’s resilience – to increase financing for education for children in humanitarian emergencies; calls on the Council to endorse the Commission’s proposal to dedicate 4 % of the EU humanitarian aid budget to this purpose; considers that this increase should not result in less attention being paid to other primary needs;

32.  Expresses its concern about the education and schooling of children in refugee camps, and calls on the EU and all international actors to increase capacities for providing schooling in refugee camps;

33.  Acknowledges that predictability, operational flexibility and multi-year contributions are key prerequisites for efficient and effective aid delivery; calls on the EU and its Member States to reinvigorate the GHD principles in the WHS declaration;

34.  Emphasises that global action is needed to address the funding gap; calls for the establishment of a global fund for humanitarian assistance (GFHA) that supports the participation and inclusion of non-DAC donors and brings together all existing international financial mechanisms, domestic resources and pooled funds (UN emergency response funds, CERF funds, trust funds, etc.), and that is complemented by voluntary financial payments by governments, the private sector and regional organisations; suggests that payments could be used to fill gaps in humanitarian pledges for Level 3 emergencies, support preparedness, provide social protection resilience package for long-term refugees or cope with unforeseen emergencies, such as Ebola, among others;

35.  Underlines the needs for the international financial institutions to engage fully and to remodel their soft lending window focus, mainly by redefining their concessional fund eligibility criteria, in order to allow for a more flexible institutional response to fragile situations and to reflect more closely on national capacities to raise domestic resources;

36.  Urges governments, donors and their enabling environments to simplify administrative requirements for implementing partners by streamlining procedures and mapping administrative, contracting and reporting best practices while ensuring accountability, and to support initiatives that are designed to provide continuous help in strengthening the capacity and the monitoring of local actors, and to reinforce national coordination structures;

37.  Stresses that to preserve and guarantee in a better way the life and dignity of affected populations, local NGOs must have access to direct financing; urges the Member States and donors to increase substantially direct funding for local humanitarian actors that have the capacity, expertise and capabilities to act in the field while ensuring accountability;

38.  Calls on the WHS to establish a new deal for engagement with fragile states and protracted crisis with sustainable programmes, implementation plans and predictable financing for development; underlines that the Addis Ababa Action Agenda emphasises the need for investments in social protection systems, and in safety nets, in order that responses in fragile contexts may be scaled up more rapidly and effectively;

Reducing vulnerability and managing risk

39.  Emphasises the need to adapt the humanitarian response system to local, national and regional requirements, and to empower and engage regularly affected populations, including women of all ages, children, persons with disabilities, minorities and indigenous people, recognising their role as change agents by ensuring, whenever possible, feedback from and prior consultation with these populations in the programming and implementation of humanitarian action;

40.  Underlines that an international response should build on existing local or national initiatives and partnerships rather than create parallel efforts; insists on the importance of strengthening local and regional capacities for the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and, if possible, of providing for inclusive processes where local authorities, civil society, the private sector and the affected populations are included in the planning process;

41.  Stresses the need for a new global model for complementarity on which to base cooperation between humanitarian and development actors – allowing them to build gradually more resilient and self-reliant societies – starting with joint analyses and programming; stresses that such a model should include, firstly, entry strategies for development actors allowing them to build bridges in the field, secondly, crisis modifiers in development programmes, and, thirdly, exit strategies for humanitarian responses, allowing for a more flexible approach, and should include as well accountable and flexible multiannual funding mechanism for responding to protracted crises; stresses the importance of cooperation with local NGOs and civil society leaders for establishing permanent structures in conflict-sensitive areas;

42.  Calls on the Commission to present an initiative to link humanitarian aid, development cooperation and resilience in a more systematic way, so as to enable the EU to be more flexible and effective in responding to growing needs, and to promote a reflection for a better link to the WHS; calls on the EU to take advantage, at the mid-term review of the current Multiannual Financial Framework, to enhance humanitarian/development linkages further;

43.  Stresses the importance of disaster risk reduction for resilience in four priority areas: 1) understanding disaster risks; 2) strengthening risk governance to manage disaster risk; 3) investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience, contingency plans and early warning systems; and 4) enhance disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “build back better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction;

44.  Calls on the Member States and on other donors to strengthen and develop national legal frameworks for humanitarian action, and disaster risk reduction and management, based on international disaster response laws, rules and principles; underlines that disaster preparedness, risk reduction and resilience should systematically be incorporated into the response plans to be provided by local, regional and national administrations, industry and civil society, and should, at the same time, be supported by sufficient financing for, and increased innovation in, forecasting and risk management modelling;

45.  Calls on the WHS to give strong emphasis to the issue of climate change and humanitarian action; believes that this should include the planning for and the building of resilience to the consequences of climate change, including climate-induced displacement and migration, in all relevant policy making at regional and global level; calls on the EU and its Member States, in this regard, to continue to take courageous political decisions to combat climate change;

Transformation through innovation

46.  Stresses that innovation should draw from multiple sources and, in particular, from the knowledge of affected people, civil society and local communities in the front line of response; stresses the importance of minimum humanitarian standards to boost essential public services, such as education, nutrition, health, shelter, water and sanitation throughout humanitarian responses; believes that public-private and cross-sectorial partnerships – when both public and private sectors share values and priorities that align business goals with the EU’s development objectives, and observe international standards on development effectiveness – can be a means to complement the public response to growing humanitarian needs; notes that cash-based assistance, when properly aligned with aid effectiveness principles, is an efficient example of innovation in humanitarian assistance;

47.  Welcomes the Council Conclusions on common principles for multi-purpose, cash-based assistance in response to humanitarian needs; acknowledges that while only a small proportion of humanitarian assistance is currently cash-based, the use of cash-based assistance has significant potential as an innovative, dignifying, safe, gender sensitive, flexible and cost-efficient modality to cover the emergency basic needs of the most vulnerable; calls on the EU and its Member States to promote the common principles and the use of unconditional cash assistance based on context and response analysis, while supporting a monitoring mechanism, in the run-up to the WHS;

48.  Calls on the EU to promote and support a global humanitarian innovation alliance for the development of globally shared ethical approaches, in line with the humanitarian principles and the UN principles for innovation and technology in development to guarantee that all investment in humanitarian innovation is designed to improve outcomes for affected populations; calls for the establishment of humanitarian innovation funds at regional and national level;

49.  Recognises that innovation can play a major role in responding to new challenges, as well as in improving existing programmes, by integrating new developments in other sectors in order to conceive, scale up and develop models that allow breakthroughs in overcoming humanitarian challenges;

50.  Emphasises the role of new technologies and innovative digital tools in the organisation and delivery of the humanitarian aid, especially with regards to aid delivery and tracking, disaster surveillance, information sharing, coordination between donors and facilitating relations between aid agencies and local governments, particularly in remote areas and disaster zones; highlights that Africa, and especially sub-Saharan Africa, is currently undergoing a mobile digital revolution with a surge in mobile subscriptions (and mobile internet use), makings such tools and services crucial for putting in place early warning systems and for providing speedy information on health matters, danger areas and aid contacts;

51.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to support, while respecting humanitarian principles and ethical standards, the involvement of businesses, especially SMEs, by developing a business guide for action and promoting local and regional partnership platforms for a structured, coordinated and sustainable engagement of companies in emergencies; encourages the Member States to integrate businesses into their respective national emergency response plans and accountability mechanisms in a better way;

52.  Calls on the EU to explore and encourage partnerships with start-ups, and with insurance and technology companies, amongst others, with a view to developing tools for preparedness and deployment in emergencies; underlines the need to support and further develop the global mapping by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) of available private sector assets and capacities to enhance technical cooperation for disaster response efforts;

53.  Calls on the EU and its humanitarian partners to advocate, in the context of the WHS, better engagement of young people in humanitarian preparedness and recovery processes, and to promote volunteering schemes;

54.  Highlights the important role that the EU Aid Volunteers scheme can play in putting into practice the decisions taken at the future WHS and in the context of a revised European Humanitarian Consensus; stresses that volunteers’ experience, alongside that of other humanitarian activists, can play a vital role in establishing best practices and implementation tools;

55.  Calls on the EU and its Member States to promote, at the WHS, the important role of humanitarian advocacy as this can be an effective way to strengthen protection and innovation;

56.  Underlines that the commitments taken in Istanbul must be implemented at the level of the EU and its Member States; calls, therefore, on the EU and its Member States to design, together with other humanitarian actors, an agenda for the operationalisation of the Summit outcomes after Istanbul; emphasises the need to ensure predictable and timely funding for humanitarian aid through the EU budget by ensuring that the EU’s humanitarian commitment appropriations are systematically fully funded through an equal amount of payment appropriations;

57.  Calls for a coherent and solid new action plan for the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid that guarantees an impartial and effective European humanitarian response, tailored to the local context while being age and gender specific and acting without discrimination and in proportion to needs;

o   o

58.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

(11) OJ L 163, 2.7.1996, p. 1.
(13) OJ L 122, 24.4.2014, p. 1.
(15) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 924.
(26) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0196.
(27) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0059.
(28) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0270.
(29) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0231.
(30) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0187.
(31) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0072.
(32) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0040.
(33) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0010.
(34) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0317.
(35) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0176.

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