Supporting the process of transition from Relief to Development

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Panellists exchanged their ideas towards better integrated planning and risk management, in particular the context of increasing funding streams to manage crisis risk. Mr. Mundele addressed four key points, including the humanitarian context in DRC, economic progress of Congo, history of the management and humanitarian framework in DRC, the mechanisms of economic stimulus and community resilience in post conflict. He emphasised the focus should be put on the prevention program of disaster risk to evaluate the Congo’s Framework for Action and develop the contribution of Africa to the establishment of the post-2015 framework.

Mr. Soumaré pointed out that humanitarian organisations and the Governments should plan and work together. “Government leadership is the key”, he said. Not only does it encourage humanitarian and development organizations to work more effectively, it also multiplies the impact. Mr. Jean noted that this is an important issue in Haiti; one of the most vulnerable countries, exposed to all sorts of catastrophes, including droughts, earthquakes, cyclones, etc. There are currently innovative approaches driven by Governments and the UN, however there is limited support from donors and a lack financing sources to develop innovative approaches to humanitarian work.

Mr. Clerg echoed Mr. Jean’s comments. He specifically focused on risk management in preventing humanitarian crisis. He concluded with three main calls for action. First, prioritizing countries at risk to ensure development aid goes to people and countries that are the most at risk. Next, humanitarian organisations should put high emphasis on managing the risk of crises, instead of just responding to its consequences. Lastly, crisis risk management should be prioritized in order to prevent and mitigate future humanitarian crises.

Meeting Title: Panel discussion on “Supporting the process of transition from relief to development: Funding and risk management”
Speakers: H.E. Ibrahim O. Dabbashi (Libya), Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council; Ms. Kanni Wignaraja, Director, United Nations Development Operations Coordination Office; H.E. Charles Naweji Mundele, Minister of Social Affairs, Humanitarian Action and National Solidarity, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Mr. Moustapha Soumaré, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Mr. Yves-Robert Jean, Director-General, Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation, Haiti; Mr. Peter de Clerq, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Haiti
Location: ECOSOC Chambers, United Nations HQ, New York 
Date: 23 June 2014
Written By WIT representative: Samantha Kong
Edited by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark

 

Humanitarian Crises in Colombia and Myanmar

Rakhine camp._(8288488088)Today in the Trusteeship Council a meeting was convened on the humanitarian crises in Colombia and Myanmar. Beginning the meeting, the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Ms. Kang, gave a briefing on the situation in Colombia, which continues to be grave as the country faces various humanitarian challenges including natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, as well as widespread violence from armed conflict. Currently, there are over 5.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Colombia, with the biggest threats to human security coming from violence against women, the recruitment of child soldiers, and the use of land mines. She pointed out the importance of humanitarian relief funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), but urged donors to do more in supporting Colombia’s humanitarian needs.

Next, Mr. Hochschild, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Colombia, gave a statement about how decreases in poverty in Colombia have not been matched by decreases in inequality. He pointed out the three main dimensions of inequality that persist in Colombia, which are gender inequality, ethnic inequality, and geographic inequality. This inequality combined with ongoing conflict is only making the humanitarian situation in Colombia worse. Following, the Permanent Representative of Colombia spoke about how Colombia must overcome conflict in a sustainable way, so victims and survivors are at the center of the post conflict resolution process. She called for the support of the UN, and pointed out how war is a significant driver of poverty, and every opportunity needs to be taken to promote peace.

Next, Ms. Kang then gave a briefing on the humanitarian situation in Myanmar, where thousands of people in Rakhine and Kachin states continue to rely on humanitarian aid, and are so far unable to rebuild their lives due to conflict. The IDP camps are in terrible condition, severely restrict freedom of movement, and seriously lack access to adequate health care, water, and jobs. Myanmar also suffers from regular earthquakes, floods, and cyclones, which contribute to the deteriorating humanitarian situation. Concluding the meeting, the Permanent Representative of Myanmar spoke about the trust deficit that exists between the government and the donor community. He called for a human rights based approach to humanitarian aid, and an improvement of relations between Myanmar’s government and UN organizations/NGOs.

 

Meeting Title: “The Humanitarian Situation in Colombia and Myanmar” (Organized by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA))
Speakers: Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator; Mr. Fabrizio Hochschild, UN Resident and Coordinator for Colombia; H.E. Ms. Maria Emma Mejia Velez, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN; Mr. Kyaw, Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the UN
Date: 18 June 2014
Location: Trusteeship Council, United Nations HQ, New York
Written by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan