Trends in Humanitarian Financing: do resources meet the needs?

UntitledHumanitarian crises and needs in 2013 was extraordinary, the level of international humanitarian response rose to a record high of US$22 billion. As crises developed or emerged over the year, the numbers of affected people fluctuated. In light of that, financial resources are increasingly stretched. At the United Nations panellists gathered to discuss and identify how resources can more effectively channelled in order to meet the needs of affected civilians.

H.E. Ambassador Nusseibeh commenced the meeting by highlighting 2012 as a year of “recurring disasters” during which there was a stark change in the number of high-level humanitarian crises in 2013. Millions of people were affected by various crises, which stretched international response and funding. In particular adversity in South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen affected hundreds of thousands of people and called for significant international humanitarian response.

Ms. Swithern emphasised that South Sudan and Syria now appear at the top of the list of nations in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. This is due to the ongoing conflict driven crises in these respective countries. The United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Turkey and Japan were the largest government donors in 2013. He stressed that even though the international humanitarian response has increased significantly, it is still not enough to fully meet the ever-growing global needs.

Mr. Strohmeyer briefly explained the importance of looking at various funding mechanisms and developing multi-year strategies as funding moves through chains of transaction in varying lengths and complexity. He also stated that in order to improve the effectiveness of resources, it is necessary to provide independent, transparent and accessible information.

It is clear that national and local NGOs form an essential part of the humanitarian response. Ms. Genel introduced a Turkey-based NGO ‘Support to Life’, which works internationally on humanitarian principles. Despite NGO assistance Ms. Genel emphasised that domestic government resources are substantial and should continue to be the key driver of long-term development.

Meeting Title: Trends in humanitarian financing: do resources meet the needs?
Speakers: Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations; Ms. Sophia Swithern, Programme Leader, Global Humanitarian Programme of Development Initiatives; Mr. Hansjoerg Strohmeyer, Chief, Policy Development and Studies Branch (OCHA); Ms. Sema Genel, Director, Support to Life (Turkey)
Location: Conference Room C, United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 24 June 2014
Written By WIT representative: Samantha Kong
Edited By WIT Representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark 

UN Coordinated Emergency Response Fund in Humanitarian Situations

Today a meeting was held to discuss the use of the UN’s Coordinated Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in large-scale emergency situations. Beginning the meeting, Ms. Amos, the Under-Secretary General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, spoke about CERF’s response and effectiveness in Syria, Central African Republic, and South Sudan. She said the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is increasing, and that CERF needs to systematically leverage the limited amounts of funding it has in order for its response to have the greatest impact in conflict areas.

Following, Mr. Mogwanja from UNICEF gave a statement about CERF’s partnership with UNICEF, and how CERF makes humanitarian responses faster, more predictable, and more coordinated. Since its launch in 2006, CERF has helped to shine a light on otherwise ignored emergency situations.

UFE Round I 2014

Next, Mr. Moustapha, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), emphasized how CERF can help respond to large scale cross boarder emergencies, like the humanitarian crisis in the DRC and the Central African Republic. Mr. Moustapha praised CERF for its flexibility, and its ability to efficiently unite and focus acute relief efforts in grave humanitarian situations. However, he called for CERF funds to be allocated in a more fair and inclusive manner, and for there to be a more serious reporting system on its progress.

Concluding the meeting, Mr. Guterres from UNHCR spoke about how to deal with a dramatic rise in the need for CERF funding. Population growth, climate change, water scarcity, and food insecurity are contributing to global humanitarian crises. New ways of funding for humanitarian situations are gravely needed. Mr. Guterres concluded the meeting by emphasizing that overall CERF works well because it is not bureaucratic, has low transaction costs, clear rules, and is speedy in its response.

 

Meeting Title: Use of CERF in Large-Scale Emergencies
Speakers: Ms. Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator; Mr. Martin Mogwanja, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF; Moustapha Soumare, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for the Democratic Republic of Congo; Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Date: 24 June 2014
Location: Conference Room 2, United Nations HQ, New York
Written by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan