More Aid, More Problems: How to Help the Helpers in the Middle East

Syria Agrees To Delivery Of Humanitarian Aid

Today, the Security Council ran two meetings, beginning with the adoption of the agenda and an introduction to the situation in the Middle East. A letter dated 22 January 2016 from the Panel of Experts on Yemen was read, discussing the significant challenges to the implementation of humanitarian aid and the destructive impact that the humanitarian situation in Yemen has had on civilians. The urgency to simplify the process of aiding others was stressed: to move a single truck, the UN team needs to go through repeated rounds of everything from the target location to the route and dates and times. This toiling process hinders the efficiency of the task at hand.

Recently, a WFP plane sent from the UN and its partners dropped some necessities in Syria that have reached 110 people in besieged places, with 230 more people that can be reached through airdrops, and an additional 170 people are in need. This month, aid was brought to 960 people, which is a 48% increase from January. It was stated that with the highest price of the Syrian conflict being paid by the men, women, and children who are witnessing their homes being torn apart, granting access should not be dependent on political situations.

Next, Dr. Ja’afari wanted to shed light on the brutality: some states impose unilateral measures on the Syrian people, which merely aggravate the suffering; some accuse the government of purposely seizing and starving the civilians. He disputed these claims by stating, “Only civilians are hungry, not terrorists. Terrorists do not go hungry. It is inevitable that only civilians go hungry. It has become clear that the improvement of the Syrian situation is necessary.” Finally, the President adjourned the meeting with an invitation to the council members for an informal discussion.

Meeting: Security Council: 7630th, 7631st Meetings

Date/Location: Wednesday, February 24th, 2016; 10:00-11:00; Security Council Chamber

Speakers: Rafael Ramirez, President of Security Council from Venezuela; the Panel of Experts on Yemen; H.E. Bashar Ja’afari, Ph.D., the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Written By: WIT Representative Jin Yoo

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: United Nation Relief and Works Agency via Getty Images

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