With 125 million people needing humanitarian assistance as of the start of this year – the highest number since the Second World War – the world is at a critical juncture. Crises are increasingly complex and last longer than ever before, including conflict, disasters and forced displacement. Climate change is making the situation even more volatile.
In response UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will convene the first ever World Humanitarian Summit on 23 and 24 May in Istanbul. The Summit will bring together leaders from government, business, international and regional organizations, humanitarian organizations, first responders, community networks, academia and civil society.
It is one in a series of key events this year that provide an historic opportunity and renewed momentum to meet these global challenges by fundamentally changing how the world deals with crises.
Humanitarian, development and peace and security actors must find new ways to work together, before, during and in recovery from crisis, not in competition or in isolation from one another.
We must invest more in disaster risk reduction and preparedness, preventing need, and building resilience to future shocks. We also need to look at new ways of financing crisis response so that we both meet the urgent, life-saving needs while also investing in the reduction of humanitarian need overall. Where we face protracted crises, we need more flexible, multi-year financing.
At the Summit, world leaders from government, business, civil society and the United Nations will announce commitments and launch new initiatives.
The Secretary-General has called for the implementation of commitments to begin immediately following the Summit and for measurable progress within the next three years.