UN chief appoints expert panel to address humanitarian funding shortfalls

The Central African Republic has been suffering a devastating humanitarian crisis, with more than half of the population – 2.7 million people – needing aid. Photo: OCHA/Gemma Cortes

21 May 2015 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed a high-level United Nations panel to address the yawning gap between resources and financing for the world’s ever-pressing humanitarian efforts.

In a statement released by his spokesperson’s office earlier today, the Secretary-General observed that over the last decade, the demand for humanitarian aid had risen “dramatically” amid an uptick in water scarcity, food insecurity, demographic shifts, rapid urbanization and climate change.

“All these and other dynamics are contributing to a situation in which current resources and funding flows are insufficient to meet the rising demand for aid,” Mr. Ban’s statement declared. “Humanitarian actors expected to stay longer and longer in countries and regions impacted by long-running crises and conflicts.”

Over the past 10 years, the global demand for humanitarian aid has, in fact, risen precipitously. The number of people requiring critical relief has more than doubled since 2004 to over 100 million today and current funding requirements for 2015, according to the UN, stand at $19.1 billion, up from $3.4 billion in 2004.

As a result, Mr. Ban has launched his High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing with Vice President of the European Commission, Kristalina Georgieva of Bulgaria, and Sultan Nazrin Shah of Malaysia as co-chairs of the Panel.

The Panel, which will examine humanitarian financing challenges and identify ways in which the gap between rising needs and the resources available to meet them can be closed, will also work on generating solutions around the issues of more timely and predictable funding, as well as ways in which resources can be used more effectively, according to the statement.

The Panel will also include Hadeel Ibrahim of the United Kingdom; Badr Jafar of the United Arab Emirates; Trevor Manuel of South Africa; Linah Mohohlo of Botswana; Walt Macnee of Canada; Margot Wallström of Sweden; and Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah of Sri Lanka.

It is expected to submit its recommendations to the Secretary-General in November 2015 which will help frame discussions at next year’s World Humanitarian Summit.


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