21 May 2015

Secretary-General Appoints High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing

The following announcement was made today by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki‑moon:

One of the most important challenges facing the humanitarian system today is the growing gap between the increasing numbers of people in need of assistance and sufficient resources to provide relief.

Over the last decade, the demand for humanitarian aid has risen dramatically.  The number of people in need has more than doubled since 2004 to over 100 million today, and current humanitarian funding requirements for 2015 stand at $19.1 billion, up from $3.4 billion in 2004.

This is the result of a number of factors, including protracted conflicts which are forcing record numbers of people from their homes, 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.  In addition, humanitarian actors are expected to stay longer and longer in countries and regions impacted by long-running crises and conflicts.

These are some of the most pressing reasons which led me to establish a High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing.

I have appointed Kristalina Georgieva and Sultan Nazrin Shah as co-chairs of the Panel.  This initiative will bring together distinguished individuals with a wide range of experience and expertise, including Hadeel Ibrahim, Badr Jafar, Trevor Manuel, Linah Mohohlo, Walt Macnee, Margot Wallström and Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah.

The Panel will examine humanitarian financing challenges and will identify ways in which the gap between rising needs and the resources available to meet them can be closed.  It 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.

The Panel is expected to submit its recommendations to me in November 2015 and these recommendations will help frame the discussion at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016.

Panel Members

Kristalina Georgieva (Bulgaria) is Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Budget and Human Resources.  Prior to her appointment in November 2014, she was the European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response (2010‑2014).  During her term in office, she oversaw the delivery of life saving assistance to nearly 500 million children, women and men affected by conflicts and natural disasters around the world.  From 1993 to 2010, she served in a number of positions in the World Bank Group; in her last position, as the World Bank's Vice-President and Corporate Secretary, she played a key role in the Bank's governance reform and accompanying capital increase in the wake of the 2008 international financial crisis.

Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak (Malaysia) is the eldest son of the late Sultan of Perak.  He has assumed the role of Financial Ambassador of the Malaysian International Islamic Financial Centre, has been Pro-Chancellor of Universiti Malaya since 1989 and is the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Malay College Kuala Kangsar.  He is also an Eminent Fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies in Malaysia.  He has written articles and spoken on a wide range of issues, including constitutional monarchy in Malaysia, education, Islam, ethnic relations and economic development.

Hadeel Ibrahim (United Kingdom) is Executive Director of Mo Ibrahim Foundation.  Established in 2006, the Foundation, which is a non-grant-making organization, focuses on defining, assessing and enhancing governance and leadership in Africa.  She is also co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Africa Center in New York, whose mission is to promote partnership, collaboration, dialogue and understanding between African artists, business leaders and civil society and their counterparts in the United States and beyond.

Badr Jafar (United Arab Emirates) is Chief Executive of the United Arab Emirates’ Crescent Group, operating globally across six industry verticals, including natural gas, ports and logistics and health care.  He is actively involved with and sits on the boards of various international non-profit organizations, spearheading programmes in support of social development, secondary education and the arts, and is a prominent advocate of social entrepreneurship.  In 2010, he launched the Pearl Initiative in cooperation with United Nations agencies to promote a corporate culture of transparency and accountability within the Middle East.

Trevor Manuel (South Africa) is a senior adviser to the financial advisory firm Rothschild.  He served in the Government of South Africa as Cabinet Minister for 20 years.  He was Minister of Trade and Industry from 1994 to 1996 and Minister of Finance from 1996 to 2009.  From 2009 to 2014, he served as Minister in the Presidency for the National Planning Commission.  During his tenure, South Africa reported a budget surplus in 2007 and he increased spending for education, housing and sanitation.  In 2008, he chaired the Committee on International Monetary Fund (IMF) Governance Reform.  He has received numerous international awards and recognition for his accomplishments.

Linah Mohohlo (Botswana) is the Governor of the Bank of Botswana.  She has also worked for IMF and, in her capacity as Governor of IMF for Botswana, she has been a member of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, representing the IMF Africa Group 1 Constituency.   She served on the Commission for Africa and the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health; she is also a member of the Africa Progress Panel.  In 2011, Ms. Mohohlo co-chaired the World Economic Forum on Africa.  She is a recipient of a number of professional awards, including Botswana’s highest public service award for efficient and devoted service (the Presidential Order of Honour).

Walt Macnee (Canada) is Vice-Chairman of MasterCard Worldwide and is responsible for various senior client and Government relationships.  Previously, he was President of International Markets, Global Markets, as well as for the Americas Region.  From 2001 to 2004, he was President of MasterCard Canada.  He briefly left MasterCard from 2004 to 2006 when he was Executive Vice-President at Canadian Imperial bank of Commerce.  Prior to joining MasterCard, he spent 18 years with Toronto Dominion Bank where, in his last position as Senior Vice-President, he had full product management and client service responsibility for payment cards and personal lending.

Margot Wallström (Sweden) is the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs.  She has had a long career in politics in the Swedish parliament, the Swedish Government and the European Commission.  She was European Environment Commissioner from 1999 to 2004, and in the Swedish Government she was Minister for Consumer Affairs, Women and Youth (1988–1991), Minister for Culture (1994–1996) and Minister for Social Affairs (1996–1998).  She was also the first of five Vice-Presidents of the 27‑member European Commission from 2004 to 2010, and worked as Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict from 2010 to 2012.

Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah (Sri Lanka) is the Secretary General of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation.  In 2009, he was appointed Director General of the Royal Commonwealth Society, a large non-governmental organization devoted to Commonwealth affairs based in London.  He was the first non-British and youngest person to head this 140-year-old organization.  Before being appointed to the Society, he was Deputy Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research.  He is a researcher, author and commentator on migration issues and economic development.

For information media. Not an official record.