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UN chief launches humanitarian financing report in Dubai

UN chief launches humanitarian financing report in Dubai

Ban Ki-moon unveils landmark report in presence of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has called for the co-operation of governments, the private sector and humanitarian agencies to close the $15bn funding gap in providing vital aid to 125m people in need around the world.

Ban made the appeal at the high-profile launch event for new report Too Important to Fail – Addressing the Humanitarian Financial Gap, held at Dubai’s International Humanitarian City in the presence of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE, and ruler of Dubai.

Addressing delegates, who also included chairperson of International Humanitarian City, HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, and UAE minister of state, HE Reem Al Hashimi, Ban said: “We are living in the age of the mega-crises.

“Globally, the world is shattering records we would never wish to break.

“We are seeing all-time-high numbers for the amounts of money requested through humanitarian appeals, the amounts raised from generous donors, and scale of the global humanitarian funding gap,” he continued. “That is why, in May last year, I asked a high-level panel of eminent independent experts to urgently seek solutions to the funding gap.”

The UN high-level panel on humanitarian financing was co-chaired by the vice president for budget and human resources at the European Commission, Kristalina Georgieva, and HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah, ruler of Perak, Malaysia.

Having interviewed hundreds of people within the humanitarian ecosystem, as well as those affected by crises around the world, the panel made a series of recommendations for actionable ideas to increase the current $25bn spend on humanitarian aid to $40bn.

Based around three main topics – shrinking the needs, growing the resource base, and improving efficiency – recommendations include tapping into Islamic social finance, encouraging governments to dedicate a higher percentage of their GDP to humanitarian causes, and tripling the International Development Authority’s Crisis Response Window.

The panel also highlighted the importance of striking a “grand bargain” between donors and aid organisations to enhance the impact of existing money by improving efficiency and transparency.

Georgieva said: “A gap of $15 billion is a lot of money but in a world producing $78 trillion of GDP it should not be out of reach to find.

“Closing the gap would mean nobody having to die or live without dignity for lack of money and a victory for humanity at a time when one is greatly needed.”

The report is expected to be a key component of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May, and Ban said he would publish his own report on the future of humanitarian aid in the coming weeks.

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