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World Humanitarian Summit: Time to transform commitments into concrete action

© EU/Ozan Kose
© EU/Ozan Kose
© EU/Ozan Kose

At the World Humanitarian Summit taking place this week in Istanbul, the EU has committed to strengthen prevention and preparedness, improve the international response and help find solutions to support an overstrained humanitarian system.

Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-President of the European Commission, Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development and Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, who have represented the EU at the Summit, have issued the following statement:

"Every day, thousands of innocent people are the victims of natural disasters and conflict. Over 130 million men, women and children depend on humanitarian assistance across the world, and the needs are constantly growing.

At this critical juncture, the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit has brought together the international community to seek ways to prevent and end crises as well as to strengthen and reshape the way aid is delivered.

We welcome the political communiqué endorsed on this occasion. The European Union pledged individual commitments at the summit concerning policies, programmes and funds it is responsible for and is committed to strong progress on each of the five core responsibility areas, for which core commitments have been formulated by the UN.

The World Humanitarian Summit has come to an end today, but our work towards a new global partnership linking political action to prevent crises, development assistance and more effective and principled humanitarian aid has only just begun. The challenges we are facing are complex, and there is no simple solution.

This is the moment to roll up our sleeves and transform the Summit commitments into concrete action. The European Union, as the world's largest donor of humanitarian aid, will play its full part in reshaping aid to better serve people in need and calls on all world leaders to do the same."

The key priorities advanced by the EU at the Summit include investment in resilience, efficient and effective financing, respect for International Humanitarian Law, preventing and ending crises, and bridging the divide between humanitarian and development work.

The EU has welcomed the launch of the "Grand Bargain" at the Summit and is ready to help tackle the funding gap in humanitarian action, estimated to be US$15 billion by the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel (HLP) on Humanitarian Financing. The Grand Bargain will redirect at least US$1 billion dollars over the next five years to the frontline of humanitarian action.

The EU is one of the first donors to have reached in 2016 the global target of four per cent of humanitarian funding earmarked for education. With the announcement of its €5 million of support to the 'Education Cannot Wait – A Fund for Education in Emergencies' platform, the EU has taken further concrete action to support this priority.


More than 50 world leaders and 5 000 humanitarian, development and political stakeholders have gathered at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, in Istanbul, on 23-24 May 2016 to seek ways to reverse the trend of ever-increasing humanitarian needs and to make the international aid system more efficient and effective.

The EU has been actively involved in the two-year long preparations. More than 23 000 stakeholders such as governments, business, aid organisations, civil society, affected communities and youth groups were consulted in the run-up to the summit to find ways to better tackle the growing humanitarian needs.

Find out more about the event on the World Humanitarian Summit website.


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