World Humanitarian Summit, a positive step in a longer journey to end need

Following the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), 23rd – 24th May held in Istanbul, World Vision was pleased with the level of participation and commitments to its core priorities especially around education in emergencies, humanitarian financing, innovation and partnering. 

World Vision, who committed to reach 20% of children affected by disasters through their responses, by prioritising education and child protection, welcomes the USD 90 million[1] pledged to the new Education Cannot Wait Fund for education in emergencies which seeks to provide access to quality education to 75 million children and youth by 2030.  Over the two-day summit considerable donations were made by Dubai Cares, the European Union, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom, and the United States, achieving over half of the funds required for year one. 

The launch of the ‘Grand Bargain’ agreed by the 15 world’s largest donor governments and 15 major aid organisations was a significant achievement at the WHS.  The ‘Grand Bargain’ has the potential to realise USD 1 billion in savings through reduced duplication and management costs.  In particular World Vision endorses the Grand Bargain commitments to cash-programming, the inclusion of affected communities in decision-making and the increased multi-year and contextualised funding models required to address the complex and protracted nature of crises like the ones in Syria, South Sudan and in the countries affected by El Nino. World Vision believes that now emphasis must be on the implementation and will continue to advocate for the benefits of the ‘Grand Bargain’ to flow directly to implementing partners, especially local and national actors, and affected communities.

As a founding member of the Global Alliance for Humanitarian Innovation (GAHI) that was launched at the Summit, World Vision is particularly pleased by the strong show of support for the Alliance by a wide ranging number of actors - private sector, foundations, governments and many others. The successful launch of GAHI included commitments from Australia and Denmark to invest USD 320,000 and USD 300,000 respectively in the Alliance, recognising the importance of innovation for improved effectiveness of aid delivery. 

Despite many positive outcomes at the Summit, the lack of attention to child protection remains particularly disappointing in the face of multiple protection crises around the world, in places like Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

The lack of political will to address the critical issues of bringing peace to children and families affected by war remains a terrible gap in the global conscience. While the WHS was never meant to be the place for resolution of crises caused by political failure, many States made commitments to uphold International Humanitarian Law and to protect health and humanitarian workers. The ultimate test for these commitments will be felt in the immediacy of the States’ actions.

The WHS must now lead to a robust framework of accountability and a roadmap for delivering on the commitments made by all actors that attended the Summit. World Vision is committed to holding itself accountable, to provide transparent reporting on the promises it made to the world’s children at the WHS, and to continue to challenge others to do the same.