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Monday, 23 May 2016 - Press, Highlight

Commentary \ The World Humanitarian Summit—Reform the system, but do not merge humanitarian and development aid

Esther Meininghaus, researcher at BICC, comments on the World Humanitarian Summit, 23-24 May 2016 in Istanbul.

Esther Meininghaus underlines that “we need to act, and we need to act fast” but also addresses mayor shifts in aid funding and the crisis of the UN. Last but not least she argues that the separation of humanitarian and development aid remains an imperative: “While development aid may benefit from the measures suggested for the summit’s agenda, humanitarian aid must be safeguarded from becoming drawn any deeper into the present battle between donors, implementing organisations and belligerents alike.”

As the first of its kind, the World Humanitarian Summit beginning in Istanbul this Monday, 23 May, will be committed to achieving a visionary triad of lasting peace, social equality and localized development. Framed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s recent report titled “One Humanity: Shared Responsibility”, it reflects the best of intentions in providing answers to pressing questions. How can we end poverty, still stifling the lives of 837 million people worldwide, or ensure sufficient food for 800 million suffering hunger? How can we protect parents living in poor conditions from losing their children, of whom on average 16,000 died before reaching the age of five every single day in 2015 alone? How can more than 60 million people find a home after having been forced to flee by war and disaster, many of whom have found themselves trapped in camps or on the fringes of hosting societies for generations without any solutions in sight?

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