The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) convened its annual Humanitarian Affairs Segment, highlighting record numbers of people in need of humanitarian assistance around the world, and noting that just one-quarter of the combined UN humanitarian appeal has been funded.
27 June 2016: The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) convened its annual Humanitarian Affairs Segment, highlighting record numbers of people in need of humanitarian assistance around the world, and noting that just one-quarter of the combined UN humanitarian appeal has been funded.
The three-day segment took place from 27-29 June 2016, in New York, US, where more than 2,500 participants from UN Member States, UN entities, humanitarian and development partners, the private sector and affected communities discussed strengthening the coordination of the UN’s humanitarian assistance.
Opening the session, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson called on the international community to take urgent action to fulfill commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul, Turkey, in May 2016. He highlighted the scale of need due to conflict, drought, floods and sea-level rise related to climate change, and he noted that, while record numbers of people are in need of humanitarian assistance, donor fatigue is resulting in the greatest shortfalls ever experienced. He anticipated that the upcoming session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July 2016, as well as the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) High-Level Meeting on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants on 19 September and Habitat III in October, will be opportunities to build on commitments made at the WHS.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien presented the ‘Global Humanitarian Overview 2016: June Status Report,’ produced by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). He highlighted the UN’s call for US$21.6 billion to meet humanitarian needs around the world, noting that the February 2016 cyclone in Fiji, the April 2016 earthquake in Ecuador and droughts in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe have contributed to the high level of need. He said a funding gap of US$16.1 billion remains.
In the report, OCHA presents a snapshot of humanitarian aid delivered worldwide in the first half of 2016, including vaccination of 4.7 million children in Yemen, and registration of 91% of Syrian refugees over the age of seven in the neighboring countries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. OCHA states that the five most underfunded humanitarian response programmes are in Gambia, Zimbabwe, the Sahel region, Honduras and the Central African Republic. [UN Press Release] [Global Humanitarian Overview 2016: June Status Report]