Eastern and Southern Africa Regions Begin to Chart Course Toward World Humanitarian Summit

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 24 Jun 2014

Johannesburg, 24 June 2014: To help set the agenda for the first-ever, World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), experts from across the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region convened on 11-12 June 2014 a meeting to spearhead preparations across 27 countries leading up to the global Summit, to be held in Istanbul, Turkey in 2016. The WHS ESA Regional Steering Group (WHS ESA RSG) is comprised of technical specialists from Government, NGOs, private sector and academia, among others. It is co-chaired by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and will be responsible for convening regional multi-sectoral consultations to inform proceedings leading to the 2016.

While the Summit will be held in 2016, these consultations are timely given that the region has faced an increasing number of disasters that has steadily crippled development goals for the 420 million of its inhabitants. Over the last five years, over US$ 20 billion was provided by the international humanitarian community to assist more than 130 million people recover from droughts, floods and conflicts amongst others.
In South Sudan alone, in 2013, the international humanitarian community raised more than US$ 567 million to assist over 3 million people deeply affected by conflict. In Mozambique, in 2013 the international humanitarian community raised US$ 23 million to assist over 250,000 people directly affected by floods.

Head of the OCHA Regional Office for Southern Africa, Mr Ignacio Leon Garcia says, “We want to hear the voices of those affected most in order to better support them. The outcomes from these consultations will help us find more innovative and responsive ways of working together to improve our assistance to people in need.”

The WHS ESA Regional Steering Group will be responsible for leading multi-sectoral consultations with affected communities, governments, donors, regional bodies, non-profit organizations, private sector and academia among others, on ways to improve the future of humanitarian action.

Four key discussion themes have been identified, namely, Serving the Needs of People in Conflict;
Humanitarian Effectiveness; Transformation through Innovation; and Reducing Vulnerability and Managing Risk. The outcomes of these consultations will lead to a major event in 28-29 October 2014 in Johannesburg,
South Africa

For more information on the World Humanitarian Summit, visit www.worldhumanitariansummit.org

For more information on the eastern and southern Africa consultative process, contact:
UNOCHA Southern Africa:
Michelle Thulkanam, Tel: +27 11 517 1635, Mobile +27 (0) 82 4111 442, Email: thulkanam@un.org
UNOCHA Eastern Africa:
Luluwa Ali, Tel: +254 20 762 5146, Mobile: +254 (0) 727 532144, Email: ali19@un.org

Notes to the Media

UN OCHA Eastern and Southern Africa Region: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA ROSA) and UN OCHA Regional Office for Eastern Africa (UN OCHA ROEA) comprises of 27 countries as follows: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, DRC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe (27 countries).

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.