Antalya, 29 November 2017
The Global South-South Development Expo was held this year at a time of unprecedented global humanitarian need. In 2017, a record 145 million people across the globe required humanitarian assistance and protection.
The increase in human suffering is driven by protracted conflicts and natural disasters. Marked by mass displacement, fractured livelihoods and a breakdown in governance structures and basic services are resulting in complex emergencies that last decades. Even with record amounts of funding for humanitarian response in recent years, contributions lag far behind the ever-increasing numbers of people who need assistance.
In today’s high-level Leadership Roundtable, we heard messages and insights that were very much focused on the crucial role of the global South in pushing back the seemingly never-ending increase in human misery.
Governments, regional actors and civil society in the South are already on the front lines of humanitarian action, from being the world’s largest refugee-host to carrying out and, increasingly, funding the response.
In 2016, Turkey was the world’s second largest donor and most generous country in terms of the ratio to its national income, spending US$6 billion on humanitarian assistance. Turkey hosts millions of Syrian refugees. Its intervention in Somalia saved millions from starvation and provided fundamental means for resilience. Turkey also delivered timely food aid to Kirkuk in Northern Iraq, Afghanistan and the violence-affected Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Moreover, Turkey is involved in long-term development work to ensure sustainability.
While bilateral humanitarian assistance dominates South-South Cooperation, Southern partners are also increasingly channelling their support through effective multilateral organizations. In 2017, the OCHA-managed Central Emergency Response Fund received contributions from Chile, China, India, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, among other emerging donors.
Today, we also heard participants reaffirm their Governments’ and organizations’ commitment to the collective plan to move beyond the cycle of crises: The New Way of Working. Launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul and encapsulated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development goal “to reach the furthest behind first,” the New Way of Working is catalyzing shifts in collaboration between development and humanitarian actors, from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Chad, and from Ethiopia to Mauritania.
We heard today about the innovative ‘South-South driven triple-win financing modality’ of Lives and Livelihood Fund (LLF) from the representative of the Islamic Development Bank that has been deployed successfully to mobilize resources for fragile and least developed countries.
In two days, the Global Humanitarian Overview 2018 will be launched in Geneva and we will again be reminded of record numbers of people in need in the coming year. That is why are extremely grateful to all of the participants who took part today in the Leadership Roundtable. The massive and complex humanitarian crises of the present cannot be tackled without the spirit of cooperation we saw. Together, we will leave no one behind.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.