The World Humanitarian Summit Regional Business Consultation for Turkey was held on 16 June 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey. 64 representatives from the private sector (including multi-national and national enterprises), government, non-governmental organizations, foundations and the United Nations participated in the event. The consultation was funded and co-hosted by UPS and organized by PSS in partnership with CSR Turkey, UNDP, AFAD (Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority) and Kadir Has University who hosted the event on their premises. . The consultation focused on identifying issues, providing recommendations and making commitments on how to effectively and sustainably engage the Turkish business community in strengthening emergency preparedness and response in the region.
The following key issues emerged from the discussions:
Improving understanding between humanitarian and private sector actors
There is a need to better define who is being referred to when discussing or engaging the private sector, as different businesses, such as multinational corporations, small and medium size enterprises or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) departments, each have different strengths and interests in terms of their engagement in humanitarian action.
The humanitarian community needs to better clarify what is needed from businesses in terms of leveraging their capacities and support. There are many calls by the humanitarian community for the private sector to do more; yet, little detail on which businesses they are referring to and what exactly they foresee them doing in short, medium and long-term.
The business community highlighted the need for greater clarity and information on how the humanitarian community operates in terms of roles, responsibilities and mandates, including the space for private sector engagement.
Creating platforms for dialogue and coordination
Businesses expressed an interest in providing support to humanitarian preparedness and response, but called for better guidance from the humanitarian community, including the development of platforms that could be a center for information (“a one-stop shop”) in terms of what is needed from the private sector and opportunities for support – or what was described as private sector “entry points”.
Humanitarian organizations also called for private sector platforms, such as Chambers of Commerce, that could help facilitate engagement with different companies that are interested in supporting humanitarian action.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.