International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Save the Children, Norwegian Refugee Council and Danish Refugee Council welcome the affirmation of the Global Compact on Refugees today. The Compact has the potential to provide better protection and care for refugees and development benefits to hosting communities.
With the UN General Assembly vote in New York, an overwhelming majority of UN Member States affirmed a pact of international solidarity and cooperation for refugee protection and host community development.
Energy is essential to humanitarian action. Most refugee and internal displacement camps are in remote locations, so humanitarian agencies consume large amounts of fuel on the long-distance transport of staff, equipment, and goods such as food and water. Operations tend to rely on on-site electricity generation to power reception centres, clinics, schools, food storage, water pumping and street lighting. Peacekeeping operations face a similar situation.
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) welcomes the Global Compact for Migration, which is set to be endorsed in Marrakesh today. "The compact recognises the rising threats of disaster displacement and impacts of climate change, and brings hope for the people affected," argued Nina Birkeland, NRC's Senior Adviser on Disaster Displacement and Climate Change.
Nobel Peace Prize: Stronger efforts needed to prevent sexual violence in war
"This long overdue prize must be the beginning of a strengthened effort to protect women and men against sexual violence and abuse in wars and to ensure that those who commit what is pure war crimes are held accountable. In too many conflicts, sexual violence is being used as a barbaric weapon of war, in breach of international laws and with the victims of these crimes suffering in silence.
Corruption in the aid sector is particularly serious because it affects the most vulnerable of us. "Those who have to pay the highest price are usually the people desperate for help," says Gro Skaaren-Fystro, Special Adviser to Transparency International (TI). Together with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), TI has developed tools that can help combat corruption.
She believes that it is human nature to choose the path of least resistance, which can involve cutting corners and stretching rules to get things done.
Statement by James Munn, Director NRC Geneva:
"It is deeply worrying that the humanitarian crises in the world today last increasingly longer, leaving many people's lives in jeopardy for years and decades. The humanitarian assistance will never become anything but a band-aid solution, and what these people really need are for parties to the conflicts and countries with influence to sit down together and find political solutions paving a way out of the crises.
"Yesterday in New York, the Global Compact on Refugees was approved with overwhelming support by UN member states through a vote of 176 in favour and one against.
Over the past two years, governments, the UN, and civil society around the world have come together to develop the Global Compact on Refugees. In this unique process, characterised by cooperation and solidarity, NRC believes the Global Compact will enable better protection and expanded solutions for refugees by addressing the growing global displacement crisis.
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) launched the first online introductory course on humanitarian access, to contribute to improving how the aid community reaches communities in conflict.
"Humanitarians need to be even better at reaching communities caught up in conflict. This new course paves the way to equip aid workers with the basic tools to better understand how to access people in crisis," said Jamie Munn, Director of NRC in Geneva.
In 2017, the number of people in the world suffering from hunger has increased for the third year in a row, according to the United Nations, to 821 million people. After years of progress, conflict has contributed to global hunger numbers rising to levels last seen a decade ago.
"The Trump administration's decision to further reduce the target for refugee admissions in 2019 from 45,000 to 30,000 is a slap in the face to the numerous far poorer countries around the world, who are doing more than their fair share of hosting and caring for refugees. It makes a mockery of the administration's constant rhetoric about burden sharing in the face of international crises.
As western governments reduce funding for refugees in East Africa, aid programmes are being forced to shut down, leaving refugees in crisis. "Fast and furious budget cuts are hitting the East Africa aid sector hard. If more funding isn't found, malnutrition will rise, schools will close, and water -borne diseases will break out. Rich nations should step up to support countries that are still accepting refugees. We have a window to avoid a refugee catastrophe in East Africa if we act now," warned Nigel Tricks, Regional Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
Refugee youth are seldom consulted and frequently overlooked. Their potential remains largely untapped.
Refugee youth are seldom consulted, frequently overlooked, and often unable to fully participate in decision making. Their talents, energy, and potential remain largely untapped, according to a report from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC).
Norwegian Refugee Council’s capacity to ensure the protection of and assistance to refugees, IDPs and other persons of concern depends on the ability of our staff to uphold and promote the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct. The NRC staff are personally and collectively responsible for maintaining these standards and expected to act in accordance with the principles and values stated in NRC’s Policy Paper and this Code of Conduct.
Half way into the year, humanitarian organizations have only received 35 per cent of the money needed for relief worldwide. "Our humanitarian relief is a matter of life or death in many horrific war and disaster zones. The lack of funding leaves many desperate families without assistance. Mothers are forced to cut back on food for already malnourished children. Girls and boys are deprived of education and hope," warned Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland.
1.4 million refugees will need resettlement in 2019, according to new figures from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), but the number of places available do not match needs. "The lack of resettlement places globally feeds the smuggling industry and pushes desperate people to embark on dangerous journeys," said Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland.
The Norwegian Refugee Council calls for rich and mid-income countries to increase the number of people they admit for resettlement.
Action Against Hunger, Norwegian Refugee Council, CARE, International Rescue Committee
Last week in Dakar (28 May to 1st June 2018) two workshops took place, organized respectively by the IASC Task Team on the Humanitarian Development Nexus based in Geneva, and OCHA and UNDP policy teams based in New York. 50 participants took part in the first workshop, including around 40 UN and 10 NGO participants. The second gathered around 80 participants from the UN, 20 from Governments, and 18 from NGOs.
Turkey, Bangladesh and Uganda alone received over half of all new refugees last year. Never before has the world registered a larger number of people displaced by war and persecution.
"International responsibility-sharing for displaced people has utterly collapsed. Rich countries are building walls against families fleeing war, at the same time as less money is available for aid to people in conflict areas," said Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland.
Two years ago, governments, UN agencies and NGOs agreed on a package of ten reforms to make financing for humanitarian response more efficient and effective. “The Grand Bargain” was born – but we are still far away from reaping its full potential benefits.
Civilians pay the price of terrorism twice
Counterterrorism measures often obstruct humanitarian organisations from accessing people in need, according to a new study by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). As states step up their fight against terrorism, people who need life-saving assistance are paying a high price.