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The global system for dealing with the growing financial burden of humanitarian crises has been at breaking point for too long. In 2015, I was asked by the United Nations Secretary-General to co-chair a working group of experts from government, the private sector, and civil society on how to fix it. At the time, 88 percent of humanitarian aid was being spent responding to crises that had lasted for eight years or longer.
Our panel’s report, “Too Important to Fail: Addressing the Humanitarian Financing Gap,” was adopted by leaders at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. They signed the “Grand Bargain,” a pact between donors and the humanitarian organizations they fund. Its simple aim is to get more life-saving resources to the frontlines of crisis.
Two years have passed since the Grand Bargain’s birth and since then, as conflicts have remained unresolved and natural disasters recurred, the number of people in need of assistance has risen from 125 million — which was already a record figure — to nearly 136 million. A figure so large is hard to visualize, so imagine the world’s 10th largest country, fitting in between Mexico and Russia, made up entirely of these needy people.
The cost of helping so many people continues to outpace the available resources: The U.N.’s own calculation, reached through its coordinated appeals, sets the shortfall at 40 percent. For these reasons, the Grand Bargain has even greater relevance today.
Read the full article on the Grand Bargain by Kristalina Georgieva at Devex International Development