World Humanitarian Summit: Growing crises need development answers

May 20, 2016

Women clearing rubble in Nepal. Credit: UNDP

Istanbul – Development is a key part of the solution to the unprecedented humanitarian crises the world currently faces, said the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ahead of next week’s World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.

The Summit, to be held on 23-24 May, is one of a number of key events this year that represent an historic opportunity to overcome these global challenges by fundamentally changing how the world deals with crises.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) urge the international community to ‘leave no one behind’. Yet humanitarian crises, including conflict, disasters and forced displacement, are more complex and last longer than before, leaving vulnerable people in unbearable situations with no end in sight.

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said that investing in development was crucial to avert or reduce the impact of disasters, conflicts, and other causes of humanitarian crises.

“We must all strongly defend humanitarian principles and the critical work of the humanitarian organisations which provide life-saving support and protection to vulnerable communities," Helen Clark said.

“Alongside that vital support, we must also support emergency development interventions which can build the resilience of communities during protracted crises, and the medium- to longer-term interventions which will shrink the need for humanitarian relief in the future.

“As humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding actors we must work in complementary ways in the interests of people, rather than in isolation from, or in competition with, each other.”

Mitigating humanitarian crises is essential in meeting the SDGs, a bold and ambitious agenda to eradicate poverty and tackle the world’s most pressing challenges by 2030.

UNDP is bringing firm commitments to the table at the World Humanitarian Summit, including:

  • As a key member in the launch of a Global Preparedness Partnership, to help communities in the most vulnerable countries prepare for and mitigate the impacts of crises;
  • Launching a Connecting Business Initiative, to combine private sector, humanitarian and development resources for crucial work on disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness, response and recovery;
  • Investing to expand work that improves crisis prevention and preparedness in fragile settings; and
  • Working more closely with UN partners on joint monitoring and analysis of crisis risks, and joint planning and flexible financing to respond to those risks.
Contact information

Nicolas Douillet, +90 535 922 4991

UNDP Around the world