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World Humanitarian Summit

In our rapidly changing world, we must continually seek better ways to meet the needs of millions of people affected by conflicts and disasters. The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, taking place in Istanbul from 23-24 May 2016, is a global call to action by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It will bring together governments, humanitarian organizations, people affected by humanitarian crises and new partners, including the private sector, to propose solutions to our most pressing challenges and set an agenda to keep humanitarian action fit for the future.

The Summit has three main goals:

  1. Reaffirm our commitment to humanity and humanitarian principles.
  2. Initiate actions and commitments which enable countries and communities to prepare for and respond to crises and be more resilient to shocks.
  3. Share best practices which help save lives around the world, placing affected people at the centre of humanitarian action and alleviating suffering.

The world is at a critical juncture. We are witnessing the highest level of human suffering since the Second World War. Nearly 60 million people, half of them children, have been forced from their homes due to conflict and violence. The human and economic cost of disasters caused by natural hazards is also escalating. In the last two decades, 218 million people each year were affected by disasters; at an annual cost to the global economy that now exceeds $300 billion.

Never before has humanitarian action delivered so much for so many vulnerable people around the world. But unless we adopt more effective ways to address their suffering, we cannot aspire to a world of peace, security and sustainable development where no one is left behind. Decisive, collective action is needed to uphold our shared responsibility to save lives and enable people to live lives of dignity.