With the first ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) scheduled to begin in Istanbul on Monday, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) calls on governments, donors, humanitarian and development organisations to commit to taking concrete, actionable and time bound steps aimed at reforming humanitarian aid and effectiveness.

“To make the humanitarian aid sector work more efficiently we need solutions that are about better aid not just more aid and that deliver concrete results on behalf of people affected by conflict and displacement,” said David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. “With the aid system challenged by the scope and scale of humanitarian crises, the World Humanitarian Summit needs to be a reform summit to be a successful summit.”

The IRC’s priorities and commitments for WHS will be focused around two broad themes: humanitarian financing, specifically around increasing the productivity of aid; and bridging the humanitarian- development divide, by focusing on solutions for protracted displacement.

Humanitarian crises are growing at a time when resources to respond are increasingly constrained. With more people living in conflict and facing long-term displacement than ever before, the humanitarian sector is currently ill suited to deliver durable and impactful solutions. Further, the changing nature of displacement with 60 percent of refugees now living in urban areas and with the average duration of displacement being 23 years, requires humanitarian and development institutions to increasingly align efforts to improve impact, create sustainable solutions and respond to the needs of displaced people and the communities that host them.

To support these efforts and ensure that the IRC delivers greater impact for the people we serve, the organisation will be making the following commitments at WHS: