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Press Release

The World Humanitarian Summit needs to deliver concrete commitments towards improving aid effectiveness

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  • Efforts should focus on establishing collective outcomes, evidence, value for money, cash assistance and improving the response to forced protracted displacement.

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 organizations 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 organization will be making the following commitments at WHS:

  • IRC will make all of its programs evidence-based or evidence-generating by 2020.
  • IRC will make its outcomes and evidence framework (OEF) publicly available to all donors and practitioners.
  • IRC commits to delivering 25% of our humanitarian assistance in cash, and to having active cash transfer programs in 75% of our country offices by 2020.
  • IRC will make the data that emerges from its new data management platform— tracking progress toward outcomes across countries and regions—available to all donors and practitioners.
  • IRC will make publicly available the method for conducting cost analysis as a suggested common approach across all implementing organizations.
  • IRC will make publicly available a framework for estimating where Digital Financial Services need to be scaled-up to meet the needs of humanitarian actors, and a Return on Investment analysis for the expansion of digital financial services to meet the needs of humanitarian actors.
  • IRC will contribute evidence-based and field-tested recommendations for improved programmatic responses to protracted and urban displacement, particularly through strengthening initiatives that support the self-reliance of refugees, IDPs and returnees and empowering their contribution to both host communities and countries of origin.
  • IRC will lead the development of a new global initiative to improve urban displacement response – the Global Alliance for Urban Crises. This initiative will convene actors to develop practical solutions and a platform to better link humanitarian and development efforts towards collective outcomes. 


About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.