Interactive Dialogue on Humanitarian Financing at ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment (HAS)

Event: Interactive Dialogue on Humanitarian Financing at ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment (HAS). The event will be organised jointly by GHA programme and the Future for Humanitarian Financing (FHF)

Date: 18 June 2015, 10.00–12:00

Location: Palais de Nations, United Nations Office, Geneva

About the event

This workshop aims to tackle whole-of-system questions on the opportunities and challenges presented by current humanitarian financing modalities, using the findings from the forthcoming 2015 Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) report on up-to-date trends in humanitarian financing, and the recent report by the FHF ‘Looking Beyond the Crisis’ as its starting point.


While international humanitarian assistance reached record levels in 2013, it is still not enough to fully meet needs. Globally, over a third of funding requirements went unmet in UN-coordinated humanitarian appeals alone during 2013 (with only US$8.5 billion of US$13.2 billion UN-coordinated appeal requirements met). Despite the emergence of new donors, the number, scale and severity of crises is outstripping resourcing. At the same time, humanitarian assistance is being called on to cover an ever-widening agenda from preparedness to recovery.

The scale of needs calls for a different response. New and innovative sources of funding must be found and scaled up, and at the same time, existing resources must be used more effectively. Strengthening the effectiveness of the humanitarian response and filling the current funding gap through new approaches to financing is a topic of growing international interest and a central component of the consultations in the lead up to the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, the Financing for Development consultations, and the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing.

Format of the workshop

Panellists will discuss current trends, challenges and opportunities in humanitarian financing – namely localising response and ensuring access to flexible, predictable funding in acute crises – while also speaking about the opportunities afforded by global agendas to reform humanitarian financing.

Breakout groups will focus on the following issues

  1. Nationalising and Localising Humanitarian Response
  2. The Development and Humanitarian Nexus
  3. Embracing diversity to ensure sufficient humanitarian funding
  4. Moving towards a proactive ways of working to better meet peak demands
  5. Upgrading the Humanitarian Architecture to address inefficiencies and strengthen needs-based funding.

The outcome of these discussions will feed into the ECOSOC High-Level Panel discussion on humanitarian financing as well as into relevant global processes.

Opening remarks will be given by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Key note speech: Kyung-wha Kang, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA)

Chair: Anke Reiffenstuel, Deputy Head Task Force Humanitarian Aid, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Germany


  • Sophia Swithern, Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) Programme Manager
  • Lydia Poole (FHF)
  • Robert Piper, UN Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process & UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt)
  • Claus Sorenson, Director General, ECHO
  • Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in UN DESA
  • Fatou Diagne Zaouini, Risk Management Advisor, Africa Risk Capacity

Please follow the event on Twitter at #2015HF and follow the report discussion at #GHA2015