U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Monday in the opening of the World Humanitarian Summit that world leaders should close the gap in humanitarian funding and that a chance should be given to all people to live in dignity.
"We need to provide more direct funding to local people and communities and fix the persistent humanitarian funding gap and invest in building stable and inclusive societies," he said.
In 2014, the U.N. reported that only around $540 million of the roughly $135 billion global aid budget was spent on decreasing disaster risk.
"I call on humanitarian organizations to work closer together based on shared priorities to meet [the needs] of millions of people in crisis," Ban said.
The summit comes as the Syrian civil war enters its sixth year, as Europe faces its worst refugee crisis since World War II, and as global social inequality reaches its peak amid a rising global population.
"We declare we are one humanity with shared responsibilities. Let us resolve, ourselves, here and now, not only to keep people alive but to [give] people a chance at life in dignity," Ban said.
An estimated 125 million people worldwide require humanitarian assistance; among them, 60 million are people who have been displaced from their homes. Ban urged those gathered to commit to reducing the number of displaced people by half by 2030.
The guiding principles of the summit include conflict prevention and resolution, strengthening the protection of civilians, and reducing humanitarian funding shortfalls.
According to U.N. figures, just 0.4 percent of the global aid budget, roughly $540 million, was spent on reducing disaster risks in 2014 from $135.2 billion. Ban and other leaders under Turkey's chairmanship will be looking for that rate to rise to at least 1 percent.
The global charity system has failed to properly meet the needs of humanitarian crises stemming from ongoing conflicts, wars, rising economic inequality and resource shortages. Some 80 percent of such crises spring from armed conflict and lead to mass migration and epidemics and put a strain on the international system. Today, 125 million people need humanitarian assistance and 218 million have been affected by disasters each year for the past two decades. In addition, more than 60 million have been forcibly displaced, especially due to the civil wars in Syria, Yemen and conflicts in Afghanistan and several African countries.
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