Ploumen praises Ban Ki-moon’s approach to humanitarian aid reform

Development cooperation minister Lillian Ploumen has praised the new humanitarian aid reforms proposed in ‘One Humanity: Shared Responsibility’, the report by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon which is being published today in New York. ‘His report offers solid stepping stones for us to forge ahead now towards greater cooperation and efficiency. We urgently need this in order to give adequate support to the millions of people who depend on humanitarian aid,’ the minister commented.

In recent years, Ms Ploumen has repeatedly called for a new and better form of cooperation between UN agencies, donor countries, NGOs and businesses involved in delivering emergency aid. Currently, 125 million people worldwide – the largest number since the Second World War – depend on this form of aid, largely because of wars and natural disasters. The UN has calculated that barely half of the necessary funding was available in 2015, due to a shortfall of USD 10 billion. ‘This means that vast numbers of people get no aid at all, or aid that is totally inadequate,’ the minister said. ‘A new approach is urgently needed – one that can help us get better results from every available euro. I enthusiastically welcome Ban Ki-moon’s powerful and ambitious message.’

In his report the Secretary-General proposes a set of reforms, such as investing in crisis prevention and ensuring that the various actors work less in isolation from one another. It is also recommended that donor countries impose fewer restrictions on UN organisations and that in turn, UN aid agencies provide these countries with more transparent information about their expenditure. In addition, mandates and funding should not automatically be given to large and often cumbersome international organisations, because local organisations often have a better understanding of what is needed.

Mr Ban’s report seeks to pave the way for new agreements at the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul in May. ‘I fully agree with what Ban Ki-moon says: I too feel that this really needs to be a turning point,’ Ms Ploumen said. ‘To this end, I am having intensive dialogue with my counterparts in Europe and the US, and also with new donors in the Gulf. Humanitarian aid needs to be improved, because we cannot abandon 125 million people to their fate.’ In the run-up to the WHS, the minister will be stepping up her contacts and efforts in order to achieve tangible improvements.