United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

World Humanitarian Summit

Istanbul, Turkey

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17 16 11

Background

The humanitarian system has never reached more people in so many places, but with its current resources and structure, it is no longer able to address the scale and complexity of present, let alone future needs.

Decisive, collective action is needed to uphold our shared responsibility to save lives and enable people to live lives of dignity. Human suffering from the impacts of armed conflicts and disasters has reached staggering levels. Nearly 60 million people, half of them children, have been forced from their homes due to conflict and violence. The human and economic cost of disasters caused by natural hazards is also escalating. In the last two decades, 218 million people each year were affected by disasters; at an annual cost to the global economy that now exceeds $300 billion.

The Summit has two goals. First, it will re-inspire and reinvigorate a global commitment to humanity, and in particular to uphold the dignity and safety of the millions of women, men and children who are caught up in crises. Second, it will initiate a set of concrete actions aimed at enabling countries and communities to better prepare for and respond to crises, and be more resilient to shocks.