First Irish Humanitarian Summit
The first ever Irish Humanitarian Summit was held in Dublin in July 2015, bringing together over 200 Irish humanitarian leaders to discuss Ireland’s response to humanitarian crises.
President Michael D Higgins opened the Summit, with keynote addresses from Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, and Minister for Development, Seán Sherlock. They were joined by a wide variety of participants from Ireland and beyond, all bringing their own insights and experiences on humanitarian responses.
The Summit took place against the backdrop of an unprecedented wave of humanitarian crises in recent years. The number of people affected by humanitarian crises has almost doubled in the past decade. Record numbers of people are fleeing war and persecution, with 59.5 million people displaced worldwide as a result of conflict. The number, scale and intensity of emergencies continues to increase; and with 35 per cent of humanitarian requirements remaining unfunded, the humanitarian system is struggling to cope.
Discussions at the Summit centred on how to improve Ireland’s contribution to this global response, so that we can provide faster, better, and more effective assistance. The Summit was the culmination of a year-long Irish Consultative Process, involving key groups concerned with humanitarian action in Ireland. The outcome of the discussions will form the basis for Ireland’s submission to the United Nations in advance of the World Humanitarian Summit taking place in Istanbul next May.
The Summit also saw the launch of Ireland’s new Humanitarian Assistance Policy.
The Policy outlines how Ireland will save and protect lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity before, during and in the aftermath of humanitarian crises.
About Irish Aid and our commitment to humanitarian action:
- Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of our Department. For further information see www.irishaid.ie
- Irish Aid humanitarian funding is provided for early action and response to the effects of natural disasters, drought, famine or other emergencies as well as to conflict-related complex emergencies. Humanitarian funding is directed to where needs are greatest, with particular emphasis on targeting forgotten or underfunded emergencies -particularly in sub-Saharan Africa - protection of women and girls and vulnerable groups.
- The Policy is guided by the four humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.
- In 2014 Irish Aid humanitarian funding was provided to emergencies in South Sudan, Central African Republic, Sudan, Somalia, DRC, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza. In 2015, Irish Aid has responded to the earthquake in Nepal and continues to support humanitarian work in ongoing crises in Syria, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Yemen and Iraq among others.