EU looks to ‘non-traditional donors’ to help blunt climate-driven disaster
By the Climate Centre
The European Humanitarian Forum in Brussels last week focused on the “effectiveness and efficiency of aid, the increasing gap between needs and available resources, the impact of climate change, and the shrinking humanitarian space,” a European Commission press release said.
Expanding anticipatory action and responding to climate-related crises was one of three top themes, with tackling “soaring humanitarian needs” and addressing conflict.
The two-day forum, jointly hosted by the Commission and the Swedish presidency of the EU Council, announced humanitarian funding of 8.4 billion euros for 2023 “as a concrete expression of global solidarity and of the EU’s leading role in humanitarian action.”
‘Last year, only 55 per cent
of funding needs were met’
The forum identified what it called non-traditional donors – “international financing institutions, private sector, emerging donors” – as a priority, and flagged the importance of “increasing the share of multi-annual and flexible funding”.
It gathered some 2,000 participants from EU and other states, international organizations, and humanitarian partners who discussed reducing “climate-driven disasters, the importance of anticipatory action … and highlighted that climate change and environmental degradation are top drivers of humanitarian needs.”
The European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “Humanitarian needs are at a historic high and are continuously increasing, worsened by the effects of climate change, and ongoing armed conflicts.
“In the face of the record number of people in need and a persistently narrow donor base, the need to expand [humanitarian action] is more acute than ever. Last year, only 55 per cent of funding needs were met.”
The Commission is committed to scaling up anticipatory action and will continue convening signatories of the donors’ declaration on climate and environment twice a year, its press release added.
The official summary of the forum by the co-hosts adds that: “The vital importance of taking anticipatory action was underscored, aiming to cut humanitarian needs and direct more development and climate assistance to climate-related crises, such as droughts and floods, to build resilience, and mitigate and prevent shocks from developing into full-blown humanitarian emergencies.
“Adaptation, preparedness, early warning, and a strong focus on building resilience for the most vulnerable communities with all available tools can help to mitigate these negative impacts.”
Among Red Cross Red Crescent Movement engagement at #EHF2023, IFRC Under Secretary General Xavier Castellanos told a panel on scaling up resilience and anticipatory action: “When we talk about hunger, it is the most undignified suffering of humanity, and in the case of compound crises, climate change adds a tremendous level of pressure to people.”
He added that funding does not adequately reach those countries most vulnerable to climate change: “Greater financing is needed for preparedness, adaptation and investment in engagement between community wisdom and the wisdom of scientific and political institutions.”
A comment from the floor at #EHF2023. Anticipating and responding to climate-related crises was one of three top themes, with tackling “soaring humanitarian needs” and addressing conflict and preserving humanitarian space. (Video grab: EC)