Empty Chairs and Hopeful Promises: Outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit

Governments attending this week’s World Humanitarian Summit had many important topics to address, while hundreds of us around the world lent our voices to refugees and humanitarians stuck in humanitarian crises.

There were some big wins, some richer countries including Norway and Germany increased their financial aid commitments and Denmark announced it would renew its humanitarian strategy.

But what about the four key issues Oxfam was fighting for?

1. Helping local people face the future on their own terms

Strengthening local partners in delivering humanitarian aid.

The event supported momentum for local leadership and included the voices of local civil society organizations and activists. There was notable progress on education, efficient humanitarian financing, and the 'Grand Bargain' which will give more power and funds to local frontline NGOs.

2. Respect women’s rights and ensure gender equality in humanitarian work

World Humanitarian Summit 2016 - UN Women tweet

There was a recognition of women’s empowerment as a right from many countries with calls for gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s rights to be central to all humanitarian action.

3. Protect civilians from the horrors of war

World Humanitarian Summit 2016 - Winnie Byanyima quote

Spain and Guatemala among others committed to uphold international humanitarian law in conflicts. But big players like the UK and US, involved in selling arms around the world to nations involved in conflicts like Yemen, failed to send their leaders.

4. Stand up for people forced to flee

World Humanitarian Summit 2016 - partner quote

Many nations spoke of the need to help refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs). But the conversation is ongoing and Oxfam experts expect countries to make big commitments to resettle refugees on 19 September at a UN Summit being hosted by US President Barack Obama.

What comes next?

The UN itself has said that the World Humanitarian Summit was the start of a conversation to help the humanitarian system do more for people affected by humanitarian crises. There are still promises to deliver on and much to do - which is why Oxfam will step up its campaigning soon to help ensure a fair deal for people in search of safety. Follow us on Twitter to find out more this summer.

World Humanitarian Summit 2016 - Winnie Byanyima verdict

Read Oxfam's briefing: Oxfam’s challenge to world leaders at the World Humanitarian Summit




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