World Humanitarian Summit
World Humanitarian SummitREUTERS

The United Nations organised the first ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and it was hosted by Turkey on Monday, reported IANS. Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, prodded governments, aid groups, the private sector and other stakeholders to take resolute steps to better the global humanitarian system.

On the first day of the (two-day) summit at Istanbul, the secretary general called on the world leaders to remain committed to the cause of humanitarian responses during crises, reported Xinhua news agency.

The UN chief also identified five areas that needed concrete commitments across all forums and parties. Conflict prevention and resolution, strengthening the protection of civilians, leaving no one behind, ending humanitarian need and ensuring funding for humanitarian actions were at the core of the any action.

He called on the world to reduce the number of displaced people in the coming years, as their population was increasing. "I urge you to commit to halving the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) by 2030, and to find better long-term solutions for refugees and displaced people based on more equal sharing of responsibilities," he said.

Turkey, which has witnessed the greatest of the refugee inflows from Syria and Iraq, said it was saddled by the burden of such an overwhelmingly crises. In monetary terms alone, the country had expended $10 billion to aid refugees, while international support stopped at $455 million, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"We have to adopt a new (humanitarian) system that would put the human beings at the centre. The current system fails to meet the demands in the face of emergency problems and fails to develop solutions," he added.

The UN said 177 member states (out of the total 192) attended the summit, with 65 heads of state and government and representatives from crises-affected communities.

Fund for Children in Crises

The WHS will also seek to establish a fund for children's education, especially for those in crisis, as reported by Xinhua in another report.

'Education cannot wait, An education crisis fund', a new financing and coordination mechanism that will help children go back and stay in schools, will be an important outcome of the summit, said Sven Jurgenson, vice-president of the UN Economic and Social Council.

Xinhua quoted child right activist and 2014 Noble Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi as saying: "Children cannot wait. We have to respond now." He was addressing a forum on "Leaving No Child Unprotected: Child Protection Across the Development and Humanitarian Divide by the Child Fund Alliance, Global March."

Only 50 percent of the Syrian refugee children were enrolled for primary schools and only 25 percent in secondary school, said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. "Saving and educating children is saving the future of the world," she said.

Experts pleaded that the children's education funds should be raised to 10 percent of the total humanitarian funding across crises.