World Humanitarian Summit - Toespraak van minister De Croo tijdens de rondetafel ‘Financing: investing in humanity’

World Humanitarian Summit

Financing: investing in humanity
High-Level Leaders’ Roundtable
Core Responsibility Five of the Agenda for Humanity

Istanbul, 23.05.2016 (13:45-15:45)

Statement by Mr Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation, Government of Belgium


Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I want to give my appreciation to the outcome of the recently completed Grand Bargain initiative.

The outcome of that process fits perfectly well in this round table on humanitarian financing.

Belgium fully supports the ten agreed commitments to bring more efficiency in the humanitarian ecosystem.

Let me only repeat the commitment on providing more support to first responders. The aim is to achieve 25% by 2020 of all our humanitarian aid directed to local and national organizations. This is a bold commitment but Belgium will deliver on this.

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Second, this round table has of course a broader agenda than the Grand Bargain. With regard to humanitarian financing and innovation, it is my pleasure that I will present at this Summit, together with ICRC – as an additional commitment – the first Humanitarian Impact Bond.

The Humanitarian Impact Bond is a new instrument that will mobilize additional resources for humanitarian action.

This should resonate well with the first core commitment of this round table to diversify global support.

The Humanitarian Impact Bond combines several characteristics which are key to Belgian development and humanitarian policy.

It engages the private sector, it’s results based financing, it has a risk transfer element to the private sector and it enlarges the resource base by including non-traditional donors as outcome funders.

If you would to like to hear more details about the world’s first Humanitarian Impact Bond instrument, I would like to invite you all to the side event on this topic tomorrow in the Hisar Meeting Room from 11.00 to 12.30.

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Third, let me emphasize the transformative power of digital, also for humanitarian action.

As a Minister I combine this unique portfolio: I am not only responsible for development cooperation and humanitarian aid, but also for digital agenda.

The combination of these two portfolios provides unique opportunities to strengthen humanitarian instruments to meet urgent needs and to reduce risk and vulnerability.

It is my strong belief that big data and digitalization are pivotal when it comes to: (i) enabling insights for decision making, and (ii) amplifying the possibilities to better coordinate humanitarian and development efforts.

Belgium commits itself to continue streamlining the issue of digitalization in all its humanitarian and development policies. We have to put digital at use for the better of mankind.

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Finally, I want to significantly upscale our support for disaster preparedness. Every euro spent for disaster preparedness is two euros saved for response.

Starting in Belgian partner countries which are prone to crisis, I want to see more joint risk assessments, carried out together with international, national, sub-national and local authorities and organizations. This has to result in comprehensive planning - mutually reinforcing - structural and humanitarian elements.

Complimentary to this, I have also pledged my support for the Connecting Business Initiative, carried out by OCHA, UNDP and UNISDR. We have to connect the dots to bolster humanitarian action.

International and local private sector have to work with governments, local authorities and implementing organizations.

The Connecting Business Initiative offers a powerful platform to do so and to ensure a coordinated approach from emergency preparedness to response and recovery.

Thank you.