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UK leads new approach to prevent and respond to crises at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit

Pledges continue UK's leadership in providing education for children in crises and improving efficiency in the humanitarian system.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening speaking at the World Humanitarian Summit

International Development Secretary Justine Greening speaking at the World Humanitarian Summit. Picture: UN

The UK has committed an extra £30 million of support to help make sure no child misses out on an education in times of crisis.

The Education Cannot Wait fund aims to help 13.6 million young people caught up in humanitarian emergencies such as conflict, natural disasters and disease outbreaks.

The pledge continues the UK’s leadership in providing education for children in crises. More than two years ago, the UK launched the No Lost Generation Initiative with UNICEF, which has so far helped more than 250,000 children get an education in Jordan and Lebanon.

Speaking from the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

The first ever World Humanitarian Summit has been a watershed moment. Never has so much been at stake, with 60 million people forced from their homes and 37 million children out of school in conflict-affected countries.

The UK’s ground-breaking work on jobs and education shows that we will continue to be a global leader on humanitarian responses. We are championing the rights of girls and women, we have reaffirmed our commitment to protect people living through conflict, and we are continuing to build on the legacy of the London Syria Conference. We are spearheading a new approach to protracted crises and committing an extra £30 million of support to help make sure no child misses out on an education.

As a global community it is time to recognise we need a new approach to preventing and responding to crisis. That’s in everyone’s interests, most of all those caught up in crisis, and this Summit has provided us with a compelling agenda for change. Now every country must step up and make good on their pledges so we can succeed in our ambitious aims.

At the London Syria Conference in February, the UK agreed deals with Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan that are set to create at least 1 million jobs in countries neighbouring Syria so refugees have the opportunity of a livelihood close to home.

At the World Humanitarian Summit, the UK urged other countries and donors to step up to the plate and sign up to the Grand Bargain - an agreement between the largest donors, agencies and NGOs to improve efficiency in the humanitarian system. This agreement aims to put more money directly into the hands of people who need it most, stimulating local markets and economies.

There was also renewed political commitment to keep people safer, particularly in times of conflict, and to improve compliance with International Humanitarian Law. The UK also pushed forward implementation of global commitments to protect and empower women and girls in emergencies and reduce their vulnerability to violence and exploitation. The UK supports all the Summit’s Core Commitments on women and girls and will play our part in delivering them.


Further information:

  • The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) took place in Istanbul on 23-24 May 2016. Led by UN OCHA, the Summit brought together governments, NGOs, civil society and the private sector to look at how we respond to the huge strains being placed upon the international humanitarian system.
  • Building on the success of the London Syria Conference the UK played a key role at the WHS, continuing to demonstrate Britain’s leadership in responding to protracted crises. The UK delegation was led by International Development Secretary Justine Greening and International Development Minister Baroness Verma.
  • At the London Syria Conference earlier this year, the international community raised more than $12 billion to support the response to the Syria crisis – the largest amount raised in a single day for one humanitarian crisis. This funding will meet the immediate and long term needs of those affected by crisis within Syria and support neighbouring countries like Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to cope with the number of refugees they are hosting.
  • We also recognised there was a need to invest in jobs and livelihoods because given the right opportunities, displaced people can help to stimulate the economy, not constrain it.
  • In 2013, the UK helped set up the No Lost Generation Initiative to give Syrian children an education. We are helping more than a quarter of a million children and at the London Syria Conference we committed to finishing the job.
  • Our aim for the WHS was to scale up the approach pioneered by the UK in the Syria region as a global model for protracted crisis and displacement.
  • The Education Cannot Wait fund aims to reach more than 13.6 million young people living in emergency situations and through lasting crises with quality education over the next five years, and all crisis-affected young people by 2030.

  • The Grand Bargain commitments cover the following areas:
    • Greater transparency
    • More support and funding tools for local and national responders
    • Increase the use and coordination of cash-based programming
    • Reduce duplication and management costs with periodic functional reviews
    • Improve joint and impartial needs assessments
    • A participation revolution: include people receiving aid in making the decisions which affect their lives
    • Increase collaborative humanitarian multi-year planning and funding
    • Reduce the earmarking of donor contributions
    • Harmonise and simplify reporting requirements
    • Enhancing engagement between humanitarian – development actors
Published 24 May 2016