175 Nations at World Humanitarian Summit

175 Nations at World Humanitarian Summit175 Nations at World Humanitarian Summit

An idea conceived by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the first World Humanitarian Summit is expected to press key donors to honor their financial commitments, particularly toward refugee aid.

Being held in the Turkish city of Istanbul over the next two days, representatives from more than 175 countries, UN and other aid agencies are expected to agree more efficient spending of humanitarian aid money, AFP reported. As the conference got underway on Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned delegates that the current aid delivery system was not working.

“Very often, pledges are made but the money does not reach where it is most needed,” she said, adding that it was vital that aid arrived quickly and efficiently in times of crisis.

The UN and their partners require nearly $20 billion but only a fraction has been received.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said currently, “the burden is shouldered only by certain countries, everyone should assume responsibility from now on,” adding that Turkey had spent $3 billion hosting more than 2 million Syrian refugees.

Around the world, roughly 125 million people urgently need aid, including some 60 million displaced by conflict and natural disasters, according to UN figures.

Despite the summit’s ambitions, aid group Doctors Without Borders has pulled out, saying the conference would fail to address the most acute humanitarian crises.

Last year, 75 hospitals managed by or supported by MSF in conflict areas were bombed.

The charity called on states to do more to end conflicts, respect international law and protect civilians from fighting.