IFRC VICE PRESIDENT, FRANCESCO ROCCA - Remarks to the High-Level Roundtable - “Humanitarian Financing – Investing in Humanity” - World Humanitarian Summit - 23 May

Published: 25 May 2016

Your excellences, ladies and gentlemen,

I have the honour of speaking today on behalf of 190 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and 17 million Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers.

The gap between humanitarian need and humanitarian funding is both historic and growing. One might argue that this gap represents the defining challenge of the World Humanitarian Summit. More resources are sorely needed, but more resources will not solve the problem. We also need to consider how this money is spent and, more specifically, who is best placed to spend it.

Strengthening local and national humanitarian capacity will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of humanitarian assistance. Of this we have no doubt. Local and national responders, including National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, are often best placed to deliver rapid, appropriate and sustainable humanitarian assistance.

They understand their communities. They know the needs, risks and vulnerabilities. and they are there, all the time, in good times and bad, accompanying their neighbours and families along the entire humanitarian spectrum, supporting them to become more resilient.

And yet, very little money has been channeled directly through local actors or invested in their long term capacities. This is also true of affected states, particularly in countries especially vulnerable to outbreaks, natural disasters, or the effects of climate change.

We are happy that the political will to address this imbalance is now materializing, as evidenced by the Grand Bargain which we join and will continue to promote. Furthermore, we are pleased to announce that, together with a number of key partners, we are developing a National Society Investment Mechanism. This will provide a mix of organizational development support and services as well as grants, loans and capital investments. It will enable National Societies, particularly those in fragile contexts, to fully meet their potential as strong, sustainable humanitarian organizations.

We also join in the many other commitments negotiated in the Grand Bargain related to efficiency, transparency and cooperation.

In order to increase our global preparedness and improve the effectiveness of our response, we further pledge to double our use of forecast-based financing by 2018. We will look to integrate this mechanism into our global disaster risk management funding tools, in order to systematically trigger early action based on reliable early warning.

Distinguished chairs,

Thank you once again for the opportunity to participate in this important event.