Conflicts are becoming more protracted, populations and inequality grows and environmental disasters are on the rise. Needs of humanitarian assistance, both short- and long-term, will be acute and widespread. In the next years policy and the aid sector will need to evolve and adapt.
Considering the discussions of the 5th Humanitarian Congress and taking into account the experience and expertise of the 14 Austrian humanitarian organizations responsible for organising the Humanitarian Congress Vienna we conclude with the following demands for the Future of Humanitarian Aid:
- Principled humanitarian aid is legal and legitimate
The human being has to be the focus of political and humanitarian action. The fulfilment of the humanitarian mandate by humanitarian organisations must be guaranteed to affected people in crises. Criminalizing humanitarian aid is criminalizing humanity.
- Responsible political partners
The challenges above need committed political leadership. Humanitarian aid requires politicians who respect International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and international human rights. Governmental stakeholders should seek conflict prevention, engage in dialogue, and need to distance themselves from instrumentalising humanitarian aid. Policy makers shall be commitment to sustainable and adequate financing and to the support of new funding types and partnerships in addition to those of the past.
- Humanitarian organisations must strengthen their impact
It is for the humanitarian organisations to consider how they can amplify the impact of their own actions and how they can strengthen cooperation within their sector.
- Preventing Humanitarian Disasters
At the World Humanitarian Summit it was agreed to minimize human made disasters. We particularly call upon policy makers and civil society to ensure the elimination of nuclear weapons and that automated warfare will give priority to the respect of human life, particularly of non-combatants, and will remain under human control and with human accountability.