The World Economic Forum (WEF), together with the World Bank (WB) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are launching the Humanitarian Investing initiative, which brings together key humanitarian and development actors, and representatives from the investor and corporate communities.
The initiative aims to stimulate new thinking and action that tackles long-term challenges, at a time of growing geopolitical uncertainty and protracted humanitarian crises. There is a need to support local markets by moving from the short-term funding mindset to a more sustainable approach of investing in fragile contexts, according to the WEF.
“As humanitarian needs expand due to conflict and fragility, scaling game-changing financial models will be essential to improve people’s lives in fragile situations and bring hope to future generations” said President of the ICRC, Peter Maurer.
Traditional and siloed humanitarian and development responses are no longer sufficient to keep up with the scale, duration, and complexity of crises. While the humanitarian system undergoes significant change, there is also growing commitment from investors and corporate partners to support and co-design more effective and shared solutions.
“No single actor will be able to solve such complex challenges on their own. What is urgently needed is sustained dialogue and collaboration between humanitarian and development agencies with investors and corporates to partner on new solutions,” said President of the WEF, Børge Brende.
To drive this initiative and deliver impact through concrete investable projects, a high-level group on Humanitarian Investing has been established, comprised of the most senior decision and change makers within the forum’s network. The high-level group is co-chaired by Brende, Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the WB, and Maurer.
“To tackle the underlying causes of conflict and fragility, the public and private sectors must work together so there is a better chance to create jobs and opportunities.” Said Georgieva
Building upon the successes of implementing new financial products, such as the Humanitarian Impact Bond, or the Famine Action Mechanism, this initiative will address key bottlenecks to accelerate the deployment of sustainable and patient capital in the most challenging areas, as well as inform how to build better efficiencies of the current humanitarian system, noted Georgieva.
Key humanitarian and migration-related sessions in the WEF’s annual meetings—which are held from 22 to 25 January 2019 in Davos, Switzerland—will include a press conference entitled ‘The Humanitarian Crises That Will Shape 2019’ to provide an overview of key crises to watch and trends impacting humanitarian response, on Tuesday, 22 January.
On Tuesday, 22 January, also there will be a session called ‘Investing in Fragile Contexts,’ discussing how fragility will affect the Sustainable Development Goals’ targets if we do not invest in local markets for stability and prosperity.
On Wednesday, 23 January, a sessions entitled ‘Ending Violence in the Sahel,’ will be presenting a new visualisation tool that demonstrates the relationship between climate stress, socio-economic vulnerability, displacement, and organised violence in the Sahel region.
On Thursday, 24 January, there will be a session entitled ‘Global Migration: Managing Flows, Not Crises discussing how to address drivers of migration and focus global discussions on a proactive management of migration flows.
The WEF annual meeting brings together leaders from governments, international organizations, business, civil society, culture and media, foremost experts and the young generation from all over the world, at the highest level, and in representative ways.
It engages some 50 heads of state and government, over 300 ministerial-level government participants, and business representation, at the CEO and chair level.