Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal Process

16 July 2008

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

Representatives from Non-Governmental Organizations,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour for me and UNFPA to be with you for the launch of the Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) for 2008.

As we meet, millions of people around the world are suffering the tragic consequences of armed conflict and natural disasters. Many live in constant fear of confronting more devastation in their distressed lives.

Already climate change has an impact on the most vulnerable because of their limited capacity to adapt to a changing environment. And the food crisis is pushing millions of people into hunger.

For all people affected by these and other crises, the CAP is indispensable. It is the most comprehensive mechanism to mobilize an effective and coordinated humanitarian response.

We are here today to call for solidarity and compassion with the millions of people whose basic rights and dignity have been undermined by events beyond their control.

This is a call for solidarity with the most vulnerable: women, young people and children, the elderly and the disabled. They are the ones who need our attention at this time.

I am pleased to report that the number of projects that explicitly mention or address the needs of the vulnerable categories of women, children, mothers, disabled, elderly, young people, and children under five has steadily increased from 2004 to 2007.

At this mid-term review, 25 countries affected by protracted crises are part of the consolidated appeal.

For the remaining months of 2008, $3.4 billion are needed to respond to the needs of affected countries.

These funds will enable the United Nations and its partners to provide the lifesaving support that people need. These funds can ensure that people have the food, water, shelter and health services they need, and that communities are rebuilt, natural disasters are managed, and steps are taken for peacebuilding. These funds can also support the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence.

The demands on the United Nations and its partners to respond to emergencies are growing, and we have a responsibility to deliver.

This includes not only humanitarian response, but also emergency preparedness.

The humanitarian and development communities must continue to strengthen coordination. Development work strengthens national capacities, so that countries are better equipped to respond when an emergency strikes. And efforts for humanitarian response, transition and recovery support national development.

Critical to success is the availability of solid data and its disaggregation by age and sex. This is an important component for the full spectrum of interventions that are needed, from preparedness to humanitarian response to transition and recovery and throughout the development process.

We also know that existing local networks among development partners strengthen preparedness and response capacities. Experience in many countries shows that partnerships with national institutions cannot be forged overnight, and they are central to an effective response.

Community groups, faith-based organizations and other civil society partners are often the first to act when a disaster strikes. Therefore, we must create and nurture these partnerships, which are also central to recovery and transition.

Some of the countries covered by the Consolidated Appeal Process need support to bridge the gap between emergencies, early recovery and development. This is a critical time to avoid a deepening cycle of crisis.

Investing in post-crisis countries is essential. This is the time when countries lay the foundations for longer term development, and they deserve the support of the international community at this defining moment.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have come a long way within the United Nations with the cluster approach to avoid overlap and increase aid effectiveness. We continue to sharpen coordination to ensure that the humanitarian community is coherent and working towards common goals.

Humanitarian coordinators are playing an essential role, and we pay tribute to their relentless efforts. We must continue to support them in every way possible.

We have seen great successes with the Gender Standby Capacity project. Through this initiative, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee trains and deploys gender experts to support Humanitarian Coordinators and Country Teams in gender mainstreaming.

And I am pleased to report that in countries where a gender expert has been deployed, humanitarian appeals are more attentive to issues of gender and women’s empowerment.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mr. Holmes was right to point out a few minutes ago that funding disparities among CAPs are slightly reduced at this mid-year point, compared to previous years.

Yet it is worth pointing out that the disparities are still significant, and even more so when one counts the flash appeals thus far in 2008: the Bolivia flash appeal is 73 per cent funded, while the Southern Africa flash appeal remains funded at only 20 per cent. The CERF has some ability to offset these discrepancies, but only donors can fully eliminate them.

As we enter the second half of the year, I call on all of you to rectify these disparities. We cannot afford to leave any crisis unattended or to create so-called “aid orphans”.

As we continue to witness the challenges of the drought and displacement in Somalia, insecurity in Chad, deprivation of essential services in Iraq, food insecurity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other crises around the world, we must come together and join forces for an effective response.

By answering the call to this Consolidated Appeal Process, we are responding to protect human dignity and basic human rights.

Thank you.

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