European Humanitarian Forum 2024: wrap-up

The third edition of the European Humanitarian Forum (EHF), co-organised by the European Commission (DG ECHO) and the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union, took place on 18 – 19 March. Bringing together over 1400 representatives from across the humanitarian community, the Forum was a great occasion to connect with decision-makers and partners. We were happy to see many VOICE members actively engaged in the event.

The Forum was marked by an EU (European Commission and EU Member States) pledge of over 7,7 billion euros to support global crises in 2024. Outlining the need to expand the donor base, including within the EU, the co-hosts published a ‘Snap Shot on action by the EU and its Member States in addressing the humanitarian funding gap’.

Beyond global funding pledges, the event aimed at shedding light on neglected crises, like Sudan, the DRC, or gender-based violence, among others. VOICE engaged actively in that effort. The first video of the VOICE series From Neglect to Awareness! Uncovering Humanitarian Crises’, focusing on El Salvador, was launched during the event. More information is available in this article.

Climate change, as one of the main drivers of humanitarian needs, was also among the key concerns discussed during the Forum. Dominic Crowley, VOICE President, spoke at the panel on 'Building Stronger Community Resilience in Fragile Countries through Better Access to Climate Finance'. He stressed the challenges NGOs face in accessing climate finance, especially in conflict settings and provided a few recommendations to overcome these. He particularly emphasised the complex accreditation system and bureaucratic hurdles that several climate finance instruments currently have. He pointed out the need to enhance finance for resilience, locally-led adaptation measures prioritising women and girls, and collaboration among different actors to support climate-vulnerable countries.

International Humanitarian Law violations and the shrinking humanitarian space were other prominent topics on the Forum agenda. In that context, participants highlighted the dreadful humanitarian situation in Gaza and the co-hosts launched a Call for Action for Palestinian children affected by the conflict in Gaza.

In addition, the need to enhance the collaboration of humanitarian-development-peace actors was voiced throughout the Forum across a variety of panels, demonstrating the importance of breaking the silos to overcome many of the challenges humanitarian aid faces.

The co-host summary of the event by the European Commission and the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU is available online.


Cover image: © European Commission, 2024