European Humanitarian Forum 2023: VOICE reflections

The second edition of the European Humanitarian Forum (EHF) on 20 and 21 March was co-hosted by the European Commission (DG ECHO) and the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The EHF 2023 provided a big platform for debate around the humanitarian funding gap, the negative effects of climate change, and the localisation agenda, among others. It also gave the opportunity to local voices to speak up about concrete crises, such as the cases of Yemen and Afghanistan.

Among the key issues discussed at the Forum, the VOICE network highlighted these three priority areas:

  • Addressing the funding gap: from recognition to action.
  • Breaking the silos: Humanitarian aid alone cannot be the solution.
  • Preserving humanitarian space: the humanitarian principles must be championed and the impacts of sanctions regimes on humanitarian aid mitigated.

These three aspects were further addressed in the statement ‘VOICE Reflections after the European Humanitarian Forum 2023’ that you can read and download here.

The network welcomed the celebration of the second edition of the EHF. However, we also recognised that awareness-raising is not sufficient to address the challenges the humanitarian sector faces. For the Forum to be deemed a success, it must trigger action and act as an inclusive and participative EU humanitarian aid sounding board. VOICE will be ready to continue to collaborate with the EU and MS to give input to the Forum and bring the added values of its NGO members.