VOICE General Assembly 2022: Highlights of the day

The VOICE General Assembly (GA) convened on 22 June in Brussels, welcoming seven new members to the network: Alianza por la Solidaridad from Spain, Action against Hunger Germany, International Medical Corps Croatia, Mercy Corps Netherlands, Première Urgence International from France, Terres des Hommes Italy, and World Vision Netherlands.

Thus, this brings VOICE membership up to 87 organisations from 19 European countries.

During the one-day members only event, we have discussed the collective achievements as well as challenges of the network in 2021 in promoting principled humanitarian aid. 

These include:

  • The network worked together before, during and after the first European Humanitarian Forum in March 2022 in Brussels to call on the EU and Member States to use the Forum as an opportunity to address the challenges of increasing humanitarian needs and secured the inclusion of the topic of “Hunger & Conflict” as one of the important high-level meetings.
  • Together, VOICE mobilized forces to increase the 2022 Humanitarian Budget for DG ECHO, and it will continue to advocate for an additional increase in 2023.
  • The network successfully influenced the three EU policy orientations on humanitarian action, which started with the European Commission’s Communication on the EU’s humanitarian action, shortly followed by Council Conclusions and a European Parliament’s report.
  • Thanks to the strong engagement of the VOICE Secretariat and the Humanitarian Partnership Watch Group, a continuous dialogue with DG ECHO has been maintained to ensure that the first year of the new Humanitarian Partnership would go as smoothly as possible.

Another key moment of the day was the exchange with Bernadette Frederick, DG ECHO General Affairs Director E. Among the topics discussed were the Humanitarian Budget 2023, the revision of the  Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the reform process of the Grand Bargain 2.0 and the localisation agenda. An important outcome of this year's GA was the adoption of the 2022 Policy Resolution ‘An urgent call to protect principled humanitarian aid’. Each year, apart from many other policy papers, VOICE develops in an inclusive process a joint policy resolution. This year, the network calls on the EU and its Member States to consistently uphold principled humanitarian aid worldwide in light of increasing needs. Please find more information below.

The Assembly concluded with the VOICE Board members, namely, Fie Lauritzen, Dan ChurchAid; Jean-Pierre Delomier, Humanity and Inclusion; Michael Kühn, Welthungerhilfe; and Silvia Sinibaldi, Caritas EU, who were elected for their second mandate to the VOICE Board of Directors.