Today the European Parliament has voted in favour of S&D MEP Enrique Guerrero Salom's report calling for a global redefinition of humanitarian aid.
The UN secretary-general has called the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, which will take place in May 2016 in Istanbul, to address the humanitarian crises facing the world, unprecedented both in their number, scale and duration.
Enrique Guerrero Salom, S&D MEP and the European Parliament's rapporteur on this issue, said:
"Although funding has increased, the needs have grown much faster, causing the gap to widen. We need to take immediate action at a global level to save lives, since no single country can deal with these issues alone."
The report is based on the idea that the EU – as the leading donor and a key global player in humanitarian action – has both a responsibility and the necessary leverage to take the lead in the quest for more efficient and effective ways to meet the needs of those affected by conflicts and disasters.
Enrique Guerrero Salom continued:
"Today, those involved in humanitarian relief deliver more and better aid than ever before. However, more is needed, to reach the most vulnerable people and ensure they are protected. The report adopted includes the main issues we think the next World Humanitarian Summit should address, such as the need to link humanitarian and development policies better, a new global financial fund and a strong partnership with new donors, including the private sector. Furthermore, the European Parliament calls for increased support for prevention and resilience, as well as for local NGOs.
"Now it is up to the Council to adopt a strong position and ensure that the EU helps create a more inclusive, diverse and truly global humanitarian system that alleviates the suffering of the 100 million people who are at risk."
Norbert Neuser MEP, S&D co-ordinator for the development committee, added:
"This report should also encourage the international community and donors to pay more attention to access to education in humanitarian emergencies by allocating more funding to this area since education increases people' s resilience. It should also prompt the EU to take a leading role and promote a global consensus on humanitarian action, which reaffirms the principles of humanitarian aid and the obligations under international humanitarian law."
The S&D Group has launched the EDUCA initiative to call for better access to education for children in humanitarian crisis situations.