World Economic Forum 2019 Annual Meeting launching a new Humanitarian Investing Initiative

18 Jan 2019

· The World Economic Forum, the World Bank and the International Committee of the Red Cross are launching a High-Level Group on Humanitarian Investing to unlock new capital in fragile contexts.

· This initiative brings together representatives from the investor, corporate, humanitarian and development communities to collectively deliver on new solutions that will help the most vulnerable people.

· The Annual Meeting will again feature a robust humanitarian agenda; view the humanitarian overview for more information.

Geneva, Switzerland, 18 January 2019 – At a time of growing geopolitical uncertainty and protracted humanitarian crises, there is a need to support local markets by moving from the short-term funding mindset to a more sustainable approach of investing in fragile contexts. To stimulate new thinking and action that tackle these long-term challenges the World Economic Forum, together with the World Bank and the International Committee of the Red Cross is launching the Humanitarian Investing initiative, which brings together key humanitarian and development actors, and representatives from the investor and corporate communities.

“As humanitarian needs expand due to conflict and fragility, scaling game-changing financial models will be essential to improve people’s lives in fragile situations and bring hope to future generations” said Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Traditional and siloed humanitarian and development responses are no longer sufficient to keep up with the scale, duration and complexity of crises. While the humanitarian system undergoes significant change, there is also growing commitment from investors and corporate partners to support and co-design more effective and shared solutions. “No single actor will be able to solve such complex challenges on their own. What is urgently needed is sustained dialogue and collaboration between humanitarian and development agencies with investors and corporates to partner on new solutions” said Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum.

To drive this initiative and deliver impact through concrete investable projects, a High-Level Group on Humanitarian Investing has been established, comprised of the most senior decision and change makers within the Forum’s network. The High-Level Group is co-chaired by Børge Brende, Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank, and Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

“To tackle the underlying causes of conflict and fragility, the public and private sector must work together so there is a better chance to create jobs and opportunities.” Said Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank. Building on the successes of implementing new financial products, such as the Humanitarian Impact Bond, or the Famine Action Mechanism, this initiative will address key bottlenecks to accelerate the deployment of sustainable and patient capital in the most challenging areas as well as inform how to build better efficiencies of the current humanitarian system.

Key humanitarian and migration-related sessions will include:

- Tuesday, 22 January, 13:30-14:00: Press conference: The Humanitarian Crises That Will Shape 2019, providing an overview of key crises to watch and trends impacting humanitarian response.

- Tuesday, 22 January, 16:15-17:15: Investing in Fragile Contexts, discussing how fragility will affect the Sustainable Development Goals’ targets if we do not invest in local markets for stability and prosperity.

- Wednesday, 23 January, 14:30-15:30: Ending Violence in the Sahel, presenting a new visualisation tool that demonstrates the relationship between climate stress, socio-economic vulnerability, displacement and organised violence in the Sahel region.

- Thursday, 24 January, 14:30-15:30: Global Migration: Managing Flows, Not Crises, discussing how to address drivers of migration and focus global discussions on a proactive management of migration flows.

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting brings together leaders from government, international organizations, business, civil society, culture and media, foremost experts and the young generation from all over the world, at the highest level and in representative ways. It engages some 50 heads of state and government, more than 300 ministerial-level government participants, and business representation at the chief executive officer and chair level. For further information, please click here.

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All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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