Launch of the U.N. Global Humanitarian Overview 2022
Jacob Kurtzer: Welcome to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. My name is Jacob Kurtzer and I’m the Director and Senior Fellow with the Humanitarian Agenda here at CSIS. At the Humanitarian Agenda, we’re proud to once again be partnering with USAID and OCHA to host the launch of the 2022 Global Humanitarian Overview. We have a distinguished group of speakers and panelists with us today to share thoughts and reflections on the state of global humanitarian needs and to speak to the specific impacts of climate change and gender as part of humanitarian response. While the global humanitarian picture is always sobering, I do take heart that the GHO does not reflect only the needs but is also indicative of the hundreds of thousands of individuals working around the globe tirelessly to help lift their communities, their cities, towns and countries, and others in humanitarian need. We’re, once again, grateful for the opportunity to work with our colleagues at USAID and OCHA to host this event. Without any further ado, I’d like to turn the floor over to Dr. John Hamre, president and CEO of CSIS, to share a few thoughts and start our program. Dr. Hamre, over to you.
Dr. John J. Hamre: Thank you, Jake, and welcome to all of you. CSIS is very grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the U.S. Agency for International Development and with the United Nations, especially the Office of the Coordinator for Human Affairs, for this launch of the 2022 Global Humanitarian Overview. You know, I know you’re all familiar with that iconic image of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse where we see this dreadful image of famine, poverty, pestilence, war, and, sadly, now we have to add a fifth horseman to this apocalypse. That’s climate change. This is just running rampant around the world these days. These terrible images are more vivid now than at any time in human history and, honestly, the humanitarian response is not keeping up. Funding is important, but it is failing. It’s failing to deal with these great challenges, and I think this last year and a half has brought it into vivid stark relief. And who are the vulnerable victims of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse now? It’s women and children, and it’s a terrible thing that we see in front of us, and it calls out not just as a humanitarian response of individual philanthropy. It’s about national interest. Our nation – our national interest is at risk when we see these terrible things happening around the world and it’s more vivid now than at any time in our history. Women and girls are disproportionately being affected by these apocalyptic developments and it’s imperative for us to – as a community of leaders, it’s imperative for us to come together to identify honestly the peril that we’re facing and then to find among ourselves and to call others the political will to do something about it. We’re going to explore that today, and I’m so grateful for these remarkable leaders who are with us for this session. Jake, let me turn it back to you to start this program for real. But let me just express my deep appreciation to all of the participants in this conference today. Your voices are needed now more than ever. Jake, I turn to you.
Mr. Kurtzer Thank you very much, Dr. Hamre, for your remarks and for your leadership here at CSIS. I’d like to now turn to a video message from António Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, to share with us.
Sec. Gen. Guterres: Twenty twenty-one tested the world. COVID-19 continued to wreak havoc. Conflicts, new and old, caused misery. The climate crisis reached boiling point. And famine looms for 45 million people in 43 countries. But there is hope. The world is coming together to find solutions to these multiple crises. Humanitarian operations are alleviating the worst consequences and stabilizing conditions to make way for peace and recovery. Thanks to the generosity of donors, humanitarians delivered life-saving food, medicines, and other essentials to 107 million people in 2021. Over half a million people were brought back from the brink of famine in South Sudan. In Yemen, 10 million medical consultations were held during the grinding conflict. Our aid operations are more effective, accountable, and gender-sensitive than ever. Local personnel work hand in hand with international organizations to get better results. But humanitarian needs continue to outpace humanitarian funding. In 2022, some 274 million people will need urgent help, nearly 40 million more than in 2021. The 2022 Global Humanitarian Overview calls for 41 billion U.S. dollars to get life-saving aid to 183 million of the most vulnerable people. In the long term, closer collaboration between humanitarian aid, development and peacebuilding efforts is the only way we will achieve the sustainable-development goals and leave no one behind. In the meantime, we must rally to support children, women and men who have nowhere to turn. I count on your support, and I thank you.
Samantha Powers: We’re honored today to be joined by USAID Administrator Samantha Power. Administrator Power has a long and distinguished career advocating on behalf of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals experiencing suffering from political issues, from climate and from conflict. And we’re very grateful for your time and for joining us today. Administrator Power, the floor is yours. Thank you so much. Thank you for hosting us virtually here today. It is a true pleasure to help kick off this important event as the U.N. presents its Global Humanitarian Overview for 2022 here in Washington, D.C., and in several other locations across the world. I want to thank Undersecretary Martin Griffiths and Executive Director Natalia Kanem for their steady, indefatigable leadership across yet another grueling year of need for so many families and communities around the world. And that truly is unfortunately the message of this year’s overview, it seems. Déjà vu: Over a quarter-billion people predicted to be in need in 2022, topping what was already a decades-long peak; this year a stubborn evolving pandemic that continues to take lives, batter economies, and drive more people into humanitarian crisis; more than 1 percent of the world’s people displaced, food insecurity at unprecedented levels, longer-lasting conflicts, more frequent complex emergencies, and climate change looming over it all, exacerbating losses and undoing gains. While it’s clear that more funding is urgently needed to chip away at the gap between donor commitments and this range of acute needs, I want to use my time today to discuss a shift in approach that is needed and that would go beyond the need for more resources. Perhaps nowhere is this more true than in fragile and conflict-affected areas. Although it can be easy to think otherwise in the midst of a pandemic and a rapidly changing climate, the major source of humanitarian need in the world today is not from pandemics or natural disasters. It is from conflict. Now, I recognize that conflict becomes more likely in light of the changing climate and, indeed, in light of some of the fallout from the pandemic itself. But take Yemen, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan: These protracted battles in these countries haunt these countries’ people and threaten stability far beyond their borders. This last year we’ve also witnessed coups in Burma, the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, a military takeover in Sudan, and a spiraling human catastrophe in Ethiopia. In many of these cases, the governments in these fragile or conflict-affected states are simply failing to meet the needs of their people, choosing violence over relinquishing or sharing power or respecting rights and pluralism. The answer to these conflicts is political, and in that sense, it is heartening to see the tireless efforts of envoys like our ambassador, Jeff Feltman, who has been so active in the Horn working on Ethiopia and Sudan, and it is why it is so important that the United States and other countries practice what President Biden calls relentless diplomacy. We need to find a way to use diplomatic negotiation regionally at the U.N. level and in terms of our bilateral relations and coming together as allies to try to bring the parties together to bring conflicts to an end. We have to bring the weight of global diplomacy to bear to end these conflicts. But right now, while those conflicts persist, the burden of dealing with their fallout currently falls unfairly and almost exclusively to humanitarian organizations. As a result, these organizations, many of which are represented here today, are having to provide more than just life-saving humanitarian assistance, they’re also having to prop up social safety nets and even manage shadow health systems. Humanitarian responders must be part of the picture in fragile and conflict-affected states, but they can’t be the whole picture. Where governments are unable or unwilling to provide for the – (off mic) – when governments actively marginalize communities or block aid from reaching its intended recipients, we need multilateral organizations and regional and multilateral development banks to step forward to help reach people most in need in ways that don’t legitimize bad actors or support morally bankrupt regimes. We have a sense of how this can work in places like Yemen and South Sudan. Their multilateral banks have directly partnered with UNICEF and ICRC respectively – UNICEF in Yemen, ICRC in South Sudan – to support social services. But these kinds of efforts can’t be one-offs; we need them to more – these multilateral institutions and development banks to more regularly employ such mechanisms that can quickly and effectively provide services to people in need without working through unreliable governments. Many of our multilateral development institutions are built to work, structured to work with national governments and implement aid only through state systems, or at least through state systems by default. They have less experience and are often – on one level, understandably – risk-averse to working amidst collapsed or fragile – with or around collapsed or fragile governments or in very challenging security environments. But ultimately our shared aim is to alleviate suffering and poverty, so we’ve to grapple with the fact that the geography of poverty and suffering is shifting to places characterized by violent conflict. By the end of this decade, 85 percent of the extreme poor, some 342 million people, are going to be living in fragile and conflict-affected states, so we have to shift our focus, not just in terms of where we work but with whom we partner. And critically, this means strengthening and scaling partnerships with local actors, whether it is local chapters of the Red Cross or Red Crescent or other international institutions or community- and faith-based organizations rooted in the societies in which we work. That is especially true of women-led organizations whose perspectives from the front lines of the world’s most harrowing crises are too often left out. When disaster strikes or violence breaks out and communities face intense pressure to find safe harbor, it is most often women who lead efforts to identify those most in need and women who direct resources most effectively. But when it comes to designing how humanitarian aid is distributed and who benefits, more often than not they don’t get a seat at the table. Local organizations, especially women-led organizations, must be involved from the start, must be central in the design and implementation of humanitarian programing. The same is true for work aimed at building climate resilience and adaptation. It is well-established that women and girls bear a disproportionate burden of the worst impacts of climate change. But here too women are not just victims. They are first responders, providing food, water, nutrition and health care to families and communities. So, as we work with local communities globally to build resilience to climate shocks, we have to think strategically about who ought to be designing and implementing programming for disaster risk reduction. When we do that work, we have seen, the data is there, the effects are real and dramatic. When Hurricane Mitch, the second-deadliest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, tore through Honduras and Nicaragua back in 1998, there were more than 6 million people in its path and more than 10,000 people died. As a result, in the early 2000s USAID began investing in local systems for emergency management and response, early warning and evacuation, communication systems, and climate smart infrastructure that will better protect lives and livelihoods, in the spirit of resilience, really. And when two storms of similar strength to Mitch, Eta and Iota, took a nearly identical path through Central America this past November, a year ago, the most at-risk communities were far better prepared. Lives lost were minimized to 205 – still too many, of course, for storms that we know are coming in advance. But clearly still demonstrating the benefits of locally led adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Many of these approaches are laid out in the climate and environment charter for humanitarian organizations devised by the International Committee of the Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. I’m pleased today to announce that USAID will join as a supporter of this charter as we work to invest globally in both climate mitigation and badly needed adaptation and resilience. When it comes to providing humanitarian assistance, the U.S. takes pride in its longstanding tradition of being the world’s most generous donor. And whenever a conflict develops or a climate shock puts people in harm’s way, America will be there, and will mobilize support. But in a changing world, with these galloping, growing needs, we can’t keep making the same efforts, issuing the same pleas, and just writing bigger and bigger checks, and expect different results. That is not to say we should lower our ambitions. In fact, we should raise them. We must find a way to work with multilateral organizations and development banks to devise new funding mechanisms, to think creatively about how basic services can be provided for populations most in need and, when appropriate, without directly involving governments that are exacerbating harms and not alleviating them. And we must also change the ways we deliver humanitarian assistance to include full participation design and leadership from local populations and organizations – from women and marginalized peoples who can help develop truly sustainable solutions to the risks they face in their own communities. Thank you so much. And thanks, Martin, for giving me this opportunity to join you today. With that, I have the distinct pleasure of handing the baton to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, who’s going to share a special message with us today.
Mr. Kurtzer: Thank you very much, Administrator Power. We’ve heard already from the secretary-general. So, I want to thank you very much for your –
Ms. Power: Oh, well. (Laughter.) Missed that. Thank you.
Mr. Kurtzer: – for your powerful remarks, your calls for political action, for robust diplomacy, and your leadership at USAID, both in terms of directing the United States government’s funding towards those local partners, but as well with the announcement you made about the climate charter. We’re very, very grateful for your leadership. And at CSIS we look forward to continuing to work with you and your colleagues throughout USAID and the U.S. government to tackle these really pressing challenges that affect all of us. With that, I’d like to turn it over to the undersecretary-general, Martin Griffiths, emergency relief coordinator, to present the 2022 Global Humanitarian Overview. Mr. Griffiths has a long and distinguished careers as well in humanitarian action and in political and diplomatic efforts to combat the effects of conflict on civilian populations, and we’re looking forward to your presentation. Undersecretary Griffiths, over to you.
Martin Griffiths: Thanks very much. Can you hear me? All good? Fine. I’m with Samantha. I think we could have the secretary-general twice. I think that there’s nothing wrong with that. Thanks very much indeed, Jacob, for this opportunity to speak at this launch. And before I start, I just want to say how clear a clarion call was this – were the remarks just now of Samantha, and one in which I certainly very much agree that we cannot continue to just exponentially increase the budget and the footprint of humanitarian assistance. In fact, I had a very useful meeting just within the last hour with the World Bank precisely looking at those issues. So I think Samantha has given us some very important and central instructions of things that we need to look at in the coming year and then beyond. I’d like to start with a story which I think I’ve told before, so I shall be careful about this. It was about the time a few weeks ago I was in Mekelle, in Tigray, in northern Ethiopia. I met a group of women survivors of gender-based violence in a safe house, Natalia, funded by your excellent agency. It was an extraordinarily difficult, it was an extraordinarily moving encounter, and I must confess that at times during this encounter I felt the need to live to stop the difficulty of the encounter. And I think we’ve all been in those circumstances, and I felt so bad for the women – 25 or so of these women and the children running about – who were being obliged to speak to us. And of course, the tragedy was that they could hardly speak to us with clarity because of the trauma that had yet not been removed because of the terrible things that had happened to them in previous months. And as I have said elsewhere, what struck me most, what encapsulated the real tragedy of that situation for me was their response when we asked them what they wanted for the future of their children, as I say running around them. And they did not respond to talk about education or the future safety and security of their family. Their concern was food – food for today. They had no horizon of a hope for a future. They had a need for survival. Now, this, I think, was perhaps the most tragic of that encounter. And this kind of experience is not limited to particular countries; it’s one that we know happens so often in so many parts of the world. And I echo Samantha’s points about the need to put the needs of women and girls central, the voice of women and girls central to the way we go about our business. Crises like the one that led to that pain of that day, which had been a pain with them for months, as Samantha says, can only be solved by political solutions. Like her, I honor Jeff Feltman and other envoys doing their best in very difficult circumstances. But today, as we launch this 2022 Global Humanitarian Overview, my goal is that this appeal can go some way, at least, to restore a glimmer of hope for those women and many more like them across the globe. The message is urgent: Humanitarian needs are still rising. As we have already heard, at the beginning of this year already 235 million people needed humanitarian assistance, and now this is rising in 2022 to 274 million, more or less. It’s an astonishing number and it’s a doubling of requirements in the last four years. And to give us all some sense of the scale of this challenge, if everyone requiring emergency aid lived in one country it would be the fourth most populous country in the world, and that is a shame on us. In most of these crises, women and girls suffer the most as preexisting gender inequalities and protection risks are heightened. One frightening statistic strikes me. In the recent – my recent reading was that in times of lockdown, every three months in a period of lockdown we see an increase of 15 million occasions of gender-based violence. That tells us something profoundly sad and wicked about humanity. It tells us something extraordinarily important about who should be our priority, people to aid, and it tells us something about the need to address inequalities of power in a very central fashion and beyond the management of the humanitarian community. This Global Humanitarian Overview for this coming year, 2022, includes the world’s largest ever, as you can imagine, humanitarian appeal – $4.47 billion in 2022 for Afghanistan – and followed closely in this scale were the appeals for Syria and Yemen. And as Samantha has said, the drivers of these appeals are quite known to us, so they’re quite familiar – conflict, primarily, and the political instability that goes with it, the growing climate crisis and the impact of the pandemic. Instability worsened in several parts of the world this year, notably, Ethiopia, Myanmar, and now, more recently, Afghanistan, while those prolonged conflicts that Samantha referred to continue to evade all efforts at their resolution. The scale of the climate crisis means that no corner of the world either is immune from intensifying shocks and, thus, from the need for assistance, and I join others to congratulate Samantha and her team at USAID for signing up for that Climate and Environment Charter, which is clear, succinct, and important. COVID-19 has already claimed almost 2 million lives across the countries included in this Global Humanitarian Overview while also contributing to a rise in poverty. I believe, an additional 20 million people estimated by the World Bank slid into poverty as a result of the pandemic. And as we know from the days just gone by, it’s not left us yet. These multiple forces – pandemic, climate, conflict, disasters – have left a significant number of the world’s population forcibly displaced. One percent of the world’s population is displaced. I can’t actually understand that figure. Forty-five million people in 43 countries – 45 million people in 43 countries – are on the edge of famine and, of course, many, many millions more nearing that appalling spot. It’s worth remembering that I’ve had the privilege of seeing, as I’m sure many others in this meeting have, too, in this last year and before, that when crises hit its communities themselves that are always the first to respond. They are the first responders to the needs of the people affected by crisis, and their assistance, while without denigrating for a moment the generosity of many countries and, indeed, here in Washington of the United States, but their generosity is one that often shames the rest of us – their generosity – and I’ve seen it very vividly, particularly this year in northern Ethiopia as well as in Syria. So, we should stand here in solidarity with them, with the generosity of local people helping those they see beside them. Looking ahead, the 2022 Global Humanitarian Overview lays out how we can support 183 million of the world’s most vulnerable, a prioritization down from that 274 million, but at a cost of $41 billion, a 17 percent increase on last year. It’s no surprise that it’s the world’s largest appeal ever for humanitarian assistance. But it lays out detailed plans which have been worked on for months by our colleagues in these countries, in the agencies, who know their business so well; detailed plans, objective assessments, to meet needs in food security and nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene, gender equality, protection in education, often the orphans of these appeals, shelter, and other essential items. Last year we aimed to reach 153 million people through plans at the country level. Thanks to the generosity of all – and another tip of the hat to you, Samantha, and your team – we were able to reach 107 million people. It’s an astonishing achievement. Seventy percent of our target were reached with assistance of some kind in that period; emergency health services, health, sanitation, outpatient care. In Yemen alone we were able to reach 10 million people with outpatient care. I know Yemen, and I know how difficult that environment is to operate. It’s an astonishing achievement. Two-point-four million women and girls in 39 countries were provided with the services they need to cope with gender-based violence, and which is never enough, as I saw that day in Mekelle. It helped us to fight acute hunger in six at-risk countries – at-risk meaning at risk of famine – Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, southern Madagascar, a new arrival to our caseload, northeast Nigeria, South Sudan, and Yemen again. This included pulling back the threat of famine from over half a million people in South Sudan due to the generosity of people in this room and beyond. This year we also made progress in how we do this business in important areas. Collaboration improved between international agencies and local responders on the front lines. But we still forget them. We still don’t see them clearly as the first responders. And we still, as Samantha reminded us, don’t support, capacitate, and enlarge their footprint beyond ours, partly for respect, but also for effectiveness. There was more prioritization of work on sexual exploitation and abuse, a duty of care to our staff and to those our staff are in contact with that I want to thank Natalia here, who has been the champion this year and remarkably trying to get us in the international agencies to put this issue, protection, prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and the harassment of women, at the top of our agenda, because it is a duty of care. And that must come first to those of us who have those responsibilities. Thank you, Natalia. And finally, I want to repeat what I said earlier on, which is that funding here is, I think, a mark of solidarity. But let us forget – let us not forget that the first solidarity that is palpable and noticeable to those in crisis is their neighbors. And I want to relate a story of when I was in Gaziantep on the Turkish border with Syria back in late August. Gaziantep is a city which has been inundated with Syrian refugees, has hosted so many of them for so many years. And I met with – in a local community center with young students, early teens. On one side of the room were Turks, on the other side of the room were Syrians, all living together now in this community and helped by this center. And I – you know, speaking different languages. And I asked a young woman from the Turkish side of the room, I said: You have had to have these people come to your city and take over your services and push aside some of your people maybe to get to treatment in health clinics and hospitals. How has it been? And she said: It’s been an opportunity to show our solidarity. This was a young, teenage girl in Gaziantep. And the question wasn’t prepped. This was her speaking. And she was speaking to all of us. Thank you very much.
Mr. Kurtzer: Thank you, Undersecretary Griffiths, for that powerful presentation and very sobering message. And again, I would echo our previous remarks about Administrator Power’s comments, that we’re grateful for your leadership and for the efforts being undertaken by OCHA, by other U.N. agencies to put forward the frontline responders, to put forward the communities, the individuals, the leaders who are at the forefront of the response, who are both feeling the impacts of these climate crises and these conflicts, and also even in that context working to support their communities. Our program now continues to take on this exact issue. And we have a very exciting panel discussion on climate, gender, and humanitarian response, and protecting and empowering women and girls. Our panel is moderated today by Aruna Rao, co-founder and former executive director of Gender at Work. After beginning her career with BRAC in Bangladesh, Ms. Rao has written extensively on issues around gender and institutional change, which is a critical issue for this sector and for this moment. And so with that, I’d like to turn it over to you to lead our panel discussion. The floor is yours.
Aruna Rao: Thank you so much, Jacob. And on behalf of the co-hosts, USAID, CSIS, and the United Nations, it is my pleasure to welcome you all to this panel discussion for the Global Humanitarian Overview 2022. Here in Washington, the discussion is going to focus on the theme of climate, gender equality, and humanitarian response, protecting and empowering women and girls. Many of the issues that our speakers are going to be talking about today have already been raised. Just to highlight a few of them, man-made climate change, driven by exploitative growth policies and the plunder of natural resources, has put millions of people at risk. And it’s contributing to this unprecedented humanitarian need, as we’ve just seen. The consequences are felt primarily by poorer countries and their marginalized populations. Climate change erodes agricultural production, deepens poverty, and aggravates political, social, and economic conditions that in fact provoke conflict in fragile contexts. And it affects communities around the world, we know that, but as has clearly been pointed out, it affects women and girls differently – and in many cases, disproportionately. So it in fact actually exacerbates existing gender inequalities. So solutions, as we’ve heard, need to address the specific needs of women and girls. And part – and these populations, as Martin Griffiths so clearly pointed out, need to be part of developing the solutions in terms of mitigating risk, in terms of responding to crises, and adapting to climate change in our future. So I now have the pleasure of introducing our distinguished speakers: Dr. Natalia Kanem, executive director of UNFPA. Thank you so much for joining us. Sarah Charles, assistant to the administrator, Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance at USAID. Thank you so much, Sarah. Claudia Herrera, head of the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America. Thank you so much, Claudia. And Dr. Antelak Al-Mutawakel, who is the cofounder of the Youth Leadership Development Foundation in Yemen. So, without further ado, I’d like to start the conversation with Dr. Antelak to set the scene for us, if you would. Your foundation supports numerous civil society networks in Yemen, and you are a gender equality and women’s rights expert. And as we all know, Yemen has been devastated by war and is struggling with food and water security, lack of health care, unemployment, and corruption. As has been pointed out, is it one of the worst humanitarian crises we have seen, with over 20 million people in dire need of assistance. And again, as often happens, women and girls face some of the worst consequences of this crisis. And you work directly with these people, so when you are working with these populations and addressing the needs of women and girls, what do you see as the priorities? What is front of your mind when you’re addressing their needs?
Antelak Al-Mutawakel: السلام عليكم وعليكم جميعاً– which means peace for all, that we are lacking in Yemen. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to voice Yemen – Yemeni civilians, citizens, women, and girls – in the midst, as you said, of the manmade worst humanitarian crisis – I’m repeating here, manmade and not womenmade. The country, my home, which is at the brink of the worst famine the world has seen in decades. I will not repeat what has been really reported about the situation – humanitarian situation in Yemen. Allow me just to give you – to bring you to the front seat. A few days ago, the whole world has celebrated childhood day. On that day, all the children around the world enjoy actually different programs that they could really follow in the – in the social media. On that day, Yemeni children – female and males – actually were dying in the military conflicts. Thousands of them are dying of malnutrition. Thousands of them are dying looking for health services and obstructed, really, health services that has been really destructive – destroyed through – during the war. And instead of enjoying that day as the rest of the world, thousands of Yemeni children strolling the streets begging for bread to feed themselves as well as their families, looking just to survive. Mothers on that day sadly looking at their children, helpless, for they have no position to talk decision to stop war, to find solution. They are not decision-makers. Briefly, ladies and gentlemen, as you know, economy in Yemen has dramatically deteriorated, deepening the socioeconomic inequality that affects directly more women and girls. Currency collapse that has never – has happened, that means millions of Yemenis will not be able to buy basic food. No salaries for civic employers. Now, I’m – as a teacher at Sana’a University, I haven’t received my salary for five or six months. Due to climate change, there is a water scarcity. Increase means women have to go to fetch water for many hours through which they may face also violence and harassment. If I come to the priorities and from – I mean, priorities that I have collected with my young team at YLDF, as Mr. Martin knows, OK, and as he come as a special envoy, before he comes the first day he announces that the need of ceasefire and stop the war. So, if asked, all women and girls, they would say: Stop the war. And that easily can be made because it’s a war made by men, OK? It is actually they can stop selling, actually, arms. This could really help. And there are many, also, other mechanism that can be taken. We know that socioeconomic inequality is a reason out – is a reason for the war and outcome of the war, and that we cannot really – maybe Mr. – again, Mr. Martin, as he knows Yemen very well, can support me – that we cannot really separate politics from humanitarian aid. They should really go in parallel. Pressured – there must be – there is a need of pressures on the conflict parties, and I’m saying here conflict parties national, international, and regional. Yemeni war is not any – is enough not any more a civil war. So, there is really – there must that they respect the international human law and actually avoid civilians from these political conflicts at all levels. As women are most affected by the war in different ways, they should be also at the center of finding solutions and deciding what are the solutions that can really happen. What are the programs that are needed? And as we – as the general secretary said, walk the talk. So, there is really a great need to emphasize the implementation, OK, of all international treaties UNSCR 1325 that want women to be active in solutions, to be not only passive and receivers of humanitarian aid. There is really a need to increase fund for women-led organization, as Samantha has mentioned. I have made research for U.N. a week – some weeks ago, and I discovered that national NGOs – they are women national NGOs or those who deal with women issues – they complain about lack of fund. UNFPA at that time, U.N. Women also, they lack actually adequate fund for women’s issues. Gender-sensitive sustainable livelihood programs in which women are part of from the first beginning of – from the first, I mean, beginning of designing the program is really important. I mean, those are maybe – for example, I can put practical examples from YLDF that, for example, projects, women and girls working activities in agriculture, promoting also non-stereotype activities for women. We notice that with the war, women start to work in the solar selling online, home-based business, but we feel that those enterprise of women are neglected by all and not supported. And sometimes they are not need of finance, but they need of technical supports because they are new to the market field and they have to face really harsh competition in the market that – which they are not used to. Thank you. I’ll stop here.
Ms. Rao: Thank you so much, Dr. Antelak. You’ve given us a lot to think about, both short-term issues like food and water and things that require longer-term structural changes. Sarah, I’d like to turn to you now. As head of the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance at USAID, which is a very influential humanitarian actor, what steps is BHA taking to ensure the kinds of issues that Dr. Antelak raised – that means both in terms of addressing the needs of women and girls, making sure that they are at the center of the response, and also protecting them from violence? And if I may add a second part to the question, how can humanitarian organizations more effectively guarantee that women from these affected communities are involved in those conversations where decisions are being made? Sarah, over to you.
Sarah Charles: Thank you for that. And, first, I want to thank CSIS and the other co-host, OCHA, for having me here today but, more importantly, for centering women’s voices in this conversation. I’m really thrilled to be part of this illustrious panel, and given us a lot to really – to really chew on and think about, and done such a fantastic job of both illustrating how climate and conflict compound challenges for women, how that plays out in daily life in Yemen, but also suggestions for structural change including, you know, I think your point about as humanitarians we often think about the impartial delivery of humanitarian assistance. But that doesn’t mean being ignorant of the politics that are driving humanitarian need or the politics that are needed to resolve conflict and address the root causes. So, I think it’s a really, really important point that you’ve made, an important point for all of us to take up and take back. You know, Martin touched upon some of the statistics. Antelak illustrated this in Yemen about how conflict, how climate, compound need and, in particular, for women and girls. We know that 70 percent of people facing chronic hunger are women and girls. We know that 60 percent of preventable maternal mortality takes place in settings that are affected by conflict and displacement and natural disasters. Martin spoke about how gender-based violence increases in times of crisis and we’ve seen with COVID that eye-popping statistic about for every three months that COVID lockdowns continue an additional 15 million cases of GBV are expected to occur. We also see how these issues of not just conflict driving GBV but access preventing GBV responses can play out in a place like Ethiopia. I was just there four weeks ago and met with a number of our implementing partners there and remember a partner who has long been working in northern Ethiopia on issues of resilience, of supporting female-headed households, but also on GBV responses talking about how we are right – when I was there, we were nine to 10 months out from some of the worst abuses of the early days of the crisis in Tigray, the worst abuses against women, in particular, that we could and should expect that there were children being born of rape right now, but because of the systematic obstruction of access, even though we had partners that had funding, that had expertise, that had strong networks of local staff, that they weren’t able to provide the services that we know are needed because of those access constraints. And, you know, as much as we talk about food needing to get to the north and pending famine, it’s just as important that we keep that focus and attention on critical services for women and girls as well. And, you know, Martin and I talk a lot about Afghanistan these days and I think it is worth us just taking a minute to think about in 2021 how troubling it is that we have to advocate for just the very baseline of inclusion of women in the delivery of humanitarian services. That that should even be in question in 2021 in a place like Afghanistan is pretty damning for us all. So just to say, again, really appreciate the focus and attention in this conversation on the intersection between crisis and between inclusion of women and girls in how both we think about and how we respond to crisis. On the U.S. government side, because I know, Aruna, that was your question, we’ve long been a supporter of gender-based violence interventions globally. We’ve obligated more than 103 million (dollars) to GBV responses just in our last fiscal year. That’s both at the country level, but also supporting the development of critical guidance and research in a sector such as the GBV and emergency minimum standards, which help outline what agencies working on specialized GBV programming need to do to prevent and respond to GBV and deliver multisectoral services. But we recognize this isn’t enough. And you know, I will say, to speak frankly, I think we’ve been more quiet than we could be, particularly under the last administration. I’m very, very pleased to say that we are working closely with our colleagues at the U.S. Department of State to do an ambitious rewrite of Safe from the Start, which is our initiative to address GBV and emergencies. And this really aims to not just reiterate the need to center women and girls in humanitarian assistance, but also to leverage the skills, experience, and leadership of women in such responses, to prioritize the protection of women and girls, emphasize women’s agency, and, critically, feminize and localize the humanitarian system, really prompt gender-transformative action. So this is really about a reframing not just our GBV interventions, but our humanitarian interventions more broadly, the way we approach humanitarian aid, rethink who designs and who delivers it. Martin was right, of course, that it’s neighbors, often women, that are the first responders, but that’s not how we – you know, how we necessarily think about it in the humanitarian system. It’s certainly not the way money flows. And so I think really centering as we – as we think about how we’re funding, how – who’s making decisions, women and girls who are experts on their own needs, the needs of their communities to be central to the design and delivery of assistance, ensure that assistance is responsive to their needs and does not place them further at risk, understand and respond to the needs and risk that they face, but I think most critically provide space and support for them to be the agents of change that we know they are but needs to be resourced as such, including by supporting the mobilization of networks and coalitions to craft immediate and long-term solutions. Just one example of this is we’re supporting pilot programs that put women-led local organizations as co-chairs of the GBV subclusters in any number of places. This is about not just being implementers of assistance but being at the table to determine what are the priority needs, what are the – what are the approaches, who should – how should resources be directed. And then, again, we also have to continue to work with communities to address resistance to protection-related work. For example, the U.N. estimates that 9.3 million people will be in need of protection services in Afghanistan in 2022. That’s 2 million more people than last year. But despite resistance to GBV programming from local de facto authorities, we have to adapt our activities, increase staff, perhaps even change the terminology that we’re using to ensure that these activities can continue. And we certainly will continue to be advocates for ensuring that, again, women are at the center of humanitarian delivery and decision-making as well.
Ms. Rao: Thank you so much, Sarah. I’d like to turn now to Claudia. As many of you know, Claudia is the first woman to hold the position of executive secretary for the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America and the Dominican Republic. And Claudia, as Ambassador Power said – and she referred to the climate crises that have particularly hit Central America. And as the climate crisis intensifies, as we know, these weather events – extreme weather events gain increasing force and are more frequent. And they leave in their wake extreme effects on marginalized populations – again, primarily women and girls. Could you help us understand the impact of climate change on such groups of people across Central America and the Dominican Republic and how your organization works to address these issues?
Claudia Herrera: Thank you, Ms. Chair. I’m honored to share this virtual panel with Ms. Charles, Ms. Kanem, and also with Al-Mutawakel. The figures we have heard from today at this launch are not surprising, and at the same time should call for resource coordination. Also Ms. Charles mentioned the dramatic figures that we are facing in our region. And, yeah, that my region, Central America, has been mentioned in the introduction as the needs are great, a comprehensive response is urgent. Thanks again for this opportunity to participate in this important dialogue. Climate change is the current most serious threat to the survival of humanity and nature. Its impact has been particularly evident in Central America during the last year, as the occurrence of multiple disaster and, simultaneously, of emergency in a short period of time have amplified effects to millions of people and their livelihoods. It poses unprecedented challenges to the national strategies to respond, recover, and finance sustainable development. It is mostly low and middle income, just like the countries in Central America, those hit the hardest by climate change. Three of the 10 countries most vulnerable to climate events in the world are in Central America, namely Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Extreme weather affects society in a context where the levels of poverty, malnutrition, and food insecurity are alarming, particularly in rural areas directly dependent on agricultural activities. The most effected are those in or need the dry corridor. In this context, forced migration is a phenomena closely linked to climate, in addition to poverty and violence. The different variables are affecting the population in different ways with a strong gender angle, considering also patriarchal social norms. Women as head of households is one of our challenges. As the family unit breaks, women are often left as the primary caretakers. They are also not included in the decision making and see limited access to resources, including financial resources. Women and girls are the first to sacrifice education, health, nutrition, and other rights, as coping mechanisms from families. In the countries where we work, access to labor markets are still a great challenge. We are often subject of gender-based violence, whether it is traffic or abuse. The extreme situation resulting from loss of livelihoods, displacement, and international migration, or even violence, sexual violence, and femicide. Lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services, during emergency pregnant women lose access to the little bit of health care they could have before. Extreme weather conditions, disaster and displacement increase their vulnerabilities. Disaster exposed the persistent inequalities in our society. These inequalities are what make a population more vulnerable to disaster risk. So they must be addressed as part of the prevention action. This, while reducing the exposure and vulnerability of the population in general will strengthen the development process of our society. CEPREDENAC, along with its strategic partners, has put great efforts to work closely with governments and civil society to understand the relationship between the elements previously exposed by collecting information and promoting programs to understand the social tissue and the organizational context. We have work on the women’s agency to promote leadership. We aim towards transformation their situation from victims to protagonists of positive change and improvements in their livelihoods of their communities. We work with governments on policies to integrate a gender vision within their response and also to secure effective participation of women and their organization in the preparedness and response, as well as on the longer-term planning to address displacement. We work hand-in-hand with civil society, women’s groups and movements to secure that our dialogue with governments and offering concrete changes in policies and institutional plans. Directly with women from all countries where we are present, women are supported to develop agricultural activities for self-consumption, but also associated among themselves to build a structure of processes to increase the production of certain products and learn from each other as a way to develop resilience and synergy. Thank you.
Ms. Rao: Thank you so much, Claudia. I’d like to turn now to Dr. Kanem. We’re really honored to have you with us today. Dr. Kanem’s the executive director of UNFPA. I know that you have to leave soon, so I’m going to put a few questions together for you, so we can maximize your time. Your career has spanned many sectors. And it’s very clear that the responses to these crises also have to combine and connect many sectors. So a couple of questions. One is, how do you think humanitarian agencies can break down the kind of silos that they operate in across sectors to in fact catalyze more meaningful change for women and girls? And as you know, and as UNFPA has said very clearly, gender equality is central to addressing issues of climate change. If you can talk about how, you address that in UNFPA. And before you go, the issue about resources. That is a critical issue. If you could give us your insights on, how do you move that needle? How do you move that resource needle? How do you get to decisionmakers to actually change this level of funding and giving for issues of gender equality and climate change? Over to you, Dr. Kanem.
Natalie Kanem: Muchas gracias, Dr. Rao, and warm greetings to everyone participating, from a very frosty Finland. I too would like to thank CSIS and USAID and OCHA for bringing us together. Because this is a conversation, and Global Humanitarian Overview that’s desperately needed, because these are desperate times. And let me just plainly answer the last question first and saying that the issue of resources brings us back to inequalities. And we have to state loudly and clearly that the people who are vulnerable, unfortunately, cannot write a grant proposal or demand their due. So the instance of hope and solidarity that secretary-general, that Samantha Power, and Martin Griffiths are speaking to really call on us to bring the evidence to the table and drive home and repeat that human solidarity and humanitarian aid is part and parcel of human rights. So I am not shy about making the case, because somewhere right now there’s a girl who’s been pulled out of school. She’s going to be dragged into marriage. And extreme drought conditions that bring hunger to her family are going to be part of the calculus of do they succumb to giving her up or will she be able to return to school after COVID, and complete her education? And everywhere I go, I meet pregnant women who are scared. If you are in a time of flood, cyclone, any type of disaster, including conflict, how are you going to deliver safely? Is the midwife going to be there, equipped to look after your life? Which also implicates the children you already have. And I meet many, many women who live in poverty who are doing their best to manage the children that they already have – not even to mention their own health.So the lack of contraception, stuff that we take for granted that she doesn’t have, not only impacts here; it impacts her society as a whole. So I will say that in terms of what to do and concrete steps, UNFPA works directly with and for women. We’ve heard a lot about putting women at the center today. And I’m gratified by that, because the answer should be: Yes, you can finish your education. No, you don’t have to get married. Yes, the midwife will be there, et cetera, et cetera. And I think the concrete action that spells the difference, for climate or for any of the other issues which the other presenters have eloquently put on the table, the difference between mitigating versus succumbing to climate change or anything else that seems inescapable today is to put power back into the hands of women. Therefore, if they’re the ones who are facing the escalating climate threat, you ask them, you listen, and, in the case of UNFPA, I’m proud to say, already more than a third of our budgetary resources for humanitarian action runs through a women-led organization on the ground – a local organization. This also goes along with the power of localizing, so-called, in the sense that the person who knows where the shoe pinches is very likely to have ideas about what’s going to work for their culture, for their residents. But everywhere, climate crisis and humanitarian crisis more – crisis more broadly is a gendered threat. The fact is that in every instance of humanitarian crisis the risks of gender-based violence multiply because support structures are breaking down as people are displaced, as they’re fleeing. And these human rights violations more concretely also have been magnified by COVID. We are finding as we analyze trend that gender-based violence, indeed, as we predicted, spiked dramatically last year, shockingly last year. And I’m talking about sexual violence, physical violence, human trafficking, all manner of assault, intimate-partner violence, and the drastic situation of femicide. So this is a threat to the SDGs and also to the ICPD Program of Action because women and girls are still simply not on an equal footing. They’re absent at the peace table, where they make a huge difference in terms of what our sister from Yemen repeatedly said during her presentation. The politics of peace need to return to a table where it’s taken seriously, and women have to be part of that solution. So let me just sum up by saying that there is a gendered chain reaction. Climate connects to hunger connects to livelihoods and all of those 17 SDGs, which are predicated on putting women and girls at the center. They’re predicated on bodily autonomy so women make their rights and choices known and have the ability to decide, especially when it comes to bodily autonomy. This takes money. It takes solidarity. It takes concrete climate action. And it takes the politics that lead to a durable peace. It requires a new way of working, yes, among us as humanitarian actors. But the development and the peace pillars, I’m not going to let go of that. There has to be absolute complementarity. And UNFPA will continue to be in the forefront of working with women and girls as allies and as leaders for change. We all need to make sure that women’s organizations are engaged at all levels for these conversations and for the decision-making, and this is the type of unity and solidarity that will conquer the problem once and for all. Thank you so much.
Ms. Rao: Thank you so much, Dr. Kanem. Sarah, I’d like to turn to you and pick up a point that Dr. Kanem raised. Knowing the intersectionality of these issues, she said we have to have a new way of working. And could I ask you, how do you think – how does BHA currently and how do you think could be better ways of breaking down institutional silence? So, working with likeminded countries, donors, international systems, in your experience what would you say is working well and what would you say are continuing challenges?
Ms. Charles: Yeah. I liked – I liked Dr. Kanem’s money, solidarity, climate action, politics. (Laughs.) That’s a – I feel like that’s kind of the mantra coming out of – out of this discussion. And you know, I think certainly there’s more that we can be doing on all of those – on all of those fronts. You know, it was – I think it’s great that we have – we have Claudia here today talking about, you know, both the need but also the progress that we’ve seen in Central America. I really do often talk about the example of Central America in 1998, when Hurricane Mitch hit, again when we had those two storms last fall, because it is – it’s both a stark reminder of how devastating drought on top of a hurricane on top of, you know, violence, how these intersect and compound and create need, but also how early investment, working with local partners, supporting local actors does work to reduce at least the mortality and the morbidity, which is not to say we don’t still have huge impacts from those storms in the fall. But I think when we talk about what needs to be done, what is being done, we certainly are prioritizing disaster risk reduction, preparedness. It’s so – when you look at that humanitarian-needs overview, when you look at 41 billion (dollars) needed, when you look at how much of that is in direct response, it’s difficult to protect those kind of – those preparedness, those anticipatory actions. But it’s so critical, because it pays dividends down the road. But in investing in that preparedness, it has to be investing in the full participation – (laughs) – I’m having trouble talking today – the full participation – (laughs) – of vulnerable populations, particularly women and girls. And we have to, you know, not only address the unique needs, but take advantage of the unique experiences and knowledge and expertise. And, you know, there are a couple of examples I’d highlight. One is we’re supporting humanity and inclusion to improve dissemination of inclusive disaster risk-management frameworks in six countries in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of this humanity, and inclusion is improving and disseminating frameworks to increase the protection and equitable resilience of women, of LGBTQ, persons with disabilities, older people, racial and ethnic minorities, and indigenous groups that are both most at risk and critical agents of change. And, of course, women, girls, are change agents in advancing disaster risk reduction and climate-change adaptation. I’d like to blame my inability to pronounce right now on the fact that I was up very early this morning taking over co-chairmanship of the World Bank’s Global Fund for Disaster Risk Reduction. And this is speaking to, you know, how to break down those siloes. How do we get the humanitarian community working with those multilateral development banks, working with governments, working with development actors? And one of our key priorities in our work with the bank’s Global Fund for Disaster Risk Reduction is gender inclusion. When we started to engage with the bank’s fund on this about 10 to 15 years ago, gender inclusion was featured in 12 percent of the programs that they funded. We were discussing this morning last year it was 65 percent. Our goal is 100 percent by the end of this year. And this is an example, again, of, you know, $60 million in donor funds last year; relatively small when you look at the grand scale of needs – leverage $7.2 billion in additional resources, whether it be from the bank or from national governments themselves investing in early warning, disaster risk reduction, resilience activities. And really, you know, we’re laser-focused on making sure that those investments, those projects, are centering women’s voices, women’s actions, women’s decision-making, women’s needs in those, as well as inclusion more generally, because, you know, Dr. Natalia talked about the intersectionality of this. So – but again, that’s a top priority for us and I think an area where there’s a lot of opportunities for the humanitarian system, as Samantha talked about, for the humanitarian system that is, I say, sharing the burden of these crises. The burden is really felt by the people that are first and foremost experiencing this. But the – but really so much has fallen on the humanitarian system. And building those bridges, again, with national responses, local responses, bringing in the resources and the expertise of multilateral development banks, even in places where maybe they’re a traditional partner and the government can’t be the partner of first choice, and always keeping that focus and attention on the most vulnerable, those that are most likely to be left behind, and supporting their agency as decision-makers.
Ms. Rao Thank you so much, Sarah. Claudia, I’d like to turn to you now. We’ve heard a lot about the importance of local communities really being front and center and driving the change that needs to happen and addressing the issues. And you have made that a priority in your work. And I would like to ask you to please – if you could give us one or two examples of how you have worked effectively with local communities to address the gaps, you know, in the sort of – the global delivery and what actually happens at the local level. And what do you think, from those examples, if you could draw some lessons about what do you think it would take to actually scale that up to other places?
Ms. Herrera: Thank you. Thank you again. Yes, as you mentioned, I have now the compromise. And also, being the first woman, I have the responsibility to be the woman – to be – sorry, to be the voice of the women in local communities. And also they are not included – as was mentioned before, they are not included in the decision-making activities. Historically, women have experienced increasing vulnerabilities. And it is them and their groups who understand better the exclusion from decision-making spaces as such. And as I mentioned previously, it is important to highlight that women have resources and capacities that make them necessary in the construction of more resilient societies. For this reason, we focused to a great extent in fostering the active participation of communities and women groups on the formulation and revision of the policies, the strategies, plans and projects and development initiatives, but assuring or guaranteeing that these policies and all these strategic plans have to be considered at the community level. We are – sorry – we are committed to provide relevant training to strength capacities and the needs of the women at local, grassroots and community women groups and the formal women’s organization in each of the countries of the region, and also in the communities, and align with the national and subregional-level priorities. This has allowed for an inventory of important practices, led by local women working on climate adaptation and reducing vulnerabilities, while supporting the individual and collective empowerment of women leaders who are capable of influencing their local governments to impact on municipal budgets, creating partnerships that allow access to resources of all kinds – technical, financial, technological – to better conduct the processes to reduce climate impacts and disasters. Additional, and as a mechanism to build agency, we know from our experience that the allocation of resources directly in the hands of women and their organization at the community level allows them to take decision focused on their needs – that is, specific needs – and strength capacities, and scale for more resources many times before the local governments themselves and increase resilience practice to other space of interaction. In the context of our discussions today, we stand firmly on the effectiveness of increasing sustainably the allocation of humanitarian funding to local organizations with a gender perspective, with a particular focus on women-led and women’s right organization. Our original policy promotes equal opportunities for women and men with a balance of participation and treatment, promote better opportunity, better participation, and also to including benefits to reduce inequality gaps between genders, making visible the differentiated way in which women and men see each other affected by disaster and the different roles assigned to them vis-à-vis risk management as well as in the development processes. We are certain that fostering participation and leadership of women that challenges harmful social norms and builds agency are the key to scale up effective responses current to the needs of those women most affected. At the same time, our role at the regional and global level, as my co-panelists have highlighted, is key in the direct context we have heard about today. Thank you.
Ms. Rao: Thank you so much, Claudia. Thank you very much. That was very informative. I want to go back to Dr. Antelak. Dr. Antelak, we’ve heard a lot about the importance of resources, more resources going to this issue. And in Yemen, we know that the humanitarian response is only funded at 57 percent at the moment. Health requirements are funded at 23 percent. And water, sanitation, and hygiene requirements are funded even lower, at 14 percent. And this is a very important issue. So can you tell us, in concrete terms, what does this mean for conflict and climate-affected women and girls in Yemen?
Ms. Al-Mutawakel: Thank you. Yes, you have come to say, as also Dr. – I mean, the UNFPA has mentioned, money is really important. I mean, solidarity, political will, but money also is important. And if you see how much women actually led organizations and/or women issues got that percentage, you find it a very small percentage. And that’s why I said we need to walk the talk. I mean, 1325 said it should be not less than 30 percent of the funds allocated to women issues or women – I mean, violence, gender-based violence, to also women’s protection, to all those. But we do not find this. I mean, a lot maybe – even that percentage is little. But how much women get? That is just drops. That cannot be adequate to deal with all of the issues that women need. Women need really economic empowerment. And this means sustainable, actually flexible, actually, funding that goes to women small business. Because what is focused usually? It is the private sector at the national level – the big private sectors, the big business. But women are not there in that big business. Women are there in the small businesses. Women are home-based. They need, really, critically, to be systemized, to be supported in their own business. And we find in addition that they find really more and more challenges because of the work, because of the limited, actually, mobility of women. If I compare, for example, youth organization led by female and youth organization led by males, I find that male youth, I mean, organization, they have more opportunity to get fund because they have the ability to move, to be – to travel, actually, outside Yemen to meet donors, to meet international agencies, while women, I mean, cannot do it for different reasons, OK? What we find in Yemen, that the space for women is really shrinking and that puts women at risk. Though, I mean, saying sometimes or claiming sometimes that, oh, it is social norms. It is tradition. No. It’s not social norms. 2011 shows us that this is just a legend that it is the social norms, because at that time women participate in great numbers, OK, in the squares of the opposition or to the regime at that time. The national dialogue, the number of women, they were about 30 percent. And no traditions, no norms have prevented them. But again, as mentioned, it is the political will. When the political will accepts to mainstream women, embolden them, really, and consider them, which is really important, it’s not for the sake of a woman, but for the sake of Yemen, for the sake of peace, for the sake of – I mean, for the sake for the whole country. Children, marginalized people – I mean, now, as you said, with the climate changes, women really are facing more difficulties because they are the ones who are really in the agriculture. And they do not really realize that there is really a climate change. So, they plant just as it is traditionally planted. They wait for the rains, but there is no rain, OK? Flood actually destroys their production. And so, they’re facing more and more difficulties. I mean, in my opinion, and as we have tried at YLDF, those small business entrepreneurship women, they need really a safe place. Now we have a pilot project with the Nowfik and Saxon Universities, supported by Netherlands, that place – to find that place where women business can meet together. They exchange their experiences, complaints, difficulties, risk, and so on. I’ll stop here because Jacob said we have to be brief.
Ms. Rao: Thank you so much, Dr. Antelak. That was very, very helpful. This has really been an insightful and informative conversation and thank you all so much for this. I want to take the opportunity to call on Sarah one last time. Sarah, if you could bring together some of the key issues we’ve heard over the course of this event and offer any concluding remarks. Sarah, over to you.
Ms. Charles: So, I will be very brief and just say, you know, OCHA has done a phenomenal job. The Humanitarian Needs Overview paints a very stark picture: 274 million people will require assistance in 2022, an increase of 16 percent from 2021; $41 billion will be required to meet the needs of 183 (million) people. But we can all go a little numb from these numbers – these numbers, and I think Dr. Antelak has left us with a really important picture and a reminder that these are individuals behind these numbers, that their fates are dependent on how we – how we collectively react, how we engage in diplomacy, how we really embrace and tackle the climate crisis, how we support and in the words of – in the words of Dr. Natalia provide money, solidarity, and action in support of local voices, local women. So, with that, I will just again thank our co-hosts, CSIS and U.N. OCHA, and also thank our moderator, Aruna, and all of my fellow panelists. Again, more assistance is needed, of course, but also new approaches, smart and effective assistance that supports local voices, local actors.
Mr. Kurtzer: Thank you very much, Sarah. And to everyone watching, thank you very much for joining us. There’s no effective way to summarize all the insights that we’ve heard from this inspiring panel, so I just want to again acknowledge Dr. Rao, Dr. Al-Mutawakel, Dr. Herrera, Ms. Charles, and Ms. Herrera, and Ms. Kanem for joining us for this discussion. Extend my gratitude to Undersecretary Griffiths and Administrator Power for their opening remarks. And you know, we’ve heard so many different things about the ways that we can empower and engage local communities, in particular women and girls, in the response. And at CSIS, we’re committed to working with all of you – not just our panelists, but all the viewers and all the individuals – to try to find solutions, to push forward the recommendations, and to try to make sure that next year’s GHO is smaller, is better-funded, and is more effective in meeting the needs of all vulnerable individuals around the world. And with that, we wish you a good day, good evening, good afternoon. We look forward to seeing you again. Thank you.