Day 3: 15 March 2023
SESSION 5: Harnessing Resources to Assist the Growing Number of People on the Move
Mr. Amin Awad, Senior Fellow, Harvard University, (Chair) referred to the 20th anniversary of DIHAD to be celebrated next year. With 377 million people now in need of humanitarian assistance or on the move due to Climate Change, recent earthquakes, 66 countries are impacted. The biggest Appeal ever of USD 51 billion does not even include the needs in response to the earthquake in Syria and Turkey, the shocks in Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea itself. Resources are scarce and a new system change is needed to involve the LDCs, countries in transition, and the poorest of the poor. New relations, shifting the economic powerhouse, famine, and with energy becoming scarce and politicised, all impact on increasing costs.
With the multiplying effect of wars, as localised they may be perceived, they have a global impact, with dispossessed faced by famine and stuck in their places. Resources are clearly not enough to meet the needs, despite so many initiatives, such as the 17 SDGs, many of which related to Climate Change and environment. The UN S-G has called for a clear commitment for actions to come close to meeting the goals, but we are very far away from half of the implementation. We need a global system change, including modalities of implementation, helping far away poor regions, harnessing resources and very basic technology.
Energy sufficiency is now key, in particular for rural areas, where energy access will change the fortune of a household. Transition to a green economy is easier in small, low energy consuming economies, which should, therefore, be prioritised, making them the centre of ideas, inventions and solutions, not only by technical solutions but by community involvement with employment.
Renewables and mix of alternative energies to areas with IDPs and refugees such as Jordan, where energy surplus now going to the national grid but could be transferred to the community level. Many people are remaining captive to their fate and are needing longer term solutions. Food security, water and energy need to be harnessed and developed. Ever increasing demands, Climate Change, droughts, destruction, lack of sustainability, gas and oil scarce and politicised, wars, changing centres of economic powers, all these need broader coalitions to tackle challenges with fresh water and political will for a systems change.
Ms. Samah Hadid, Norwegian Refugee Council, Middle East, opined that people on the move want us to break the cycle, be self-reliant and access their rights and more sustainable assistance. They want legal coverage to start their own business, in particular in cases of protracted displacement without any possible solution in sight. With dwindling resources, durable solutions must be prioritised to provide a safe home and life and protection maintained. With short sightedness of funding, host countries are shouldering the burden of refugees who are not welcomed in Europe or the United Kingdom. Legal obligations have been outsourced to neighbouring countries, but they receive only short term funding, no support for not durable solutions. How can limited resources be used most effectively. There is a need to rely on innovative funding, but development ODA to the region has not increased so far. Refugee needs must be included in development financing, especially coming from IFIs.
Climate Change poses a new challenge with more people on the move in North Africa, but financing support sorely lacking, in particular for countries already in conflict. Therefore, there is an urgent need for solidarity to increase pledges for climate adaptation. Denial of rights and protection of refugees and migrants limit what can be attained by financing to tackle long term solutions and legal reforms to give them their rights in which financing can be a tool in development packaging and national systems that accommodate their rights.
Long term, innovative funding and bold legal changes are what is called for by displaced communities, and they must be listened to.
Mr. Othman Belbeisi, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), mentioned that the Arab region hosts more than 40 million migrants and 15.7 million IDPs, making up ten percent of the overall population of MENA. Drivers of migration are climate related and often combined with other factors. It is the world’s most water-stressed region, impacting on human life. New displacements due to natural disasters amount to 23.7 million, going up to 216 million by 2050 if no action is taken. Resources needed include camp coordination and management to be adequate to reduce footprint, e.g. more green coverage. Now 94 percent of forcibly displaced in camps lack access to power. Protection and information must be provided to vulnerable populations on the move and hosting communities, who need comprehensive and meaningful services to allow them to move to transition and development and give them access to income. A new fund in Iraq generates sustainable employment and will be expanded to other countries.
Harnessing skills needed for green transition: destination focus funds to be better trained either for their destination or home country, including waste management and multi- sectoral training in mobility partnerships. The diaspora and country of origin have a role to play for financial, technical skills and knowledge also in humanitarian settings, e.g. US and Africa. Innovative financing is needed, involving private sector and philanthropic funding, also cash assistance for access to services but also to deal with the economic impact of crises and inflation. Local procurement is essential. Key message: most needed are sustainable displacement sites and resource management; new resources for financing; upholding rights of migrants and IDPs; and skills mobility training. (Attachment)
Ms Hamida Jahamah, Plan International Jordan, focused on the impact of girls and women on the move. Migration with south-south movement is also marked by conflicts between and within countries bringing fear for security. Even after 12 years, the Syria crisis is still impacting particularly on women and girls, e.g. denial of access to education. Modalities of education through tv exist, but are not supported for their educational aspirations. Gender Based Violence (GBV) is linked to energy due to a lack of light leading to fear of violence against women. Gender equality should also exist in access to energy; health centres must be empowered, while connectivity can have an essential effect on the mental health in case of crisis.
Regarding harnessing resources, renewable, green energy has to be accessible by all and mainstreamed, and support mitigation of climate crisis. Coordination between humanitarian sectors and among humanitarian and development sectors, and integrated approaches between levels and emergency response is the only way to find durable solutions.
Comments from the Floor:
Within the context of resources over the last 20 years having increased to USD 29 billion, the NRC budgets have increased from USD 44 million in 2002 to over USD 800 million in 2022. There is a need to look also how resources are being invested, keeping in mind that durable solutions are more costly and require better investments.
As the CAP each year shows only rather limited response to needs, this requires more analysis to determine what the impact is. More politically important crises overshadow the needs of smaller or protracted crises.
Resources will not increase, but the humanitarian system needs to shape up to reduce duplication and many of the World Humanitarian Summit of 2016 commitments are not met. Model of delivery needs rethinking. UN FTS does not track internal funding that is not reported. Need to better use limited resources, e.g. by supporting domestic institutions and the way financing is applied. Localisation is very important as per the Grand Bargain and more funding has to go to local NGOs who can provide more sustainable support. Some sustainability also needs to come from the side of governments with the nexus approach with better coordination. Knowledge and data management can be used more effectively with evidence- based needs assessments.
The Grand bargain is based on commitment to localisation, better efficiency, better monitoring and evaluation of operations. We need to keep the humanitarian focus in our work, a rethink of the system and more sustainable approaches, also looking at context and sustainability.
Conflicts need to be resolved so that the humanitarian budgets can be kept from increasing.
In conclusion, the Chair agreed to the need for a more efficient humanitarian system and more resources to be found for those on the move and the increasing challenges.
KEYNOTE ADDRESS “The People’s Energy Transition”
H.E. Dr. Nawal Al-Hosany, Permanent Representative of the UAE to IRENA, reminded that we need to look through the humanitarian lens at energy transition, as it is often assumed that we need to take climate action because we are trying to save the planet, but it should be because we must save the people on this planet. By 2050, 1.2 billion people will be climate displaced as the human cost of non-action, mostly affecting communities across the global south who contributed the least to Climate Change. Emissions must be cut by seven percent, and at COP28 a wake-up call can be expected. Over 800 million people have no access to electricity, and by 2030 USD 4.4 trillion annually will be needed for clean energy. Energy transition is embraced by the UAE to make the world a more sustainable and secure place with more than USD 50 billion invested on clean energy so far. There is always more to be done, and IRENA is firmly committed to work with the international community to address the most urgent needs.
The “Empowering lives and livelihoods” initiative seeks to raise USD 1 billion towards an initiative on “Renewables for Adaptation”. The agricultural sector is a key driver of livelihoods for over 2.5 billion people worldwide. Demand for energy for this sector can be met by integrating renewable energy solutions. Health facilities need reliable electricity supply to be able to offer adequate healthcare, in particular in rural areas. While women produce the largest share of food in most developing countries, they lack access to water, land, capital, tools as well as technology, and are most exposed to climate risks. The energy transition to renewables has a crucial role to play, e.g. peacekeeping missions which can enhance a new infrastructure and are ideal candidates for enhanced local production by payment, and can provide protection of the energy infrastructure. Climate action by peace-keeping missions is urgently needed as they are now among the largest consumers of energy and emissions in their host countries.
Energy transition is not just about reducing carbon emissions, it is about a better future and benefit for everyone, in particular the vulnerable communities. (Attachment)
SESSION 6 – Caring for the planet; the Role of New Technologies
Dr. Youssef Nassef, Director, Adaptation Division, UNFCC (Chair) appreciated the multi-disciplinary theme of conference and the composition of the panels. He was encouraged somewhat by the direction some of the world’s initiatives can be taking, e.g. care for the oceans. Climate Change is very discriminatory, affecting in particular the most vulnerable and children. Caring about humans in the face of Climate Change is crucial as the planet can continue to exist even without humans. Children deserve to be able to thrive and live in safe environments.
Ms Barbara Hintermann, Director-General, Terre des Hommes, focused on approaches to bridging peace, health and development. A strong commitment for the protection of children and the promotion of their rights is important, in particular linking child rights and climate. Caring for the planet means caring for the people, and children are the leaders of tomorrow. At the time of the pandemic, the environment was different with less pollution, but now a greater impact of Climate Change is felt, putting most pressure on the vulnerable and children in the first line. More impactful measures need to be taken, putting people in the front. Children must be included in these considerations. Current and new technologies and resources to invest are available, but action must be taken now to push the political agenda and not hiding behind long-term approaches.
Terre des Homme is a Swiss NGO, presenting the voice of the future generation working at individual and global level with focus on child protection, following three themes of Accessible, Available and Affordable. It is active mostly in West Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Asia. Climate Change affects children’s rights with no less than one billion children directly exposed to its risks. According to UNICEF some 920,000 children suffer from water scarcity. Children themselves expect worsening in their lifetime and new generations. Hopefully political leaders will be convinced as well of the big responsibility to minimise the carbon footprint by half by 2030, and children will tell what they expect from their leaders. New technology must be used to create better impact on child and mothers’ healthcare.
VIDEO was shown with the voices of children on the impact of Climate Change and what measures to be taken. (Attachment)
Ms Elise d’Epenoux , The Sea Cleaners, introduced the Manta, the vessel eating up the waste and producing its own energy. The Ocean is polluted and being human means leaving traces, now also causing pollution of aquatic life. The project address the challenge how to repair these traces, based on pollution control by awareness raising on the use of plastic and the reuse recovered plastic. Every minute 17 tons of plastic waste gets into the ocean, and up to 3 mt per hour is collected by the vessel, mauled into minute pieces and made storable, sorted out and transformed into synthetic gas and into electricity. This is done by combining high technology and eco-friendly solutions. It is already in use in Bali for the recovery of solid waste, while the Mobula8 is in use as a multipurpose depollution and recovery station.
It is fundamental to be able to prove direct impact on several SDGs: SDG10, indicator 5, to decrease hunger by more healthy water quality and water related ecosystems and involvement of local communities; SDG 7- clean navigation technology; SDG 11 and 13 – climate action; SDG 14 – life below water; and SDG7 indirectly impacted.
Prevention and protection are mutually impacting social and economic. Even small initiatives are all paying off at the end, being essential for public opinion and decision makers. Results and concrete actions are needed for the youth generation to give them hope to prevent ecological disasters by involving all generations. (Attachment 1, Attachment 2, Attachment 3)
Mr Karim El-Jisr, The Sustainable City, Dubai, addressed the formidable change to respond to the need for sustainable living. Conservation odds are stacked against the sector due to growing construction. In 2004 the building of a project was started, but in 2008 the crash of the financial markets dramatically stopped this. The initiators started to understand the adverse impact on the planet and eco-system due to carbon intensity. That was beginning of commitment for clean construction by learning from the value of academia in California, 2010 Japan with solar energy, Denmark zero waste society, UK concept of indoor and micro-climate controls, growing food in hot or cold climates, and Freiburg.
The Sustainable City pillars are social, environmental and economic. In 2013 in Dubai planning started with 46-ha land with all sectors involved, providing employment and a platform for continuous learning, and efficiency in consumption of renewable energy. The concept can be replicated across the world, now in Sharjah, and is now in Muscat in the project phase, while possibilities for Rwanda, Lahore and other places are looked at.
Six elements of sustainability being involved include a blend of high and low tech, energy management with reducing demand and increasing production, water management with less waste and more production; building differently with decarbonise concrete and steel.
It is important to be able to connect, share and multiply even during crises. Lastly, parallel investments in bio-gas also show economic gains. (Attachment)
Comments from the Floor:
How to avoid lack of sharing experiences but collective action at different levels? Is decentralised action going against collective action? Events like DIHAD are essential for organisations to be able to share best practices and new ideas to get inspired. Humanitarian action at country level can benefit from platforms for information sharing, but lacks enough cross-sectoral coordination. There is a fine line between global and localised action, e.g. triple helix, academia, private sector and civil society, and an obligation to share knowledge for which institute created by sustainable city.
Engaged in human behaviour of being more responsible living of consumers, e.g. waste reduction and recycling? Sustainability is half technology and half behaviour of people. People living in Sustainable City are slowly changing behaviour, and have to become platforms for behavioural change.
Moved from diagnosis to concrete actions, welcoming ambitious targets for reduction of carbon footprints and how other organisations have decarbonising targets. Terre des Hommes initiative taken in 2022 together with a specialised organisation “Climate Action Accelerator” has now been joined by ten other organisations and has encouraged other organisations to work on this example, also for the private sector.
Options given by technology must be used, but is the MASDAR example replicable? The question is how the Sustainable City can be replicable in other countries, in particular in Africa. The management is now in discussions with pension funds and housing programmes to make their plans sustainable, integrating all three pillars for a sustainable lifestyle.
COVID has led several actors to be climate neutral by virtual offices. How does Sustainable City stay on top of the advancing new technologies? Solar industry is moving very fast with commercial decisions to be made on investing the updated technology. Decisions have to be made how to be future ready with anticipation of future crises, technologies, renewable energy, mobility and waste management.
In summary, the Panel reflected on the future and what would be the catalyst to success: in 2030 goal of reducing carbon footprint by 50% achieved; climate crisis as a child crisis acknowledged by world leader; a strong stand from governments to make the proposed changes happen; funding invested in the right direction to support clean oceans; a growing network of off-grid cities and communities to bring assets together where carbon becomes circulated, all needing adaptation in policy by deregulation by leaders. Triple helix of policy – policy and policy.
The challenge is economically internalising reduction of costs and not profit making; the rights of the future generation and ensuring long term gains of interventions.
KEYNOTE ADDRESS “Meeting the Energy Trilemma: Reliability, Affordability, and Sustainability”
Dr. Carole Nakhle, Founder and CEO, Crystol Energy, focused on meeting the Energy trilemma of Reliability, Affordability and Sustainability, and the concept of energy technology. Ranking of countries of achievements in these three. Need to manage the competing demands and conflicting challenges. In 2022, the World Energy Council information showed Sweden and Switzerland in the lead – both wealthy countries – while nine out of ten on the bottom of the list are African and poor. What to expect next is linking energy to human development and economic growth. Africa has a wealth of energy resources, but 43% of its population has no access to electricity, and 45% of the world population have no access to reliable electricity, as essential as it is for our societies. The Human Development Index shows a correlation between ranking and economic growth. In Africa there is talk about a new type of resource colonialism.
Income inequality has significantly worsened after COVID in a large share of low income households. High energy prices have led to subsidised prices. Over the last three years we see a crisis soufflé with the food crisis, with 2023 to be the darkest hour, protests affecting government policies. In an agreement between the EU and Norway, the EU committed longer term for Norway. On 13 March 2023, Germany and Italy agreed against EU phasing out investments. In 1985 there was a commitment to phase out 65% from oil and gas, but now this stands at 35%, not enough market going in the right direction. Greener energy transition with green energy is planned to overtake oil and gas, but the question is whether the energy trilemma can be met with zero net targets. The demand is foreseen to increase and affect affordability, but it is not sure that supplies will be secure. It will also be affected by the carbon footprint of mining activity. A certain degree of realism is needed in government policies.
Historically, price drove energy transitions. We now need a more compelling story to avoid the conflict between affordability, reliability and sustainability, to harness all together and not to be competing. We need openness and not conflict. (Attachment)
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS “The State of Logistics and Supply Chain in the Humanitarian Context”
Ms Alia Gharaibeh, HELP, Kuhne Foundation Middle East, shared a Global Survey on the State of Logistics and Supply Chain in the Humanitarian Context. HELP aims at being a catalyst to transfer knowledge on supply chain and logistics and improve these systems for humanity’s benefit. The survey was carried out in a complex and rapidly changing human environment to support decision-making based on objective information to make supply chains more effective and sustainable.
Findings from the survey show that the gap between supply and needs is widening, and that investments in supply chains and logistics declined in 2022, but are becoming more strategic. While procurement and transport cost increased, cost efficiency declined. Risk mitigation focused on supply chain visibility and joint planning, improving people and processes by training, data and information sharing mechanisms, and is now more preparedness oriented with broader supplier base. Local procurement has increased against higher cost, but decreased transportation cost.
Sustainability moved from awareness to access according to data found and from headquarters to localisation, with integration of data information systems from global to local. Better collaboration between organisations is essential in planning, needs assessments and transportation.
More investment is needed in supply chain which faces increased cost. (Attachment)
“The New Supply Chain Strategy of the IFRC”
Mr. Simon Missiri, Director GHS&SCM, IFRC, indicated that the reason for the Strategy Update is optimisation in the first place, but also because during the second half of the COVID clearly more challenges and lack of solutions became evident. Strategy has to have a vision, be operational and make sense. Initial ideas were tested by an elaborate process from mid 2021 to end 2022 and objectives were revised, becoming the basis for the implementation plan. IFRC is perceived as fairly efficient in supply chain up to 60% with its network of hubs (also IHC) and innovative programmes, but feedback showed the delivery was outdated, slow, lacking appropriate and well-coordinated decentralisation, and the cost recovery model became a disincentive for National Societies. As a result, the Vision 2023 was adopted for 2030 for services to all National Societies at all levels. Digitilisation, domestic support and fleet were the strategic focus to improve speed, efficiency and sustainability.
Only a share of the budget was used for logistics and supply chains of National Societies. Now fleet operations have seen consolidation of procurement of vehicles, domestic support and purchasing power and will be included in the CHF 42 billion annual turnover. Although this sounds simple, it is quite complex seen historical preferences.
Digitalisation has involved creating digital supply chains and an innovative transformation platform, for use by and exchange between National Societies. Implementing change while continuing operations and support is complex as emergencies require a response without interruption. Collaboration is key in the delivery of this strategy. (Attachment)
“The IHC, 20 years of Capitalising on Available Resources”
Mr Giuseppe Saba, CEO, International Humanitarian City, Dubai (IHC) was happy to announce the IHC is celebrating this year its 20 years, in which it has experienced exponential growth. Its mandate is to provide the best services possible to the humanitarian community and it has the capacity to respond to any emergency in the world. As the interviews in the attachment show, colleagues have been instrumental in managing IHC over the years and reflect on the challenges posed by natural disasters, poverty, Climate Change. The IHC and its community have been able to address these challenges with readiness in terms of facilities and operations, now with over 85 members from International Organisation, NGOs and the private sector. The commitment to sustainable humanitarian action is at the heart of its work with UAE leadership.
The value of stocks has increased to USD 145.9 million, and its space has been increased in several phases. Since 2020 its space of 140,000 m2 houses offices and warehouses. IHC is unique not only as a humanitarian hub, but also as involving agencies and private sector in partnerships, in line with SDG 17, working also with philanthropists, young entrepreneurs and respecting CSR. There are now 500 persons from 75 nationalities working, and the trend is growing volume in MT and value, currently USD 145.9 million, most of which for shelter. The Humanitarian Logistics database has expanded and is based on customs transactions, and coordination with Panama, Brindisi and another ten hubs. The intention is expanding partnerships, supporting emergency preparedness at regional and local levels; and providing updated AI technology for procurement with calculating eco-mass. Sustainability of humanitarian aid and also prediction of future needs are extremely important. (Attachment)
Mr. Mohammed Musabbah Ali Dahi, IACAD, agreed to postpone his presentation to next year.
H.E. Amb. Sergio Piazzi, Secretary General, Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), expressed appreciation on the interactive, informative and substantive presentations and debates, which had clearly confirmed how topical the theme of the Conference was. The challenge of providing access to sustainable, adequate and affordable energy to all has become even more complex in view of the Ukraine war, Climate Change and natural disasters. On the other hand, the crisis has also made people to resort to more easily accessible locally produced food, e.g. replacing staple food of grains by rice. We learned of the value of digital education, and again how energy is needed for connectivity, and were encouraged by the numerous innovative approaches and how they have already brought gains. As the road to recovery is still very long, he called for better integration and collaboration between different levels of governments and civil society, and our commitment, vision and resolve to each together. (Attachment)
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
H.E. Amb. Gerhard Putman-Cramer concluded that the DIHAD Board has found new ways to capitalise on available resources. One conclusion in particular is that, if the main challenge is sustainability, then half is technology and the other half is behaviour. He expressed special thanks to the technical staff and interpreters of the Conference.
He announced that in 2024 the 20th Anniversary edition of DIHAD will be celebrated on 23-25 April, and promises to be a special edition, looking back on the last two decades, and looking forward to what to expect for the next 20 years. Amazing events are foreseen.