NGOs are operating in exceptionally volatile and insecure environments where political agendas are interfering with the delivery of humanitarian aid, causing increased threats to the safety and security of humanitarian aid workers and assets, and in some situations hamper impartial access of affected population to relief operations.
The World Humanitarian Summit is the opportunity to call for all actors to allow and support full unimpeded access to all people in need of assistance and promote the safety, protection and freedom of movement of humanitarian personnel.
Today, the humanitarian sector faces an unprecedented number of protracted and acute humanitarian crises, such as the crisis in Syria, in Central African Republic, in South Sudan or the regional Ebola crisis, compelling humanitarian actors to stretch existing structures and practices to breaking point. The situation triggers a higher politicization of aid, implying more systematic confusion of mandates thus greater risks for aid workers to be targeted.
Considering the role the World Humanitarian Summit may play in the future of humanitarian action, it is of utmost importance that the we use this opportunity to reaffirm the shared value of humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. The humanitarian principles are critical in guaranteeing safe access to those in need and in maintaining acceptance, safety and protection of staff and volunteers.
Aid workers are more and more victim of violent attacks; attacks amplified by the lack of an effective protection of humanitarian personnel which would be valid in all circumstances. Creating an international status of humanitarian personnel in conflict as well as outside conflicts would strengthen the protection humanitarian personnel deserve as well as the fight to bring an end to impunity for the perpetrators of violence against them.