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Addressing the 2011 Humanitarian Funding Conference in Geneva chaired by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 25 January, the CEO of Muslim Aid, Syed Sharfuddin outlined a number of proposals to shake up the international humanitarian system for improved action.
In his keynote speech, Syed Sharfuddin called on member states of the Organisation of Islamic Conference and emerging market economies to play a greater role in the design and implementation of humanitarian aid. He said: "more and more countries are able to take ownership of humanitarian aid. This gives an opportunity to the rich Muslim countries and emerging market economies to put increased efforts to raise resources and work within the international humanitarian system for the delivery of humanitarian aid to disaster affected countries and regions. Member states of the OIC and G-20 also need to be given more space and recognition in the decision making processes of the UN in addressing humanitarian issues."
The CEO of Muslim Aid also underlined the need for humanitarian organisations to be transparent and accountable to the disaster affected countries where they are working. He called on the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to consider setting up a "peer review mechanism comprising a rotating group of funding organisations and international non-governmental organisations to investigate allegations of serious or persistent violations of the core humanitarian principles by any funding organisation, as well as programme implementing agencies.” He commended the work of the emergency and development agencies of the UN in disaster affected regions.
“The track record of performance by humanitarian organisations in disaster affected and post conflict states has been by and large satisfactory. This should give confidence to governments that transparency, accountability, value for money and results-based outcomes can be achieved by not just working together with humanitarian organisations but enabling them to lead and address humanitarian challenges in a strategic, coordinated and effective way", said Sharfuddin.
The CEO of Muslim Aid also backed the UN Secretary-General's call for humanitarian action and urged countries to contribute to the UN Consolidated Appeal for $ 7.4 billion to respond to the urgent needs of people in disaster affected countries. "Muslim Aid is already making its modest contribution to these efforts by working in most of these countries", he said.
Notes to Editors