ISTANBUL (AA) - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on world leaders to fix the gap in humanitarian funding and share the burden of helping people in need across the globe.
Speaking at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on Monday Ban said: "We need to provide more direct funding to local people and communities and fix the persistent humanitarian funding gap and investing in building stable and inclusive societies."
In 2014, the UN reported that around $540 million of the roughly $135 billion global aid budget was spent on decreasing disaster risk.
"I call on humanitarian organizations to work more closer together based on shared priorities to meet [the needs] of millions of people in crisis," Ban said.
The summit comes as the Syrian civil war enters its sixth year, as Europe is facing the worst refugee crisis since World War II, and as global social inequality has reached a peak amid a rising population.
"We declare we are one humanity with shared responsibilities. Let us resolve, ourselves, here and now, not only to keep people alive but to [give] people a chance at life in dignity," Ban said.
Hosted by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, world leaders of UN member states, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, are gathering in Turkey’s largest city Monday and Tuesday.
During the summit, attended by 125 of the UN’s 193 member states, at least 50 heads of government will announce several commitments to reduce humanitarian disasters.
These include: preventing and ending conflict; respecting the rules of war; addressing forced displacement; achieving gender equality; responding to climate change; ending the need for aid; and investing in humanity.
Ban Ki-moon, who urged the international community to cut the amount of internally displaced people by 50 percent by 2030, is also expected to push for an increase in world spending on reducing disaster risk at the summit.
Turkey ranked third in the list of countries with the most international humanitarian work in 2012 and 2013, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, TIKA, says in its Turkish Development Assistance 2013 report -- the latest such figures from the agency.
According to another 2013 Global Humanitarian Assistance report, the top five donors were the U.S. with $3.8 billion, followed by EU institutions ($1.9 billion), the U.K. ($1.2 billion), Turkey ($1.0 billion) and Sweden with $784 million.
Hosting almost 3 million Syrian refugees, Turkey has spent nearly $10 billion on caring for them since the start of the Syrian crisis.