European Humanitarian Conference

Interview with Jean Louis de Brouwer of the Egmont Institute

European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič visits a destroyed bridge in Irpeni, Kiev, Ukraine. European Union, 2022 (Photographer: Ramin Mazur)

Défis Humanitaires: The European Commission and ECHO are working with the Swedish Presidency of the EU to prepare the second European Humanitarian Forum, which will take place on 20 and 21 March in Brussels. What is the role of the Egmont Institute and what are the priorities of the European Humanitarian Forum? What is the main issue at stake?

Jean-Louis De Brouwer: The launch of the Forum is an initiative of the Commission and of Commissioner Lenarčič in particular, who decided that it would not be just another conference but rather a process. Each year, there should be a forum, co-organized by the Commission and the presidency in office – Sweden this year, France last year, Belgium next year – which is a moment to meet around the European institutions on a certain number of fundamental issues for the humanitarian ecosystem. The idea is to organize these conversations around important and topical issues and to draw up a common agenda around operational recommendations.

This year, the Egmont Institute has been asked to provide support on certain topics to the ECHO’s Directorate General in the preparation of the Forum. For example, we participated in the organization of virtual events on the impact of climate change on the humanitarian agenda and on the lessons to be learned from the humanitarian intervention in Ukraine after the Russian aggression of 24 February 2022.

This year, one of the priorities of the Forum is undoubtedly the financing of humanitarian aid. The Commission, like others, is concerned not only about the growing gap between needs and resources, but also about the inequality in the provision of humanitarian aid. The figures are clear: global humanitarian aid relies on a limited number of donors, always the same ones. It is therefore necessary to identify new sources of funding and to broaden the donor community around a new discourse on humanitarian aid.

Another theme will of course be climate change, which is certainly a risk multiplier, and which must be integrated into the modalities of humanitarian intervention. Ukraine is unfortunately still on the agenda: last year, the forum took place one month after the Russian aggression and obviously the subject largely dominated the debates. It will be present again this year, notably through the lessons to be learned from the humanitarian presence but also on the conditions of its long-term sustainability in the face of the multiplication or persistence of other humanitarian emergencies.

The Forum should also be an opportunity to revisit some of the issues discussed during its first edition, primarily the crucial questions of access to vulnerable populations and respect for international humanitarian law.

The challenges of locating humanitarian aid and its logistics should also be on the agenda.

Syrie. @SolidaritesInternational

Défis Humanitaires: As you mentioned earlier, the Forum is part of the humanitarian priorities defined with a trio of states within the framework of COHAFA (France originally, Sweden today, Belgium next year). Where are we today with the priority defined within the framework of this trio (for 18 months). Where do we stand and what remains to be done in the 6 months of the Swedish presidency until the end of June 2023?

Jean-Louis De Brouwer: You put your finger on what is undoubtedly one of the structural weaknesses in the development of the humanitarian agenda. I have always been struck by the fact that humanitarian policies are not structured in the same way as other policies, which would allow for a much more systematic follow-up. Numerous texts, declarations, resolutions and reports are adopted in various contexts, European or otherwise, without any real governance emerging from them. This is certainly the case at the global level after the relative failure of the world humanitarian summit in Istanbul. This gives an indication, which is not unfounded, of the recurrence of certain themes that constantly come up without the impression of having made any progress in the meantime.

At the European level, the Commission presented a communication on humanitarian aid in 2021, which was the subject of Council conclusions and a European Parliament resolution. The initiative to make the forum a process is a response to this need for follow-up, continuity and readability. At present, we lack a scoreboard that would allow us to provide a precise and documented response to the question raised.

Défis Humanitaires: The Commission has mentioned in one of its documents “A global effort to increase resources for humanitarian action in the face of growing needs”. However, in recent years the budget for humanitarian aid has remained stable (around 30 to 32 billion dollars), while the United Nations estimates the amount needed this year at 50 billion dollars, at the risk of forgetting many people and populations at risk in the world due to insufficient resources. What can be done and how can we mobilize these 50 billion dollars or more this year, at a time when the earthquake in Turkey and Syria reminds us of our obligations of solidarity?

Jean-Louis De Brouwer: Your question is a perfect illustration of the weakness of the humanitarian policy framework that I mentioned earlier: the issue of financing humanitarian aid is anything but new. 10 years ago, a high-level group was set up to reflect on this issue, and its report led to the establishment of a negotiation process known as the “grand bargain”, which in turn led to several recommendations. And yet we are still here today. Clearly, there is a governance deficit.

There are many solutions. The most frequently mentioned is to solicit other donors, especially the Gulf countries. Thus, Commissioner Lenarčič defends the urgency of making the beneficiaries of the consequences of the geo-economic imbalances that we are currently experiencing contribute. But the European Union will only be credible and legitimate in such an approach if it first puts its own house in order. There is indeed a great disparity in the contributions of member states to humanitarian action. Ideas are circulating, inspired by the new Spanish law which sets objectives for the allocation of the budget to development objectives but also to humanitarian aid.

This is a recurring debate that will not be resolved unless we move beyond the usual terms of reference. Ukraine gives us food for thought in terms of new paradigms. Considering the enormous support effort of the European Union to Ukraine, excluding arms deliveries, the essential vehicle is obviously the macro-financial assistance that allows the Ukrainian public service to continue to function against all odds despite the extraordinary pressure that the conflict and the war represent on the population and the economic activity. It is the macro-financial assistance that helps pay the teachers, the medical staff, that helps the public service of a country that is not in ruin to continue to function. Elsewhere, in Yemen or Afghanistan, for example, these needs will be covered by humanitarian spending, which raises questions about the nature of the latter.

Another question that remains unresolved is that of estimating needs and in particular identifying those on which humanitarian aid should be concentrated and those that should be left to other financial flows. Here again, the situation in Ukraine, which unfortunately seems to be that of a prolonged conflict, constitutes a possible opportunity that should be seized to break out of a debate that has been stuck in a deadlock.

The nexus, i.e., the better coordination between humanitarian and development funding, is not a gadget but an essential issue. Dealing with the consequences of climate change in a region such as the Horn of Africa requires a good understanding of the limits of humanitarian intervention and its coordination with other financial instruments, including those that are today specifically intended to compensate for the damage caused by this change.

Ukraine: Life is a daily struggle for IDPs Photo credit: UNHCR/Y.Gusyev, Eastern Ukraine

Défis Humanitaires: You mentioned Ukraine several times, specifically the war in Ukraine and its global and lasting geopolitical consequences, some even speak of a rupture comparable to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the USSR. So don’t the geopolitical consequences, the growing impact of global warming and the increasing scarcity of available water change the situation for humanitarian action, which should adapt to meet both the scale of needs and to rethink itself?

Jean-Louis De Brouwer: Absolutely, we are facing a historic turning point whose consequences we do not yet fully understand. The time will probably soon come for the European Union to rethink its project and its architecture, just as it did after the Second World War and just as it did imperfectly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The same embarrassed silence that is being used today to oppose Ukraine’s request for membership to the Balkan countries cannot be used against them, but that is another issue.

A space for change is therefore opening up. And this obviously also concerns humanitarian intervention. The latter has too often been the European Union’s presence by default, for example in the Middle East. If the EU intends to become a global geopolitical actor, or if circumstances force it to do so, as in Ukraine, humanitarian aid will have to be part of this agenda. The article of the Treaty that is the legal basis for humanitarian intervention does, of course, set out the principles that should guide it, but it does so after specifying that this intervention is part of the Union’s external action priorities. This integration implies a double movement: the acceptance that humanitarian action does not take place in a geopolitical vacuum and the understanding by European diplomacy that it is accountable for humanitarian action based on intangible principles which are only the translation of the values of which the Union is the first guarantor.

Défis Humanitaires: Let’s go further on this subject: is there not a major challenge for humanitarians in the field, those who implement, to continue to expand their aid according to their principles and practices in a part of the world that does not adhere or no longer adheres to the Western model, and that sometimes even vigorously challenges it? How to ensure the indispensable humanitarian action throughout the world in the face of this challenge of acceptance? How can we act in these countries that challenge what they call “Western hegemony”, including its values?

Jean-Louis De Brouwer: The European Union, which during the first part of its history was mainly preoccupied with its internal development, must today turn towards the outside and understand its weaknesses and dependencies. This is an indispensable condition for the search for strategic autonomy. However, it must not be overly modest, but adapt its behaviour in the face of an environment that is not convinced at first sight of the superiority of its model. This also applies to humanitarian aid.

Many people are now talking about decolonizing humanitarian aid: we need to get away from the idea that humanitarian aid is generously granted by a North that is steeped in values to a South or an East that is essentially defined by a situation of need.

The first issue is the principle of neutrality. Ukraine is once again a test case. The European Union cannot be seen as a neutral donor. But how then can it have access to areas that are not under the control of the Ukrainian government?  The ICRC is the only humanitarian organization that manages to do this, but the European Union is not the ICRC. And this reflection cannot be detached from that on localization.

A new discourse on humanitarian aid must be defined, which will also be correlated with questions of financing and the mobilization of donors.

Two conceptions are emerging in this respect: one is utilitarian, emphasizing that humanitarian aid is a means of stabilizing populations, preventing migratory flows and securing geographical areas. Needless to say, humanitarians see a major risk of instrumentalization. An alternative version refers to the consolidation of the resilience of communities, but it does not discriminate between what is support for sustainable development. The other insists on values: respect for humanity, human life, and the protection of the most vulnerable are a common good and any failure to do so will have global consequences comparable to those caused by denial or inertia in the face of climate change.

Food distribution, refugee camp, Iraq. @SolidaritesInternational

Défis Humanitaires: The second humanitarian forum should be followed by other forums. In the future, and in this case, what role could it play, what consequences could it have for ECHO but also for its partners, the various humanitarian actors, in this international context that is at odds with what we knew before the war in Ukraine, less than a year ago today?

Jean-Louis De Brouwer: Once again, the Forum’s initiative must be part of a process that allows us to systematically record progress in the implementation of recommendations and to measure the impact of changes on the humanitarian agenda. Clearly, between 2022 and 2023, the two major developments are: the humanitarian intervention in Ukraine and the still visible impact of climate change.

The Forum must offer a moment of hindsight in relation to developments since the previous edition and above all support the development of an agenda that is much more operational, with clauses for meetings, such as perhaps on international humanitarian law this year, on financing next year, etc.

The European Union, because it remains one of the main donors of humanitarian aid, has a considerable role to play. It must move the humanitarian community towards other approaches to a mission that remains absolutely fundamental by adapting it to a changing context whose future developments are largely unpredictable.

Défis Humanitaires: Would you like to add anything in conclusion?

Jean-Louis De Brouwer: Humanitarianism is today at the centre of and reveals strategic issues for humanity, whether it be war, climate change or migration.  Humanitarianism is part of the advocacy of the universality of a certain number of values and it is essential that humanitarians, who are in no way the guardians of these values, become aware of this and accept to leave their comfort zone to engage in these debates.

Jean-Louis de Brouwer

Jean-Louis De Brouwer is director of the European Affairs Program at the Egmont Institute. He joined the Institute in October 2019, after retiring from the European Commission where, as Director, he was successively in charge of immigration, asylum, visa and border policies (DG Justice and Home Affairs), implementation of the EU2020 agenda and employment. policies (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion) and humanitarian aid operations and policies (DG Civil Protection and European Humanitarian Aid Operations).
He holds a Master’s degree in Law, Sociology and Public Administration/International Relations from the Catholic University of Leuven (UCL). Before joining the European Commission, he held various positions in the Belgian civil service (Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Interior) and was Director General of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences.
He teaches public law, political science and European politics at the Université Saint Louis de Bruxelles (USL-B) and at the Université Catholique de Mons (FUCAM). He is a lecturer in theories of international relations and on “An area of freedom, security and justice” at UCL and USL-B respectively. He is also responsible for a course on immigration and humanitarian policy at the College of Europe of the University of Parma.

Humanitarian in debate

Going beyond the “new” borders

At a time when international humanitarianism is more than 50 years old, when the Global Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) exceeds $50 billion for the first time in 2023[1], and when the conflict in Ukraine poses an unprecedented threat to the world, the humanitarian sector is confronted with a series of contradictory injunctions that weaken its capacity to implement a mandate that the “state of the world” seems to suggest has never been more necessary.

Syrie © Première Urgence Internationale

If the terrible earthquake that struck the Turkish and Syrian populations on February 6th of this year aroused a wave of global solidarity, offering a respite of unanimously shared emotion at a time when international relations are marked by a growing gap in war rhetoric, the underlying geopolitical realities of this region of the world very quickly (re)emerged and logically constrained the capacity of humanitarian actors to respond to the crying needs of the populations. Indeed, while the first criticisms about the time taken for the delivery of aid were being made, it is necessary to remember that this earthquake struck partly in a war zone and that the limits induced by this situation have unfortunately not disappeared, despite the intensity of the earthquake measured on the Richter scale. First of all, Turkey launched an appeal for international aid, but limited it to state-to-state aid. Then it is Syria, which makes access to the affected areas conditional on restrictive registration and authorization procedures. The borders, the real ones, are still there. Finding a way to access the most affected populations remains both an imperative and a complex and permanent challenge for humanitarians, whose question “but what is aid doing?” in the media time of emotion is a simplistic reading of reality. The earthquake has disregarded the geopolitical logic of this troubled region of the globe and has struck indiscriminately at the inhabitants of Hatay, Gaziantep, Idleb, Aleppo or Lattakia. Whatever the criticism, legitimate as it may be, of the speed of the response, the latter was only possible because of the prior presence of actors on the ground and therefore justifies the investments made by some in order to be registered in Turkey, just as the choices of others to have maintained operational positions in the “pocket” of Idleb and/or to have developed a framework for access to governmental Syria.

Reminding us of this obvious fact is nevertheless necessary, as equal access to humanitarian assistance for disaster-stricken populations is undermined by these famous contradictory injunctions. Saving lives, yes, but not (or less…) if the people who need this assistance are living under a despised regime, an area controlled by an enemy force or under the influence of a group considered as terrorist. In Ukraine yes, in the separatist Donbass no… In Idleb yes, in Aleppo it is less sure… In Gaza it depends for whom and in Kabul, it depends how… If the questions underlying these obstacles are understandable, they nevertheless constitute so many “new frontiers” that humanitarians must overcome in order to be able to face a reality that is unfortunately intangible, namely the indignation of seeing populations suffer from hunger, thirst, cold or the absence of a future for their children.

Afghanistan © Roya Heydari / Première Urgence Internationale

Humanitarianism in the era of sanctions

Amongst these different injunctions, which seem to be contradictory, we find the growing impact of international legislation against terrorism. Indeed, if it is not a question of commenting on the intrinsic merits of such measures in the fight led by a certain number of States in the face of this threat, it is necessary to illustrate how these measures hinder the capacity of humanitarian actors to operate in many contexts. First, in terms of principles, these measures directly contradict some of the four cardinal pillars of humanitarian action, namely the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. In this sense, the recent decision of the Conseil d’Etat[2] to annul the directives issued by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs concerning screening is a reason for hope and legitimizes the fight led by the humanitarian community in France to ensure that the final beneficiaries of aid operations are excluded from the scope of application of these procedures and are therefore not subject to prior verification on the sanctions lists. Would one imagine imposing such a “screening” of persons residing in a building on firefighters before they intervene in a fire? Beyond the principles, these measures constitute a real operational obstacle to the implementation of actions, whether because of the limitations observed in bank transfers or those linked to the import of equipment and other humanitarian supplies (notably medicines). On paper, humanitarian operations can be exempted and operators can obtain waivers, but this constraint is extremely time consuming and directly affects the feasibility of an emergency response. As a concrete example, it takes six months to obtain authorization for the import of humanitarian goods from the United Nations Sanctions Monitoring Committee in New York. Finally, these measures pose a certain number of risks for actors, both in terms of criminal and legal law and security. These aspects have been widely documented and can be summarized by the fact that humanitarian operations find themselves in a kind of “hammer and anvil” situation. On the one hand, not complying with these laws exposes operators, at the very least, to exclusion from access to funding, and even to prosecution by the courts of the states that issued them. On the other hand, complying with them calls into question the principle of impartial and neutral aid and positions humanitarian actors as belonging to a “camp”, which can limit their access and/or increase security risks for teams in the field. While some radical armed groups have already clearly defined the issue, making humanitarian workers legitimate targets for their fighters by assimilating them to “crusaders”[3], the transfer of risk resulting from the imposition of these international (but often Western) measures on humanitarian operators is very real in many contexts. For example, the “vetting” measures which consist in collecting and transmitting to the American authorities a certain amount of personal information on different stakeholders, whether in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria or Afghanistan, clearly put field teams at risk of being accused of espionage by the authorities and/or a certain number of actors in these countries and also threaten the authorizations to operate obtained, sometimes with great difficulty. Insofar as the most vulnerable populations are very often located in conflict zones and/or affected by sanctions regimes that are increasing in scope, the probability of having to intervene while facing the complexities described above increases year after year.

Ukraine © Sadak Souici / Première Urgence Internationale

Sometimes, the contradictory nature of the injunction is expressed in a more direct and political way when, for example, certain major bilateral donors insist on the need for all actors to “rise to the occasion” of the major humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and at the same time exclude, for “obvious political reasons”, the financing of operations in territories not controlled by the Ukrainian government. From the humanitarian point of view, the “legitimate” needs are obviously wherever the victims of the conflicts are… Similarly, on the one hand, the international community is alarmed by the scale of the humanitarian needs in Afghanistan and, on the other hand, the American government (the world’s largest humanitarian donor) maintains the freeze on the assets of the Afghan government. In the same sense, the consequences of the crisis between the French and Malian authorities at the end of 2022 illustrate this form of “hostage-taking” that populations undergo when aid is used for political purposes. To say this is not to be falsely naive, as international relations have always been marked by a realistic approach that does not necessarily take into account the well-being of populations in the criteria that guide it.

Inflation of standards versus pressure on costs

This question of cost is not, in itself, free of contradictory injunctions. For more than twenty years, the necessary professionalization of the sector has produced a legitimate inflation of requirements that cannot be addressed at constant cost. We have to do better, faster and everywhere at the same time… while ensuring a work environment that meets the standards of an employer, a quality of programs that is in line with the values conveyed by the mandate and standards that the sector has set for itself, and while assuming an exponential workload related to reporting, control and compliance issues. How can we imagine that all this has to be “cheaper”? This is obviously not to argue for a “low cost” humanitarianism or to deny that there is a healthy search for efficiency, nor even to deny that abuses may exist, but to question the endless contestation of the “cost of humanitarianism”. If the 50 billion required to meet all humanitarian needs in 2023 represents a substantial and unprecedented sum, is it not paradoxical that the international community is not able to raise it[4] , given the world’s GDP[5]. Beyond the global cost and the associated discussions, it is in the details of this de-legitimization of costs that the real hypocrisy lies. Can we advocate for robust and structured procedures, allowing for traceability of expenditures and transparent use of aid, and at the same time denounce the burdens associated with their implementation? Can we regret the lack of resources, professional consideration, or the excessive use of motivation linked to commitment (to compensate for the fact that we cannot do more about the material conditions), and refuse the “support” costs associated with personnel expenses? Can we want to finance an immediate response to a cyclone in Haiti and refuse to cover the costs of transporting teams? Is it possible to encourage a transformation of practices that is sustainable in light of climate requirements and to recall that this must be done at constant cost? The list of these paradoxes is endless…

Coming from some of the main international donors, this inquisition on costs is nevertheless always draped in an ethical aura stemming from the necessary good management of public funds and the accountability that this induces towards the taxpayer. Therefore, unless they consider that these costs do not exist, NGOs are invited to find and use their own funds to cover these costs. This raises a new ethical contradiction for the actors. Indeed, is it not paradoxical to make the general public and/or other private funding sources bear the marginal costs of operations financed by institutional donors, even though a large part of these costs is directly linked to the requirements of these same donors? The question is worthy of debate…

République Centrafricaine ©Gwenn Dubourthoumieu / Première Urgence Internationale

As the global humanitarian response is now mainly financed by institutional funds, it is legitimate that a management and accountability framework be put in place to ensure its sound management. A problem arises, however, when this necessity undermines the effectiveness and efficiency that it was intended to address. For example, when all actors criticize the slowness and inefficiency of the humanitarian response in Ukraine, what are we to make of the fact that the final version of the document package submitted as part of an inter-NGO response consortium includes 137 documents that are complementary to the project document itself (with, of course, hundreds of associated working drafts) and that the contractual negotiations lasted more than four months…? Often, these prior compliance requirements, like the reporting requirements, are justified by the legitimate concern to promote appropriate and comprehensive monitoring of funded operations, but systematically overlook the perverse systemic effects of the resulting measures. This has been discussed for many years and was the subject of commitments made during the Grand Bargain resulting from the Istanbul humanitarian summit in 2016. The problem is not accountability, but that these reporting requirements are duplicated extensively, with ever-changing formats, criteria and modalities, and that for organizations, bringing their practices into compliance with all of them generates a phenomenal amount of work, with no real operational added value, and leads to ever more contested associated costs. To illustrate the sometimes ubiquitous nature of these developments, let’s take the situation of a project financed by a United Nations Agency, which was initially subject to two interim monitoring reports per year. This contractual framework evolved a few years ago by introducing a double requirement of monthly and formalized reporting per intervention site (7 in this case), thus increasing the number of reports to be submitted from two to… 84.

Impossible to locate?

It is obviously always possible to discuss the degree of reporting that is desirable, but not taking into account this global dimension and the necessary hindsight on the systemic effects of compliance requirements on the functioning of organizations does not allow for an objective and rational analysis of the cost of humanitarian response today.

This is one of the major limitations to the implementation of the “localization” objectives that the international community has set for itself, of which the Ukrainian crisis provides a particularly interesting example. Thus, while some agree that Ukrainian organizations are the vector of a large part of the response today, and that they are both more effective and in line with the needs in the most complex areas, they denounce the lack of funding directly allocated to them and the hypocrisy of donors in this regard. 7] Their call for a “cut of the bureaucracy” resonates with the description of the inflation of standards described above. Many international actors could easily subscribe to the same plea, without denying the principle of accountability and contravening the requirement for transparent aid and well-managed funds. Indeed, it is necessary to describe precisely what is meant by mechanisms for verifying the proper use of allocated funds. Call for expressions of interest, concept note, proposal, contract negotiations, ANO, interim (x??) and final reports, liquidation, audit, re-auditing… all these stages (and the associated mass of documentation) mark out and structure the life cycle of a project. One can consider that all of this is essential, but one must have the intellectual honesty to accept the organizational structure that supports it and recognize that this has an impact on the efficiency and/or the costs of implementation. More damagingly, it is obviously not accessible to all actors, without taking into consideration their real capacity to act in a relevant way in response to needs.

Redrawing a course

In the end, this non-exhaustive mapping of certain paradoxes and/or contradictory injunctions reveals the emergence of a number of new frontiers, certainly more insidious but nevertheless just as constraining in terms of the capacity of actors to deliver effective assistance to those who need it most. While the litany of examples could certainly continue, from a more optimistic perspective, this observation should above all lead us to refocus the debate and the issues at stake on the question of the meaning behind it all. Indeed, the challenges have always been numerous and they have most often been met. Therefore, such a denunciation only makes sense if it is directed towards solutions. Certainly there have never been so many needs, but there have never been so many answers either. And this is also what should be highlighted and thus better demonstrate the impact of the humanitarian response in its capacity to transform the lives of the most vulnerable. Similarly, questioning the accountability framework as it is structured today is not a question of questioning the principle of accountability per se, but rather a plea to reorient it towards what should be its primary purpose, namely to measure the operational relevance of projects carried out. This would also make it possible to better highlight the progress objectively achieved in the way actions are thought out, structured and implemented. While it is certain that many humanitarian workers and organizations share this ambition and are committed to it, putting it back at the center of the debate seems to be an essential vector for the sustainable implementation of dignified and adapted responses to the most unacceptable contemporary situations.

Olivier Routeau

After a university education in law and political science, Olivier trained in humanitarian project management at the Bioforce Institute. After graduating in 2007, he undertook humanitarian missions in various countries (Central African Republic, Lebanon, Congo Brazzaville, Tunisia), notably with the NGO Triangle Génération Humanitaire, before joining the headquarters of Première Urgence Internationale in Paris in 2011. He was first in charge of the NGO’s African missions as Desk Manager (DRC, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, South Sudan), and then headed the Emergencies and Operational Development Department from 2015 to 2018, working in some of the most acute crisis contexts of the period (Guinea, Ukraine, Balkans, Nigeria, Libya, Haiti, Bangladesh, Burundi, Niger). Since 2018, he has served as the association’s Director of Operations. In parallel to these functions, he has been collaborating with the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS) since 2017, as the pedagogical manager of the “International Program Manager” training.

[1] Global Humanitarian Overview 2023 | Humanitarian Action


[3] A communiqué from the Islamic State in the Great Sahara formally stated this.

[4] The UN 2022 humanitarian response plan was only 55% funded Appeals and response plans 2022 | Financial Tracking Service (

[5] Over USD 100 trillion by 2023 World Economic Outlook (October 2022) – GDP, current prices (

[6] Note that this is not necessarily the only limitation, insofar as the legitimate patriotic commitment of many actors of the Ukrainian civil society raises a question about the dual mandate of some of them, combining humanitarian activities and support to combatants, to the question it is not morally and pragmatically so easy to answer.

[7] An open letter to international donors and NGOs who want to genuinely help Ukraine – GFCF : GFCF (