L'oeil de la Genève Internationale
May 2016

The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) is a global call to action by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and takes place in Istanbul on 23-24 May 2016. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), through the WHS secretariat, has been the organisation driving the preparations for the Summit.

OCHA says that, today, more than 130 million people are in need of aid and protection in the world. This includes over 60 million people forcibly displaced. Half of them are children. The resource requirements to address the humanitarian needs have increased six-fold since 2003 to nearly US$21 billion today - and on average, just around 65 percent of these requirements are met.

To determine the agenda for the summit, an extensive worldwide consultation took place involving over 23'000 people, including affected people themselves, in 153 countries between June 2014 and July 2015. These consultations culminated with the Global Consultation, held in Geneva on 14-16 October 2015.

In February 2016, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon published his report entitled "One Humanity: Shared Responsibility" in which he calls for the need to place humanity - people's safety, dignity and their right to thrive - at the centre of global decision making. The Secretary-General put forward an Agenda for Humanity that outlines the key actions and strategic shifts necessary to deliver on them, articulated in five core responsibilities: Global leadership to prevent and end conflict; Respect rules of war; Leave no one behind; Working differently to end need, and Invest in Humanity.

At the Summit, world leaders are expected to make major commitments to advance global action including finding solutions to forced displacement, reducing the human cost of crises and building resilience, and mobilizing resources so that all people in need have access to humanitarian assistance and protection. Among the many high-level events at the Summit is one session focusing on "People at the Centre" about affected people as the driving force of any humanitarian response.

In December 2015, the German documentary photographer Kevin McElvaney gave disposable cameras to the refugees he met in Izmir, Lesbos, Athens and Idomeni. The #RefugeeCameras project aims to give a "human face" to this major crisis by allowing the people directly affected to document their own story. Kevin McElvaney explains "Let's try to give the refugees a voice. Let's let them decide, what is important to say and what is not. Let us see the individual behind the anonymous concept of a "refugee" ". Dyab left Syria with his wife and son. He received his camera in the bus taking them from Athens to Idomeni. Until today, 7 out of 15 cameras came back in their prepared envelopes. This ongoing collective work will be shown at the 2016 Retina – Scottish International Photography Festival, in Edinburgh, and The 2016 LUMIX Festival for Young Photojournalism, in Hanover.