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Iveagh House Lecture Series: A Collective Call towards Innovation in Humanitarian Financing

Iveagh House Lecture Series: A Collective Call towards Innovation in Humanitarian Financing

Mark Lowcock: How to Finance Humanitarian Response

The world needs to find better, faster and more efficient means of responding to humanitarian crises. As the size, length and complexity of humanitarian needs in the world grow, the international community must come together and address both the underlying causes of the crises and the issues preventing help from reaching the most vulnerable.

Following meetings with Tánaiste Coveney and Minister of State Cannon, the head of the UN’s humanitarian agency (UNOCHA), Sir Mark Lowcock, was invited to deliver the latest instalment of the Casement Lecture Series at Iveagh House. Here, he set out his vision of how the world can better grapple with the issues facing the humanitarian sector, and in particular the matter of humanitarian financing.

In his speech, Mr. Lowcock praised the humanitarian sector’s improvements in its capacity to save lives, “The humanitarian system has never been more effective. We reach tens of millions of vulnerable people each year. We unquestionably save millions of lives”. However, there is still room to improve further and the head of UNOCHA set out a six-point plan to create a better, faster and cheaper response to humanitarian crises.

Who is Mark Lowcock?

In May 2017, Mr. Mark Lowcock of the United Kingdom was appointed as the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, and head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). With more than 30 years of humanitarian and development experience, Mr. Lowcock serves as the chief coordinator of the world’s humanitarian response in times of urgent crisis.

In his most recent position as Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. Lowcock led the United Kingdom’s humanitarian response to conflicts in Iraq, Libya and Syria, and to natural disasters in Nepal and the Philippines. Prior to his leadership of DFID, Mr. Lowcock served as DFID’s Director General for Africa and Asia, coordinating its response to humanitarian emergencies in Haiti, Myanmar and Pakistan.


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