More than 100 armed conflicts around the world characterise the current era. The civilian population suffers the most. The number of displaced people has more than doubled in the last ten years. The number of people in need has more than quintupled. While needs are increasing, funding for humanitarian aid, which is cruelly lacking, is decreasing. Today, under the Presidency of Albania, the UN Security Council discussed ways of addressing this challenge. Indeed, humanitarian needs are growing, due to the negative effects of climate change, weak governance and armed conflicts, as well as the consequences of Covid-19. On the other hand, every conflict that is settled peacefully helps to reduce humanitarian needs. The UN Security Council and increased cooperation with the private sector play important roles in this regard.

At the Security Council, Switzerland stressed that the international community must anticipate and invest to better identify conflict risks and provide humanitarian aid. New technologies can support this. "They make early warning systems more efficient. Furthermore, the importance of a stable and secure internet connection should not be underestimated. This enables people to get information and bring the necessary aid quickly to those in need," said Pascale Baeriswyl, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN, in New York. This is why it is also crucial to strengthen partnerships between states and private actors in the humanitarian field, as their potential has not yet been fully exploited.

Switzerland supports various projects in this area as part of its international cooperation. These include, for example, cash payment programs for victims of natural events or disasters. In cooperation with local private financial institutions, they receive cash to buy urgently needed goods. These are purchased locally, enabling local shop owners or farmers to continue their business despite the difficult circumstances. In this way, Switzerland also contributes to curbing the displacement of affected people.

The expertise and networks of private companies and organisations based in conflict areas can make an important contribution to the humanitarian response of states and international organisations. "However, we must never forget that all measures related to private sector engagement must be based on humanitarian principles and human rights," Ambassador Baeriswyl stressed in the Security Council.