World Humanitarian Summit: questions and answers

The following questions were asked by national NGOs and answered by representatives of the World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat.


Q: Why have a World Humanitarian Summit?

A: The Secretary General proposed the idea for a Summit because there needs to be a change in how humanitarian work is done. Prices are rising and resources are becoming more scarce. Local actors need to be more at the forefront of humanitarian response.


Q: Who will be at the WHS?

A: About 5,000 people are expected to join including national NGOs, international NGOs, civil society, youth, member states.


Q: How do I register my NGO?

A: There are multiple things one can register for. If you receive an invite to the WHS, you must register on the form to say you will be in attendance. An invitation alone is not enough to secure your spot in the WHS. After registering for the overall WHS, you can register for various High Level Round Tables and Special Sessions.


Q: How were the core commitments selected?

A: 23,000 people were consulted. Two years of talking and consulting. The core commitments are a reflection of what needs to be done and the big shifts required in the humanitarian system in order to improve the way we collectively do business. So commitments are action oriented so we can hold ourselves accountable to what we are going to do.


Q: How big is the role of NGOs in the WHS?

A: The NGOs play a key role in the WHS, and more NGO engagement is always encouraged.


Q: What are the special sessions?

A: Participants of the WHS have to register for both HLRT and special sessions separately from their main reservation. The special sessions will focus on the following themes (learn more about them here:


Q: How will the Syrian diaspora and Syrians be represented at the WHS?

A: There have been a number of Syrian civil society organizations that have been invited to participate in the WHS; Syria will be well represented.


Q: How much Southern NGO participation will there be?

A: The WHS reached out to multiple networks including ICVA to send nominations of NGOs. The Summit is meant to be very open and inclusive and there will be a second batch of invitations released in April.


Q: What can we, as NGOs, do to influence people that are not formally invited?

A: The WHS staff encourages webinar usage for the WHS if you cannot be physically present. ICVA will be sending out more information on the webinars.


World Humanitarian Summit: background

Key NGO WHS commitments and calls

World Humanitarian Summit: what is ICVA doing?