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Recommendations issued by the First Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum

The Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum (RIHF) was held in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on 26 and 27 February 2018 with the aim of creating a platform for valuable change and finding practical solutions in the humanitarian field.

The forum aimed to promote and endorse the best standards of humanitarian action, capitalize on best practices to further reflect current humanitarian realities, and enhance mechanisms to cope with the changing humanitarian landscape. The forum brought together 1500 participants including experts, practitioners, academics, researchers, and policymakers representing over 80 national, regional, international humanitarian and development agencies.

During the forum, a number of consultations were held in 20 high-level sessions and side-events.
The forum issued a number of recommendations that emerged from the discussions as follows:

Theme One: Humanitarian Assistance
The forum recommended seeking long-term solutions to conflicts to alleviate the continued suffering of millions of people living in conflict areas.
The forum urged all political actors to respect human rights, humanitarian principles, and to provide an unimpeded access for all humanitarian aid providers to deliver live-saving assistance.
The forum supported measures for more inclusive humanitarian coordination mechanisms, including non-traditional donors, regional organizations, and local actors.
The forum emphasized the need to bridge the current humanitarian-development gap through a focus on strengthening conceptual and practical institutional linkages between humanitarian assistance and development.

Theme Two: Humanitarian Financing and Capacities
The forum supported long-term approaches to humanitarian needs through multi-year funding that promotes sustainable impact across the humanitarian-development nexus.
The forum encouraged all donors to actively use the Financial Tracking Service (FTS) to register their contributions to ensure transparency that would help decision-making in allocating resources in addition to adopting a more gender-inclusive policy to empower more women to contribute in the humanitarian field.

Theme Three: Innovation and Reform in the Humanitarian Sector
The forum recommended investing globally in innovative approaches and support research initiatives to tackle the growing humanitarian challenges and ensure efficient and effective humanitarian response.
The forum recommended commitment to strengthening resilience and global preparedness to prevent the breakdown of livelihood, improve quality of life, provide quick response, and reduce levels of humanitarian needs over time.The forum recommended encouraging innovations from the public and private sector in aid delivery mechanisms and support the introduction of new approaches which reduce operational costs and increase effectiveness.

Theme Four: Localizing of aid and prioritizing humanitarian local context-awareness
The forum's recommendations included existing systems of resilience to address the actual needs of crisis-affected communities.

The forum recommended recognition and respect of the perspectives and knowledge of local communities on how to efficiently design and deliver humanitarian aid.
The forum recommended enhancing local response capacities by increasing financial and technical support to first responders.
The forum recommended promoting humanitarian action through a harmonious approach among local, national, and international actors.

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Media and Research Section

Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Rome

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