Global Humanitarian Forum


Global Humanitarian Forum

The Global Humanitarian Forum was an international non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, working to harness the full potential of the global society for overcoming humanitarian challenges.

Founded in 2007, the Global Humanitarian Forum was presided over by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, its secretariat was led by CEO and Director General Walter Fust. The Forum intended to build a stronger global community for overcoming humanitarian challenges.

The Global Humanitarian Forum provided an independent platform for debate and collaboration on global humanitarian issues. Its activities included research projects, advocacy and projects to deal with humanitarian concerns.

The Forum’s centerpiece event, the Annual Forum, was held each summer in Geneva. It gathered some 400 senior international participants from public, private and non-governmental sectors. Forum projects was the tck tck tck campaign, the Weather Info for All Initiative, the Youth Forum, the Human Impact Report, Energy for the Poor and Drylands: Climate Change and Development.

The Forum's first programme focus is the human impact of climate - as opposed to its emissions or purely environmental aspects - change and boosting assistance to the poor and vulnerable who suffer the brunt of its impact.

The majority of the adverse effects of climate change are experienced by poor and low-income communities around the world, who have much higher levels of vulnerability to environmental determinants of health, wealth and other factors, and much lower levels of capacity available for coping with environmental change. A report on the global human impact of climate change published by the Global Humanitarian Forum in 2009, including drawing on work done by the World Health Organization earlier in that decade, indicated that developing countries suffer 99% of the casualties attributable to climate change. This also raises questions of climate justice, since the 50 least developed countries of the world account for not more than 1% of worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. While developing countries are at greatest risk, the impacts of climate change are not limited to lower-income communities. Increasing tropical storm activity, extreme weather, temperatures and drought or water stress are being experienced in every region of the world. It has been estimated that 4 billion people today live in areas at risk of adverse climate impacts.

Since so little research has been conducted into the human impacts of climate change and because of the difficulty in differentiating the influence of climate change from other contributing factors, statistics relating to the human impact of climate change carry significant margins of uncertainty. Particularly on a global level, much of the statistical data on the human impact of climate change should only be considered as being indicative of the order of magnitude of impact.

On 31 March 2010 the Global Humanitarian Forum ceased its activity

In 2010, the Global Humanitarian Forum has shut down for lack of funds. The organization was unable to raise enough cash to stay afloat because of the global economic crisis. On 31 March 2010 the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs announced that the Forum was over-indebted and obliged to cease its activity.

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