DR. AHMED AL-MERAIKHI
Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General
WHO ARE WE
Business leaders dedicated to inspiring ambition, mobilising action and accelerating progress towards achieving SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals in delivering humanitarian assistance.
To deploy innovative approaches to humanitarian challenges that will mobilise the expertise, knowledge and resources of leading private sector corporations for tackling humanitarian preparedness and response in collaboration with the humanitarian sector.
To establish innovative sustainable public-private partnerships between businesses and the United Nations to address global humanitarian challenges.
Covid-19 has taught us that business will not be done as usual, we also need to rethink the business of doing business.
To achieve its vision and mission, GHAEA is formed as a global advisory group of Executive Leaders in the most influential companies to strategize on effective and efficient sustainable partnerships in the humanitarian response while informing strategic engagement by the private sector through multi-stakeholder partnerships and bilaterally at global and the national level. This effort aims to contribute to achieving UN’s Vision 2030 and the Agenda for Humanity.
GHAEA’s mandate is achieved by using three key resources:
1. Collaboration - Sharing market knowledge, advocacy, technical assistance and contribution in expertise across relevant sectors and in-country recommendations based on business principles and analysis while leveraging corporate networks to encourage new stakeholders to work together on the humanitarian response
2. Innovative Solutions – Creating and testing innovation to improve speed and efficiency to deliver humanitarian assistance utilising existing systems in emergency preparedness, response and recovery
3. Unique Governance - Introduction of high-level UN humanitarian officials to appropriate organisations with dynamic strategies and implementation from the private sector (including their implementation) that may be relevant to the alleviation of humanitarian emergencies.
In the words of the Secretary-General, the UN must make a "strategic pivot” from bilateral, transactional partnerships (often with a focus on fundraising), to multi-stakeholder, transformational partnerships, which engage a wide range of actors over longer time horizons and have built-in capacity for scale. Dedicated resources and expertise are needed to support this critical shift in the way the UN and the business community work together on humanitarian action to deliver results for the world’s most vulnerable.
In the context of this complex ecosystem of existing corporate partnership with the UN, the UN Secretary-General’s Humanitarian Envoy 2016-2019, Dr. Ahmed Al Meraikhi, started to explore new, innovative ways to facilitate the engagement between companies and the United Nations at the global level. Recognising the need for a focused shift from bilateral to multistakeholder partnerships, the Founding Members of GHAEA came together to change the way 'business is done'. in delivering humanitarian aid.
WHY DO WE NEED GHAEA
The 2030 Agenda seeks to transform the world and to do so through explicitly recognising “the diversity of the private sector” and called upon all businesses “to apply their creativity and innovation to solving sustainable development challenges”. The 2030 Agenda opened a new era in the relationship between the United Nations and the private sector through the inclusion of two specific targets within Sustainable Development Goal 17.
Although UN agencies and other ‘traditional’ humanitarian sector stakeholders collaborate frequently with the private sector, it
remains a common observation that still more could be done to foster these partnerships to benefit those in need of
humanitarian assistance. Such partnership models have evolved significantly over time: While initially the focus was on
financial and in-kind contributions, these have been complemented by partnership models that focus more on capability
development and knowledge sharing.
Many private sector actors are now moving beyond a direct donorship role towards a ‘corporate partnership’ approach, providing a range of skills and resources. Corporations’ capacity to rapidly work towards to finding solutions to pressing problems needs to be made use of for humanitarian preparedness and response challenges. The potential involvement and contribution of the private sector has not been thoroughly explored: They still need to become part of the problem-solving phase and not just a service provider/donor to humanitarian agencies and efforts.
Responding to the demonstrated need for more effective corporate partnerships in the humanitarian sector and piloting a unique innovative model of collaboration, the Global Humanitarian Action Executive Alliance (GHAEA) is a private sector led alliance of corporate leaders responding to global calls for partnerships to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and critical humanitarian challenges.
The GHAEA has come together to engage its collective expertise, knowledge and resources and to provide guidance on SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals while exploring collaborative models for more effective, principled private sector engagement in emergency preparedness and response. Ultimately, the GHAEA serves as a platform aimed at facilitating multi-stakeholder initiatives, to complement and strengthen existing efforts, initiatives and bilateral relationships and increase
communication and awareness in encouraging public-private partnerships.