Statement delivered by HE Ambassador Vanessa Frazier, Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations, at the Security Council Open Debate on ‘Advancing Public-Private Humanitarian Partnership’

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14 September 2023


I begin by thanking you for organising today’s open debate on this important issue. I also thank Executive Director McCain, Mr Cohen, and Mr Miebach for enriching our discussion with their thoughts and insights.

Today, global humanitarian needs driven primarily by conflict and climate change are placing unpredicted pressure on the global humanitarian architecture.

Emergency humanitarian assistance is often left with the challenge of addressing multi-year humanitarian emergencies. These include, inter alia, major displacement, food insecurity, and protection crises. Modest resourcing and increasing gaps in funding also continue to exacerbate an already difficult situation.

As such, twenty-first century humanitarian action will require a realignment of its operating modalities. The private sector can play a central role in providing technological support, resources, and sustainable solutions to humanitarian challenges.

However, these new partnerships will also require robust delineations and safeguards which preserve the fundamental principles of humanitarian action.


The most effective way to reduce pressure on the humanitarian system is in the political resolution of conflicts.

From Syria to the occupied Palestinian territories, Ukraine, Mali and Sudan, protracted conflicts compound humanitarian needs. They heighten the population’s vulnerability by degrading social services, and critically damaging civilian infrastructure.

Finding just and lasting solutions to these conflicts will have a dramatically positive impact for both affected populations and the stability of the humanitarian sector globally.

Until that happens, humanitarian organisations must continue to be supported and resourced to save as many lives as possible. In this respect, increased and un-earmarked funding for UN agencies, international organisations, and INGOs should be prioritised to de-politicise aid spending and allow humanitarians to work where and when they are most needed. This is an area in which the private sector could greatly support global humanitarian needs.

Flexible, multi-year, core financial contributions from the private sector would go a long way in bridging the current, major gaps in humanitarian response plans across the globe and at a time when it is greatly needed.

However, stringent safeguards must be put in place to ensure the legitimate origin of all funds. The generation of such resources must also be aligned to and not in conflict with principled humanitarian action.


Public-Private partnerships in the humanitarian space have the potential to strengthen the logistics capacity of humanitarian organisations. They can increase efficiency across their operations, from recruitment to programme delivery, payments, partnership, and research in development of new technologies required to solve current and future humanitarian needs.

The incremental advancements in public-private partnerships to date are encouraging. Nevertheless, there are numerous ways the private sector can immediately contribute to humanitarian efforts, showcasing their commitment to supporting principled humanitarian action.

In the technology and communications sector, private sector partners could provide more affordable and efficient communication systems and renewable energy solutions to humanitarian organisations. This would significantly enhance humanitarian operations in regions with poor connectivity and infrastructure.

In the medical field, reductions in the prices of essential drugs and medical equipment would enable humanitarian medical teams to extend their support and operations to a greater number of health centres.

In the banking and financial sector, minimising the costs of financial transfers would facilitate the rapid allocation of resources to field missions. Having an expert understanding of humanitarian exceptions in sanctions regimes would also contribute to this end.

These steps, in many cases, are what humanitarian partners have been calling on the private sector to support them with for decades.


Within emergency humanitarian action, we must make sure that our focus remains on delivering support to people. This must be in line with the long-established principles of neutrality, impartiality, independence, and humanity.

Although the motivations of the private sector and humanitarians may not be immediately apparent, we are confident that there are various possibilities for cooperation.

I thank you

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