While funding for humanitarian aid assistance reached an all-time high last year, the size and number of humanitarian crises around the world continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. In the face of this devastating trend, even the most tireless efforts by humanitarian organizations cannot keep pace with the needs of millions of people affected every year by poverty, political turmoil and natural disasters.
A painful gap exists between the needs of the humanitarian community and the resources available. Concurrently, aid professionals are increasingly challenged to fund and integrate the preparedness of humanitarian response with the sustainability of long-term development. As the UN High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing warned in their recent report, Too Important to Fail, this financing gap will only continue to widen if public and private organizations don’t come together in smart and innovative ways.
In the last four years, MasterCard has had the good fortune of working with some amazing humanitarians. We have learned a great deal from our partners – NGOs and UN agencies from around the world who have shared their experiences and insights. Their engagement led us to create innovative new services like the MasterCard Aid Network and prepaid card solutions for refugees in Europe.
But there is still much to be accomplished. We believe digital payment tools – critical enablers of financial inclusion – are a key way to address the humanitarian financing gap. We also know that the private sector must engage beyond the immediate crisis response to provide support for building stronger humanitarian and development organizations and be stronger advocates for change.
Our announcement today with World Vision is a perfect example of how MasterCard is forging unique, new partnerships to address the key challenges facing the humanitarian sector. Leveraging World Vision’s expertise, our global partnership focuses on advancing the dialogue on aid in multiple ways. We are committed to enhancing and developing new tools that empower recipients and continues the drive for efficient aid delivery methods. We will also actively support World Vision’s own internal best practices with payment capabilities already implemented in the largest global private sector firms. And potentially most exciting, this partnership enables MasterCard and World Vision to innovate in thought leadership areas like data protection and financial inclusion.
We know we create the strongest synergies when we start with a shared commitment to creating new value. By building on our core competencies to increase World Vision’s reach and impact, we have created a sustainable, joint value partnership, tackling head-on one of the biggest challenges traditionally plaguing public-private partnerships. We believe this partnership will serve as a blueprint for private and non-profit organizations to work together to create mutually beneficial and sustainable programs. Working with World Vision’s team of 50,000 humanitarians we will demonstrate the power of combining humanitarian action, innovation and development strategy, and build a better future for tens of millions of people around the world.