Local and national organisations must be enabled to participate more in humanitarian decision-making

Local and national organisations must be enabled to participate more in humanitarian decision-making

Istanbul, 23 May 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

Moving from delivering aid to ending need requires more participation of local and national organisations in policy and decision-making processes, international faith-based humanitarian and development network ACT Alliance has said.

Speaking at the World Humanitarian Summit’s High Level Leaders Round Table on ‘Changing People’s Lives: From Delivering Aid to Ending Need’ this morning, ACT Alliance General Secretary John Nduna echoed NGO calls that only a humanitarian system that ensures stronger participation of local and national organisations in relevant policy and decision-making fora, would bring the much needed ecosystem of diverse local, national and international organisations necessary to end need.

“As an alliance committed to the accompaniment of local and national actors, more than 70 percent of our membership are local and national responders rooted in communities before, during, and after crises,” Nduna said. “We are part of the communities we seek to assist, and are emboldened to see commitments which aspire to reinforce local systems, increase genuine community engagement, and enhance complementarity among local, national and international responders.”

ACT Alliance represents 140 churches and faith-based organisations engaging in humanitarian, development and advocacy work in more than 100 countries. It responds to around 25 emergency situations around the world each year, including the 2015 Nepal earthquake and the ongoing drought in Ethiopia, providing lifesaving relief to populations in crisis.

As part of the alliance’s contributions to furthering the Agenda for Humanity, it has committed to revising and reforming its humanitarian response mechanisms in line with the direction set out in the UN Secretary General’s Agenda for Humanity, and to supporting empowerment of people impacted by emergencies in addressing their self-determined needs.

“We aim to strengthen local capacities by reforming our ACT Rapid Response Fund so that it is targeted exclusively for national and local members because we believe the empowerment of local actors, who are often first responders, must include efforts to improve local and national NGOs’ access to funding opportunities,” Nduna said. “We will incentivise greater investment in emergency preparedness, disaster risk reduction and resilience. We will work with communities to prepare for crises and not just react.”