Caritas PH joins call for localization of humanitarian response

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Around 60 civil society organizations (CSOs) from all over the country sign the call for commitment to localize humanitarian emergency response, emphasizing the need for local leadership to be part of the humanitarian agenda for the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey next month. (Photo: Christian Aid)

MANILA, April 26, 2016— Caritas Philippines has joined calls for the localization of humanitarian emergency response emphasizing local leadership to be part of the agenda for the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Turkey next month.

The church agency was among the more than 60 civil society and non-government organizations who made the appeal during a National CSO Forum held in Quezon City last week.

They noted the seeming “imbalance” of the current humanitarian collaboration environment between national and local CSOs with International Non-Government Organizations (INGOs) and United Nation agencies.

  • Aside from Caritas, among those present were representatives from:
  • the People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network (PDRRN);
  • National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP);
  • Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO);
  • Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies (PHILSSA);
  • Aksyon sa Kahandaan sa Kalamidad at Klima (AKKMA);
  • Disaster Risk Reduction Network-Philippines (DRRNet Philippines) and;
  • Christian Aid

“With support coming from international organizations, local NGOs and POs should implement the humanitarian response since they also have the capacity and skill to implement,” said PDRRN Executive Director Esteban Masagca.

The groups cited the inherent strengths of local CSOs in knowing better the local context and their ability to work with local governments.

They also mentioned the skills of CSOs in facilitating proper dialogue with the communities, which would have resulted in improved humanitarian response during super typhoon Yolanda.
Apparently, local CSOs are mostly sub-contractual in nature, limiting opportunities for local involvement in designing responses, leading implementation, and allocation of resources.

The Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) 2015 report shows that only 0.2 % of the humanitarian funding is coursed through national NGOs in 2014, while according to the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) 2015 report, the United Nations agencies and the large international NGOs receive about 80% of funding from the most developed countries.

“The system should put people back at the center of humanitarian action,” said CA Country Manager Maria Rosario Felizco, emphasizing the need for INGOs to let go of power and control and instead help empower local leaders, communities, and organizations instead of competing with them.

More than 5,000 organizations from around the world are expected to attend the WHS in Istanbul this May 23 to 24.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development will lead the Philippine delegation with four CSO representatives to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council included in the crafting of the position paper to the WHS. (CBCPNews)

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