World Disasters Report 2015: Partnership between int’l and local humanitarian actors crucialLocal actors were the first to respond when the Great Earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, said a report published by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on Friday.
Local actors were the first to respond when the Great Earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, said a report published by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on Friday.
The World Disasters Report 2015 stresses the need for equal partnership between international and local humanitarian actors for the localisation of aid in the aftermath of a disaster.
“In Nepal, local volunteers and emergency workers were responding even as the dust from the earthquake still hung in the air,” IFRC Secretary General Elhadj As Sy wrote in the report. “Local actors are uniquely placed to find solutions that reduce underlying risks because of their understanding of local contexts.”
As Sy urged “governments and the international aid community to do more to reinforce and support that critical role”. The World Disasters Report is an annual independent publication commissioned by the IFRC and its contents will induce discussions at the 2015 UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. According to IFRC, the report makes a direct contribution to next year’s World Humanitarian Summit where the localisation of aid is one of the key thematic areas of focus.
The report highlights that 86 percent of international humanitarian assistance goes directly to international NGOs while only 1.6 percent goes to local NGOs and calls for the need of rebalancing this approach.
According to the report, a total of 518 disasters, including 315 natural disasters, occurred worldwide in 2014, affecting more than 107 million people and killing nearly 14,000. In all cases, the report observed the importance of local actors to humanitarian action, but blamed the international community for affording little space to local actors when carrying out humanitarian operations.
In Nepal, the World Disasters Report has hailed the partnership between International Committee of the Red Cross and NRCS for their relative success in attending to the families of missing people after the earthquake. For strengthening capacity of disaster risk management in national and local level, the report suggests political economy analysis of the country to identify the incentives for action and to focus on the engagement of local private sector.
In Kathmandu Valley, the report found the involvement of diverse set of stakeholders, including party officials, line ministries, local businesses, community-based organisations and women’s groups in community disaster management committees and highlighted the importance of the political and economic dynamics between these stakeholders to enhance risk awareness and increase participation in emergency preparedness activities.
NRCS Chairman Sanjiv Thapa said: “Local groups, including the NRCS, are effective because of the perspective we bring, our understanding of language and cultural norms, and because we are permanently present in communities and able to work with them.”
IFRC General Secretary As Sy, however, cautioned against handing over entire responsibility for responding to large-scale disasters to local actors and stressed on the need of finding a balance.