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Connecting The Development Sector

World Humanitarian Day: NGOs seek to work together for better impact

GoBarefoot: Deliberating on the need of financing risk management and recovery, a host of humanitarian agencies today aired their views for closer partnership, pooling of resources and strengthening local system during emergencies. Although the answers to how it can be done continue to remain elusively vague.

In an event organised by Caritas India in collaboration with Change Alliance and Sphere India, Oxfam, Efficor, ADRA, and Islamic Relief, about 49 participants from around 40 government, non-government organisations, media and corporates observed the World Humanitarian Day.

Projecting India as one of the fasting growing economies has drastically reduced funds for humanitarian needs in the country. “The present funding gap in India is at 91 percent from all sources (over 765 crore),” said Prof. Vinod Menon, former member of NDMA. He later went on to suggest that the role of private sectors could partly fill the gap in both pre and post disaster response scenario.

In the last 16 years, Caritas India alone has experienced a fund reduction by 78 percent, calculated Anjan Bag from Caritas India.

Prof. Menon explained that like the legend of David and Goliath, challenges of governance, civil society accountabilities, unmet needs et al. are too huge to miss and we need to look for a weaker spot to topple the situation in favour.

“We need to account for the money that was spent since 2005 (the year NDMA was formed) until 2015 and how much fund is available from now until 2030, so that proper fund allocation can be made in areas that need urgent attention to effectively do away challenges of financing risk management and recovery,” he said.

From Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority, Prof. Vinod K. Sharma, Executive Vice Chairman agreed that government is a major role player. “The government is receptive to humanitarian organisations, and today there is acceptability that private agencies and NGOs play a key role we can’t do without,” Prof. Sharma said.

The event concluded that proper documentation by the humanitarian sector can potentially reduce existing trust deficit across sectors, close fund gap, and prepare a stronger pitch for advocacy.

However, Fr. Frederick D’Souza, Caritas India Executive Director challenged his colleagues from the sector asking, “Can we change? When we know that floods come every year, why can’t we plan in advance and do things differently, reach out and help even before floods or disaster strikes?”

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