Development Blog

The World Humanitarian Summit has had a rough ride over the past few months, not least from us at CARE, who have noisily demanded it engage with the need for political action and that it fully address the huge gender differences in disaster and conflict. However, to my surprise, at the end of the first day, it’s mostly achieved its aims.

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Gareth Price-Jones speaking at the CARE stand at the World Humanitarian Summit Gareth Price-Jones speaking at the CARE stand at the World Humanitarian Summit

An interview with Naseer Memon of the National Humanitarian NGO Network in Pakistan

The National Humanitarian NGO Network (NHN) was established in 2010 to support joint work between national civil society organisations working in humanitarian response in Pakistan. NHN has sought to influence the outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), including by developing a joint statement by national NGOs in Pakistan on the process. Naseer Memon, chief executive of SPO (Strengthening Participatory Organization – a national NGO) and current chair of NHN, shared his thoughts on the WHS.

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Children look out from a temporary tent home after flooding caused by heavy rains in September 2014 affected more than 2 million people. Photo from CARE partner organisation Awaz. Children look out from a temporary tent home after flooding caused by heavy rains in September 2014 affected more than 2 million people. Photo from CARE partner organisation Awaz.

Back in 2013, a senior UN policy-maker told CARE: “Gender isn’t summit-worthy.” Since then, concerted advocacy by hundreds of women and men has turned this around. CARE has played a leading role by co-convening the first global consultation with over 40 women from every region with the WHS Secretariat, and following up at the national level in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Jordan and elsewhere. So what can we expect from the Summit, and what are the next steps?

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Rachele Nsii, a displaced woman in the Democratic Republic of Congo Rachele Nsii, a displaced woman in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Currently an average of only 0.2% of global humanitarian aid goes directly to local or national NGOs and civil society organisations. Multiple studies have shown that local capacity is often significantly underutilised, undervalued and overlooked by larger international organisations.

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People waiting outside a mobile health clinic set up by CARE and local partner organisation Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) at a primary school in Gaza city, August 2014 People waiting outside a mobile health clinic set up by CARE and local partner organisation Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) at a primary school in Gaza city, August 2014

From afar, the southern African countries of Madagascar and Malawi will not figure in conversations about the disasters affecting the world. When I told people I was going there on an emergency response deployment they looked at me baffled and asked: “Why – what’s happening there?”

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A woman crossing a field in Madagascar A woman crossing a field in Madagascar

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has just held its Annual Meeting in London, and I was lucky enough to participate in a panel discussion on their recently published Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality 2016-2020. A key focus of the discussion was how EBRD can best work with civil society organisations towards achievement of the strategy. There are many points to welcome in the strategy – but also many challenges to be faced...

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A woman holding a savings group book in Haiti A woman holding a savings group book in Haiti

One of the three key goals of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on 23-24 May is to “reaffirm our commitment to humanity and humanitarian principles.” Sitting here in Amman, Jordan, working closely with Syrian colleagues delivering assistance inside Syria, as well as to the five million refugees who have been displaced from the country, the pressing need to reaffirm these commitments is clear.

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A family in Dara’a governorate in southern Syria, where CARE is working with partners to deliver emergency supplies to more than 30,000 people A family in Dara’a governorate in southern Syria, where CARE is working with partners to deliver emergency supplies to more than 30,000 people