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Christian Aid hails localisation shift at World Humanitarian Summit

26 May 2016

  • Warm words at the summit will mean nothing to the next victims of a humanitarian crisis without action

Christian Aid has welcomed the commitment by major aid donors and NGOs to ensure 25% of humanitarian funding goes directly to local organisations on the front line of disaster relief.

A key part of the ‘Grand Bargain’, agreed by 15 big donors and 15 big development agencies at the summit in Istanbul, the pledges will see more money going to where it is needed.

Michael Mosselmans, Head of Humanitarian Policy at Christian Aid said: “This is a significant step forward.  Currently local agencies only directly receive about 0.3% so a jump to 25% by 2020 is a big deal.  Ultimately this is a recognition that the world needs to put more power into the hands of those communities affected by humanitarian disasters.

“The key will be holding donors accountable for the pact they agreed in Istanbul. Warm words now will mean nothing to the next victims of a humanitarian crisis if they are not backed up with action.  The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.”

Mr Mosselmans praised the summit organisers and the impressive number of pledges from different organisations to improve the humanitarian system.

He said: “The vast array of pledges are to be welcomed but the question will be how those making the commitments will be held accountable between now and 2020.  Government pledges will translate to the UN General Assembly in September but keeping track of the other commitments will be more difficult. 

“At the very least we need the UN General Assembly resolution to lay out the concrete steps showing progress between now and the stock taking in 2020.”

“It was also encouraging to see the issue of gender taking up a prominent role in discussions at the summit but disappointing that this wasn’t included more formally in the Grand Bargain.  As humanitarian policies and practices are developed following the summit it’s vital that the different impacts on women, men, boys and girls, are more fully addressed.

“Overall a meeting in Turkey won’t change the lives of vulnerable people in itself. The hard work starts now.” 

Christian Aid attended the summit with partner agency the ACT Alliance. For more information about ACT visit www.actalliance.org.

For interview requests with Christian Aid staff attending the summit or more information contact Joe Ware on jware@christian-aid.org. The 24 hour Christian Aid press duty phone is 07850 242950. 

Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. 

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter 

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk

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