What's next for Climate justice?
Reflections from our Head of Campaigns on what's next for climate justice
Throughout our history, we have intervened in some of the worst disasters our world has faced – the Ethiopian famine, the South Asian tsunami, the Ebola outbreak – as well as in forgotten or protracted crises such as in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Humanitarian work is central to Christian Aid’s mission: responding to the urgent and immediate needs of the crisis-affected communities and giving them the means to stand on their own feet is exactly why Christian Aid was created.
We commit almost a third of our total income to our humanitarian work, and every year Christian Aid reaches millions of disaster-affected people.
Programmes and modalities will be dependent on context. But the foundation of our work will not differ. We place the people directly affected at the centre of our decision-making processes, our project design and programme strategies and that we focus on nurturing their agency and dignity.
Our approach is founded on a vision that empowers local partners and disaster-affected communities to decide what is needed and how best it can be delivered. This is why we channel much of our humanitarian spending through local partner organisations.
Through our humanitarian work, we aim to:
Our partnership model is central to our response, as it is our commitment to empowering local partners role in humanitarian action.
We strengthen the capacity of local organisations and civil society to anticipate, prepare for, respond to and reduce risks. They are there before a disaster strikes, they know their communities and they will be there long after the international community has departed.
Christian Aid collaborates in all areas of its humanitarian work with a wide range of partners and coalitions, in order to ensure our work is comprehensive and well coordinated, and that the voice of disaster-affected people is always heard.
I feel wealthy because when it rains, I don’t get wet. Everyone came together to help build my house and this has strengthened our relationships
- Shelter beneficiary, Haiti.
The May 2016 World Humanitarian Summit was a generational opportunity to reform the service the humanitarian system provides to people affected by crisis. We demanded a shift in the balance of power in the humanitarian system toward the Global South, empowering local civil society to play a strong leadership role in humanitarian action, putting affected populations in the driving seat in terms of the design and implementation of humanitarian interventions, and greater investment in preparedness and resilience before crisis strikes.
Read our full commitments to the World Humanitarian Summit 2016.
Where are we now?
The WHS made encouraging progress on these themes. The UN Secretary General called for a shift in the way humanitarian aid is delivered, including by reinforcing rather than replacing local efforts, and by investing in disaster preparedness.
The WHS and the Grand Bargain articulated a very significant paradigm shift for the humanitarian sector towards more resources and capacity for front-line national and local responders; more participation and empowerment of crisis-affected populations; and a breaking down of the silos between emergency response and development – all of which Christian Aid strongly welcomes.
But these changes are easier said than done and take time to operationalise. The challenge now is to turn the WHS and Grand Bargain promises into reality on the ground for people affected by disasters. Christian Aid is working with like-minded peers to improve our own practices and to hold others to account.
Christian Aid spearheaded work among a network of NGOs that provided high quality policy recommendations that have, to a large extent, been picked up in the global process.
- Coalition partner.
Christian Aid’s strong track record has enabled us to continue the trend of increased breadth and depth in our humanitarian programming over recent years.
In 2017/18 our partners delivered 150 humanitarian projects in 26 countries, reaching 1 million people in need.
In-depth information is available in our Humanitarian performance report 2017/18
Read more about our current emergency work.