Caritas eyes at enhancing localization of humanitarian work

Caritas eyes at enhancing localization of humanitarian work
Fr. Edwin Gariguez of Caritas Philippines and other leaders of organizations active in humanitarian emergency response sign the call for commitment to localize humanitarian emergency response during a press conference in Manila, May 26, 2017. CBCPNews

The Catholic Church’s social action arm is looking at improving the localization of humanitarian response particularly for those affected by the ongoing strife in Southern Philippines.

Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, said that localization will deliver more appropriate, cost-efficient, and accountable aid.

“We really see that important role of not just the big orgnizations but primarily the local communities in responding to emergencies,” Gariguez said.

He said they have been coordinating with the Diocese of Iligan where thousands of displaced families from Marawi City have evacuated.

Initially, he said the target to is to send relief goods for the evacuees as the diocese continue to assess the evacuation centers and partners for the security sector.

Caritas, along with other humanitarian aid organizations, have earlier renewed their commitment to strengthen and empower stakeholders.

The groups cited the strengths of stakeholders, especially community-based organizations, in knowing better the local context and ability to work with local governments.

“Let’s give it back to local stakeholders the planning and decision-making on how use the aid for the community,” said Benedict Balderama of the Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies.

“Let’s strengthen them to ensure that the good plan for the communities is done properly, in fast pace, and effectively,” Balderama said.

He added that emergency and recovery responses often fail “because of unfamiliarity to local cultures and political dynamics”.

He also said that only 0.2 percent of aid is channeled directly to national and local actors for humanitarian work, while the bulk of funding goes to the United Nations agencies and the national government.

“The appeal is for at least 25 percent of funding will be coursed through the national and local non-government organizations as long as a system for transparency and accountability are in place,” he said. With reports from Max Rempillo/CBCPNews