Who will write the future of humanitarian NGOs?
April 2020, Ignacio Packer
Governments, international organisations, the private sector, civil society and private individuals are engaged at different degrees in working together to respond to the current humanitarian challenges to save lives and restore human dignity. Humanitarian principles and human rights must guide COVID-19 response and recovery.
In all humanitarian responses, NGOs play a critical role to ensure that funds are transformed into live-giving support in the most difficult field contexts. With the Covid-19 response, NGOs ability to stay and deliver humanitarian assistance is linked to four key elements: (a) their field presence and the operational footprint, (b) adaptation to measures imposed by countries, (c) access to flexible funding, and (d) ability to procure relevant materials to respond to the pandemic.
Managing Covid-19 as a cross-cutting issue throughout the existing focus areas.
While Covid-19 imposes serious challenges to all our societies, ICVA is working with its members to explore it also as an opportunity to re-think the way of working and increase NGO influence in the humanitarian sector and beyond.
In addressing Covid-19 and existing crises, we set out seven key priorities ICVA aims at.
COVID-19 NGOs critical to the delivery of principled and effective humanitarian assistance
March 17, 2020
ICVA’s first-ever Virtual Annual Conference, on 18 March, is hosting inspiring discussions on risk to principled humanitarian action and in turn the risks taken by NGOs to deliver effective and efficient humanitarian assistance to those most in need. The current major disruptor, COVID-19, is inescapable in the discussions.
Ahead of the conference, staying true to ICVA’s mission, the ICVA board calls to adhere to the basic humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence.
It insisted that any measure and response to the COVID-19 should be grounded on the right to enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, regardless of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
In addition to the issue of access to health systems of some marginalised groups, an increasing number of COVID-19 cases are now being identified in fragile states with weak health systems and ongoing humanitarian operations. Scaling up preparedness and response to COVID-19 in these contexts has been in ICVA’s advocacy agenda since end of January.