Press Releases

CSOs call for localization of humanitarian response

Around 60 civil society organizations (CSOs) from all over the country called for the localization of humanitarian emergency response emphasizing local leadership to be part of the humanitarian agenda for the first World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey next month.

The CSOs made the call during a National CSO Forum held in Quezon City following the apparent imbalance of the current humanitarian collaboration environment between national and local CSOs with International Non-Government Organizations (INGOs) and United Nation agencies.


Among those present are representatives from the People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network (PDRRN), National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines, Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO), Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies (PHILSSA), Aksyon sa Kahandaan sa Kalamidad at Klima (AKKMA), Disaster Risk Reduction Network-Philippines (DRRNetPhilippines) and Christian Aid.

 “Yung mga tulong galing international organizations, tayo na magpatupad kasi may kakayahan naman ang mga local Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and People’s Organizations (POs),” PDRRN Executive Director Esteban Masagca said.

(With support coming from international organizations, local NGOs and POs should implement the humanitarian response since they also have the capacity and skill to implement.)

The groups cited the inherent strengths of local CSOs in knowing better the local context and ability to work with local governments.

They also mentioned the skills of CSOs in facilitating proper dialogue with the communities which would have resulted in improved humanitarian response during Typhoon Yolanda.

Apparently, local CSOs are mostly sub-contractual in nature limiting opportunities for local involvement in designing responses, leading implementation and allocation of resources.

The Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) 2015 report shows that only 0.2 % of the humanitarian funding is coursed through national NGOs in 2014, while according to the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) 2015 report, the United Nations agencies and the large international NGOs receive about 80% of funding from the most developed countries.

“The system should put people back at the center of humanitarian action.” CA Country Manager Maria Rosario Felizco emphasized the need for INGOs to let go of power and control and instead help empower local leaders, communities and organizations instead of competing with them.

More than 5,000 organizations from around the world are expected to attend the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul, Turkey this May 23-24.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will lead the Philippine delegation with four CSO representatives to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council included in the crafting of the position paper to the WHS.

Levi Francisco
Disaster Risk Reduction Network Philippines