Friday, 21 June, 2024, Reg No- 06
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Call for empowerment of frontline workers in aid sector

Published : Wednesday, 13 December, 2023 at 12:00 AM  Count : 282

Global humanitarian actors on Monday called for empowerment of front-line workers in aid system claiming that the aid system often does not recognise their value and contribution though they are the key actors in providing immediate service to the community and people affected by crisis.

They raised the demand at a two-day discussion, on Regional Humanitarian Partnership Week-2023, from December 11-12 in Bangkok.

The Alliance for Empowering Partnership (A4EP) hosted the session on Empowering frontline actors for equitable partnership for localisation: Democratisation of development and de-colonizing aid at the two-day Regional Humanitarian Partnership Week-2023 organised from December 11-12 in Bangkok.

Moderated by Smruti Patel, the secretary of Geneva based A4EP alliance, Md Iqbal Uddin of COAST Foundation of Bangladesh presented the survey report.

Among others, Renu Sijapati, General Secretary of Nepal based Feminist Dalit Organisation (FEDO), Anwar Muhammad, Global Partnerships Advisor of People in Need in Pakistan, Aska Joanna Warchal- Beneschi, Coordinator of the Polish NGO Forum- Razem, and Ahmed Al Yubaidi from Health and Social Care Organisation in Iraq also spoke.

The discussions were summarised by Regina Nanette Salvador-Antequisa, Chair of A4EP and Executive Director of the Philippines based  EcoWEB.

The participants called for identifying the critical issues and showcase good examples of empowering front-line workers in order to build a sustainable and accountable aid system at country levels.

They have also called for the attention to the crucial role that UN agencies, INGOs, and national NGOs must play in advancing localisation efforts.

Speakers said that they embarked on a journey to explore the challenges and opportunities surrounding the localization agenda in relation to the plight of the frontline workers.

Discrimination, the resource challenge working as volunteers, burned out local workers, brain-drain of local organizations - losing local workers to international due to insecure salary and lack of social security, contractual partnership, challenges to ensuring sustainability of local initiatives, locals bound to limitations set by donors (lack of flexible funding) affecting contracts and well-being of staff and sustainability of operation - are just among the issues confronting frontline workers, they opined.

The survey, conducted by A4PE and the findings presented by Iqbal Uddin, revealed challenges relating not only to practices but the perception and attitude among humanitarian actors within the sector that somehow perpetuates the remnants of colonialism that remain as obstacles to materialising  localisation, empowering local actors and locally-led agenda.

The survey also found confrontation by the power dynamic within local organisation, between local and international partners and the power element in the aid architecture shaping the current state of frontline workers.

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