Letter to IASC Principals on the revised UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan on COVID-19

Dear IASC Principals,

We represent the Charter4Change, an alliance of 35 INGOs and more than 350 local, national and international NGOs from 56 different countries. We write to kindly request your support in taking forward the Grand Bargain commitments and urge you to encourage your country offices to engage with national and local NGOs on the COVID-19 response and the Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP) revision process.

At the global level, those INGOs who are represented in the IASC Principals through your networks have committed to passing on flexibility and simplification of humanitarian funding to your local partners, who are critical enablers of the overall response. There have also been discussions and recommendations for IASC members and other relevant stakeholders to review  budget flexibility/cost eligibility, no-cost extensions, reprogramming of funds, and simplified due diligence and risk management processes at country level between donors, UN agencies, INGOs, RC/RC movement, local and national partners. 

The Global Humanitarian Response Plan (25/03/20) developed through a consultation process with your networks, highlights the ‘importance of involving and supporting local organizations’; and the role to be played by UN agency sub-granting, pooled funds, and direct donor funding. Yet, globally, progress on providing quality funding and quality partnerships to local actors by many INGOs, UN agencies, and donors has been slow. The COVID crisis offers an opportunity to reflect on what more can be done, leveraging the different and complementary roles, strengths and weaknesses of different actors in humanitarian response. We urge you to take the opportunity that COVID -19 offers and take more systematic steps to strengthen localization in the countries that you are operating.  

Reflecting on the above, our foremost request is to you, as IASC Principals on the COVID response, to urgently and proactively engage the national NGO forum/local NGO leaders to identify practical options to support effective and principled humanitarian action by local actors in the COVID crisis context.

More specifically, regarding coordination and decision-making processes, we would like to highlight the following recommendations for the IASC Principals to take into action and consideration:

  • Processes to revise the Global Humanitarian Response Plan or develop new ones should include local and national NGOs, directly, recognizing their perspectives and contributions.
  • Provide flexible funding, including adequate and consistent support for organisational overheads and staff salaries. Local actors should be supported to keep high quality, experienced staff on-board, which is not possible with short-term, projectised funding.
  • Provide greater direct funding to local and national actors under the new COVID-19 funding mechanisms, opening up calls for new partners, with simplified and fast-tracked partner assessment processes, wherever possible. Grants should be allocated directly to LNNGOs, rather than via intermediaries.
  • Ensure that new and existing NGO pooled funding mechanisms such as Start Fund expedite the funding for COVID-19, open up to new local NGOs, with simplified due diligence and fast-tracking of funding directly to LNNGOs rather than members intermediaries.
  • Support and develop local and national NGOs’ fundraising capacity so they can mount their own response.
  • Encourage unconventional, alternative and creative responses that go beyond standard sectoral approaches and empower local actors, including faith-based and women-led organizations, to take active leadership roles.
  • Promote effective coordination and collaboration with local and national NGOs and with local authorities to ensure humanitarian principles and standards are met.
  • Ensure transparency and accountability in the management and utilization of funds being raised in the name of the population in crisis. Effectively track the GHRP and COVID-19 funding through IATI reporting and the progress of your GB and localization commitments.

We would welcome your feedback on the above points, and suggestions on how to move forward in the spirit of cooperation and partnership. We would very much appreciate acknowledgement of the receipt of this letter to Sudhanshu S Singh – sssingh@humanitarianaidinternational.org.

Yours faithfully,

Charter 4 Change Endorsers
Charter 4 Change Signatories

One thought on “Letter to IASC Principals on the revised UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan on COVID-19

  1. Pathetic. Stop it. Dismantle this “internationalization” industry before it consumes more precious resources.


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