This World Humanitarian Day 19th August 2020, Charter4Change wish to pay tribute to all our #localheroes who demonstrate local capacity. Charter4Change wish to see the humanitarian aid system effectively reflecting a shared humanity, solidarity in diversity and equal dignity among people.
Local humanitarian workers are real life heroes, who struggle to preserve the life of others by putting their own lives on the line. Today more than ever before, it seems, humanitarian crisis abounds everywhere in their diverse forms and shapes. #LocalHeroes like the ones represented in the blogs below are humanitarians who defy all odds, make extraordinary sacrifices amidst heighten insecurity from Northeast Nigeria to Afghanistan. The COVID-19 pandemic adds an additional burden on their shoulders. “During this pandemic they bring hope, relief, food security, improved health, social cohesion, protection measures for the most vulnerable and sustainable livelihoods to survivors of humanitarian crises”, says Nkese Udongwo, Director of Humanitarian Services, Caritas Nigeria.
“In every crisis situation, we see #reallifeheroes. They are the living souls that sustain the humanity in us. But with limited resources for own protection, we see greater risks our #localheroes are facing especially in this time of pandemic when the international aid system is largely paralyzed”, says Regina Nanet Antequisa, executive director of ECOWEB, Philippines.
“A rapid learning review of our DFID Rapid Response Facility (RFF) funded COVID-19 programmes in Nigeria and Afghanistan highlights that localised responses via local Nigerian and Afghan partners are proving to be very effective in terms of ensuring rapid response and access to highly vulnerable populations amidst major challenges of Covid19 and insecurity in hard to reach areas, says Jane Backhurst senior humanitarian policy adviser with Christian Aid. Christian Aid having existing local partnerships in place in Nigeria and Afghanistan meant that the RRF interventions were able to hit the ground running in terms of partnerships, track record, due diligences completed and trust.
If we are to ensure that aid reaches those most in need in remote areas in countries hit by COVID-19, conflict, severe food insecurity and locusts, like South Sudan, then we must build on existing local partnerships that put local people in the driving seat.”