The launch of western Uganda humanitarian platform, (WUHP).

 Crespo Mubbalya chairperson WUHP and AWYAD partnership and advocacy Coordinator

WHO ARE WE

WUHP is a loose platform that intends to bring all like-minded Local/sub national Humanitarian Actors together to advance a common voice in influencing Humanitarian Agenda and in provision of emergency response services/actions. WUHP is a regional platform covering the areas within boundaries of Western Uganda from Kisoro – Kiryandongo with current members of 49 local actors. The platform is a strategic intervention by the Local Actors to address issues of uncoordinated and fragmented humanitarian emergency response actions and lack of collective voice in influencing humanitarian and localization Agenda.

Remarks of the chairperson of WUHP

We are more than humbled for your presence today to witness our humble journey which is only a contribution towards a global call of having a locally led humanitarian action whose accountability to the affected persons never stops and whose impact at scale is sustainable to move more people out of the emergency and recovery process to development actions. Special thanks goes to the converted believers in Oxfam across the global for supporting this humble journey not only financially but more so being a Barnabas to us local actors. “We believe that localization can help bringing assistance closer and faster to the people on the ground, especially during emergencies. For localisation to work during emergencies, however, we need to establish a mechanism that is nationally-led, regionally enhanced, and internationally supported.

Group photo after the launch of the platform

The essential role of local and national actors in humanitarian action cannot be emphasized more than it was highlighted at the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in 2016.The changes or transformations needed to enable local and national actors to take a greater leadership role in humanitarian action were outlined in all three major sets of commitments endorsed at the summit; Agenda for Humanity (2016), the Grand Bargain (2016), and the Charter for Change (2015).

One Lesson from COVID 19 crisis ,it was evident that more Local actors remained on ground and continued working even at the pack of the pandemic in the same regard some of “we” lost our best and outstanding staff in particular AWYAD lost Mrs. Ritah Nansereko who was the ED scamming to Covid 19. AWYAD is a women led and women rights local organization working across Uganda but more in and around the refugee settlements and host districts. Additionally, to date many aid organizations are relying on local volunteers in Ukraine to take on the challenging and at times life-threatening work of distributing HIV drugs in Ukraine amid the invasion.

Why locally led humanitarian action?

Relevance/Responsiveness: Local NGOs have better understanding of context which help improve assessment, design and delivery of aid; Local and national organizations are better able to find solutions to problems collectively faced by humanitarian actors.

Timeliness: Local organizations are among the earliest responders due to their proximity, although –

their response can be inadequate due to lack of experience in humanitarian response, technology and access to funding and other resources.

Efficiency:

Lower staff and overhead costs, as well as transaction costs owing to local NGOs’ knowledge of local suppliers and markets.

Accountability: Local organizations live in the areas they serve therefore their accountability never stops at audit reports, there are more people asking for the accountability beyond the project periods.

Sustainability: local actors are part of the local structures thus remain reference points beyond the project life

Asks

  1. We ask (UNHCR)/OPM to ensure that local actors are given the opportunity to be sector leads
  • We ask donor to develop, Donor guidelines should be localized for example to be eligible, applicants must ensure that partnerships must include local actors*
  • We ask the office of the prime minister and the line ministries to develop standard operating procedures for INGOs and LHNAS, that requires INGOs to work jointly with local actors with clear capacity improvement plans for such local actors.
  • We further ask donors and other partners to create more or support innovations such as, The Emergency Response Fund (ERF) Pilot project in Bangladesh, Puerto Rico and Uganda will run from December 2021 to December 2022. In line with the humanitarian sector’s commitment to LHL, the ERF is focuses on providing more flexible funding to local actors, supporting their capacity to prepare for and respond to emergencies as well as their development and sustainability. ERFs managed by local actors are particularly advantageous because local actors obtain not only flexible funding, but they also hold decision-making over all aspects of the fund
  • We ask local humanitarian actors to be proactive and take up all opportunities that come across and effectively and efficiently deliver humanitarian actions.

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