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World Humanitarian Summit and Micah

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20 May 2016

Solidarity in Humanitarian Response: World Humanitarian Summit and Micah

Who are we?

Micah is a global network and movement with a vision to see communities living life in all its fullness, free from poverty, injustice and conflict. As a network of learning, acting, uniting, articulating and advocating together, we work towards transforming mission[1]. As a movement we seek to address issues of injustice; to enable reconciliation and to work towards the end of poverty by speaking truth to power, raising awareness of the barriers that prevent equality and equity and speaking out for the poor, marginalised and oppressed.

We currently have over 720 members in 91 countries around the world. A majority of our members are faith based organisations (FBO’s) and local faith communities (LFC’s), working with communities at grass root level.

What do we see?[2]

Disaster affected survivors are not just beneficiaries, clients, victims, statistics. They are people (individuals, families and communities) with real stories, hopes and dreams, gifts and needs. Each context, culture and type of disaster requires a deep level of insight. Those who live amongst and walk with the affected will be uniquely able to contribute to an effective prevention / mitigation, a rapid response and a longer term recovery.

There is a growing number of disasters (natural and manmade) exacerbated by climate change, poverty, urbanisation, poor infrastructure and corruption. The added complication of a diminishing respect for humanitarian principles and International Humanitarian Law (IHL), adds fuel to the fire. We recognise that a large number of crises that occur never reach our headlines and hence never elicit an international response, yet are devastating for those affected, trapping people into the sink hole of poverty and increasing vulnerability. The impact of current conflicts around the world is resulting in the largest movement of displaced people seen since WWII.

This is too much work for Humanitarian Aid Professionals to tackle alone. LFC’s offer a vast network of compassionate people, equipped with a wide range of gifts and capacities, with knowledge of the communities.

What we hope for?

That the WHS in Istanbul will inspire and challenge leaders to make commitments and take action to:

  • Engage with and enable communities at grass root level: humanitarian response that includes the affected or at risk communities in the humanitarian response. Goal: resilient communities
  • Recognise and work with LFC’s and FBO’s as an integral part of humanitarian response planning, delivery and recovery: drawing on their unique skills and presence, cooperate and build local capacity together so as to strengthen mitigation and resilience to disasters. Goal: united response to risk reduction and disaster resilience.
  • Commitment to intentionally uphold IHL and Geneva Conventions (e.g. Rights of Refugees) as well as form and deliver policies that ensure no one is left behind, that the poor, vulnerable and marginalised are protected and supported.

What we commit to?

1. Intentional partnership and cooperation: Micah acknowledges and seeks to work with members, partners, and initiatives to meet the shared goals:

o   World Bank: Moral Imperative

o   World Evangelical Alliance: Disaster Ministry

o   ACT Alliance

o   Integral Alliance: Disaster Response

2. Raise awareness and mobilise FBOs and LFCs to engage in humanitarian response

3. Create learning opportunities to improve quality and practice

4. Advocate for policies that improve participation, equality and equity

5. Intentionally seek to facilitate platforms for learning and acting together.

Micah believes that good cooperation and partnership enhances effective transforming mission.

___________

Sheryl Haw, International Director Micah

Marnix Niemeijer, Micah Global Representative (who will be attending the WHS in Turkey)


[1] Transforming mission:this means both that the response and work we do must seek to transform the communities we serve as well as the way in which we work (our mission) needs to change.

[2] With references to the position paper for the WHS by Act Alliance.