G7 not doing enough for communities affected by disasters

News and Press Release
Originally published

A global network of NGOs says the G7 is not doing enough to support the world's poorest people to prepare and recover from crises, such as Covid-19 and the global climate emergency.

Start Network, a collaboration of over 50 international and local humanitarian charities, says G7 governments must do more to finance locally-led, proactive crisis action.

Data can be used to predict many crises, in particular climate change related disasters. Analysis shows that at least 55% of crises can be predicted to an extent, yet less than 1% of funding is pre-arranged in advance and channeled to crises on the basis of a forecast or prediction. This is despite the growing evidence demonstrating that early action can save more lives and cost less.

In addition, travel and access restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic have highlighted the vital role of local organisations in supporting communities. Local organisations have always had better and faster access to, and knowledge of the needs of, local communities. Despite this just 2.1% of funding in 2019 went directly to local and national actors. Instead they are often treated as subcontractors and have little control over how crisis responses are run.

The G7 has already committed to supporting anticipatory action. Start Network is now calling for it to catalyse a system-wide shift to locally-led preparedness and anticipatory action that delivers rapid and flexible funding to local communities. Specifically Start Network is calling for the G7 to:\

1. Listen to local and national voices to co-create a more proactive, decentralised, power-balanced humanitarian system that is closer to the frontlines.

2. Align international commitments on climate change to domestic policies to mitigate the climate crises which disproportionately affects local communities and exacerbates humanitarian crises.\

3. Make prearranged finance the primary method for funding crises by 2030 across all international aid, with credible plans in place by COP26, including the annual monitoring of progress.\

4. Deliver on commitments of spending 0.7% of Gross National Income on Official Development Assistance, prioritising humanitarian aid to the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

Christina Bennett, CEO Start Network, said: *"The G7 has the power to do much more and save many more lives. We're calling on the G7 to ensure locally-led and anticipatory action becomes the norm. Local and pre-agreed funding should be channelled towards at-risk communities who also have the greatest ability to act early and understand what their communities need."

*Start Network is already demonstrating the value and impact of local, anticipatory and early action through its national and regional hubs, Start Fund Bangladesh and the Start Financing Facility.

Notes to editors

Contact: Myriam Castaneda Solares, External Affairs & Advocacy Manager - Start Network

Available for interview:

Christina Bennett, Chief Executive, Start Network. Christina has 20 years of experience in humanitarian policy and practice has lived and worked in Afghanistan, Pakistan and South Sudan. Read Christina's biography here.

For more information about Start Network and its programmes, download our media pack.