Partnership is essential in humanitarian action. No single agency is able to tackle the increasing humanitarian needs by itself, certainly in the case of mega disasters such as the floods in Pakistan or more recently the famine in the Horn of Africa. For the last decade, and especially since the Indian Ocean tsunami, traditional humanitarian actors have worked hard to strengthen their cooperation in emergencies. The UN-led humanitarian reform resulted in the establishment of clusters for coordination of activities, the search for ways to improve humanitarian leadership and the quest for predictable and rapid financing through the wider use of pooled funds.
In addition, in 2007 the UN, Red Cross and NGOs agreed on the Principles of Partnership (PoP): equality, transparency, results-oriented approach, responsibility and complementarity. NGOs are convinced that effective forms of partnership will lead to overall greater aid effectiveness, benefiting crisis-affected populations. However, is partnership between traditional humanitarian actors sufficient? What about cooperation with other civil society actors? And to what extent is partnership with donors possible? The first articles in this issue reflect on various modes of collaboration between NGOs, while other articles look into partnerships with the UN, donors and private partners.
In the ‘View on the EU’ section, we are proud to present an interview with Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation,
Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. In the interview, the Commissioner sets out her views on partnership - particularly relevant as the humanitarian aid department of the European Commission works with about 200 partners - and reflects on other current EU humanitarian topics.
Lastly, the field focus looks at the crisis in Yemen, where current violent opposition aimed at toppling the regime is further worsening the on-going humanitarian crisis in the country.
VOICE OUT LOUD aims to contribute to the understanding of the professional reality of humanitarian NGOs and to give an insight into relevant humanitarian issues, relying upon the experience and input of VOICE members. It is addressed to European decision makers and other stakeholders of the humanitarian community, as well as the wider interested public.