A national launching programme of ELNHA Project

A national launching programme of Empowering Local and National Humanitarian Actors (ELNHA) Project held on 18 December, 2016 at  CIRDAP auditorium, Dhaka.

Rights activists at a programme here on called for shifting more power and resources in the humanitarian sector from international humanitarian actors to local and national ones.

Having local and national humanitarian actors (LNHAs) in the driving seat for emergency preparedness and response shall allow vulnerable people in disaster prone areas to benefit from better humanitarian response through the capacity development of local LNHAs and influencing others for a change in the humanitarian system, they said.

They came up with the remarks while addressing the national launching of Empowering Local and National Humanitarian Actors (ELNHA) Project and Validation of Humanitarian Country Capacity Analysis (HUCOCA) Report at CIRDAP auditorium in the city.

Oxfam Bangladesh and Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) jointly organized the programme.

Executive Director of DAM Dr. M Ehsanur Rahman gave his welcome address while Bangladesh Country Director of Oxfam Snehal V. Soneji attended as the special guest.

Prof. Dr. Mahbuba Nasreen, Director of Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies of Dhaka University, Kazi Shahidur Rahman, Humanitarian Affairs Specialist of UNRCO, Bangladesh, and Reazul Karim Chowdhury, Executive Director of Coast Trust, spoke at the function, which was chaired by Kazi Ali Reza, Director of DAM.

“LNHAs are the first responders in case of any emergency as they know the context better; they can take the quicker action and know the priority of the affected people first. Thus it is only possible to ensure the timely, appropriate, effective and qualitative response through the involvement of capable LNHAs”, said the speakers.

“Oxfam aims to see greater resources and capabilities invested in Local or National Humanitarian Actors. This is in line with a commitment made atthe last Humanitarian Summit, by 27 INGOs to have by May 2018 at least 20% of our own humanitarian funding passed to local and national NGOs, which is currently only 0.2%. We believe that LNHAs have the capacity to take a leadership role and mobilize funding independently and very soon they will demonstrate it widely” said Snehal. V. Soneji, Country Director of Oxfam in Bangladesh.

The function was told that to promote the local leadership, Oxfam along with six supporting partners is going to implement a three-year project titled “ELNHA” in nine disaster-prone districts in the country. The project aims at shift more power and resources in the humanitarian sector from international humanitarian actors to local and national ones. The underlying assumption is that having local and national actors (LNHAs) in the driving seat for emergency preparedness and response shall allow vulnerable people in disaster prone areas to benefit from better humanitarian response through the capacity development of local LNHAs and influencing others for a change in the humanitarian system The same project is being implemented in Uganda also.