|Delivering relief water supplies in Mandalay Diocese, Myanmar.
ABM’s approach to humanitarian emergencies is intrinsically linked to our core vision - seeing communities flourish around the world through targeted development programs.
Humanitarian crises are recognised as a significant impediment to development, and hence require a timely and strategic response. The objectives of humanitarian response are to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity during and in the aftermath of human-caused crises and natural disasters. ABM recognises that any emergency response should be guided by the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.
As a small organisation, ABM cannot support every emergency that arises. We therefore have systems in place to assist in making timely decisions on whether to support a response. In the process of deciding whether ABM(AID) will support an emergency, these key considerations are taken into account:
Has ABM received a request for assistance?
This request may come from one of our Community Development Program Partners, or it may be received within an appeal that has been launched by ACT Alliance or another partner organisation. This request should include a coherent and verifiable story of the circumstances and evidence of local contact being made to determine immediate needs.
Does ABM have an appropriate partnership in the region affected?
ABM has two types of standing partnership arrangements that we can use to support an emergency response:
ABM’s first preference when responding to an emergency is to work with one of its existing in-country program partners. If there is an appropriate partner in the affected region that has the capacity to respond, funding will be dispersed through this partner.
ABM also recognises that not all of our partners are equally equipped to respond to a humanitarian emergency. We therefore continue to work with and develop our partners that experience frequent extreme weather or conflict related disasters in order to strengthen their capacity to respond. The objective of this support is to enable our partners to join their local ACT Alliance forum and be eligible to receive funding.
When working with in-country partners, ABM also recognises the coordination role of the Anglican Alliance and other Anglican agencies that focus on disaster risk reduction and disaster response capacity building, such as Episcopal Relief and Development (USA).
In the case where ABM does not have an appropriate in-country partner, funds will be channelled through ACT (Action by Churches Together) Alliance or through another agency that has been assessed as being capable of meeting the standards of humanitarian relief that are observed by ABM.
We continue to monitor the work of these agencies, to consider whether this remains the preferred mechanism for channelling emergency relief funds to countries where we have no partner on the ground. Read more about ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together).
Does ABM have the capacity to raise the funds to respond in a timely way so that hardship and loss of life is minimised?
ABM’s Global Rapid Response Fund allows for emergency relief to be received quickly at the time of a crisis. Depending on the scale and nature of the disaster, ABM may decide to launch an emergency appeal so that greater support can be extended through the generosity of its donors.
ABM aims to evaluate each emergency response either via internal review or external evaluation. This helps to inform our assessment of our partners’ capacity in this area.
Periodical reviews are also conducted on our own organisational capacity both to raise funds for emergency relief, and to support our regional partners build their capacity to respond to disasters.
PASTORS AND DISASTERS TOOLKIT
In December 2014, Episcopal Relief & Development and a working group of twelve international partner agencies including ABM, published “Pastors and Disasters: a Toolkit for Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction & Management” to improve disaster response efforts within the Anglican relief and development community.
This toolkit is the culmination of three years of collaborative effort to create, adapt and field-test resources that can be used in a variety of contexts, based on local resources and expertise. The working group included partners from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and the United States.