INGOs collaborate with govt to prevent Covid-19
ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) launched a report on humanitarian assistance and development programmes in Pakistan encompassing the immense contribution of its members through mobilising over Rs 25 billion in funding to benefit 25 million people across Pakistan.
The virtual event was attended by UN-RC/HC, Head of Office Pakistan/Iran EU Humanitarian Office, PHF board of trustees, country heads of I/NGOs, senior officials from the government, Member DRR, donors and other stakeholders.PHF annual report outlines how PHF members have supported communities and the government of Pakistan in battling various disasters,, meeting diverse humanitarian needs of the population through interventions in DRR/M, health, food security and livelihood, nutrition, WASH, education, women empowerment, poverty reduction and socio-economic uplift, climate change adaptation, risk communication and community engagement, advocacy, natural resource management, Covid-19 prevention and other areas of emergency response and economic development. Syed Shahid Kazmi, Country Coordinator, Pakistan Humanitarian Forum said that, In year 2020, PHF members implemented various projects benefitting over 25 million people including men, women, children, elderly and differently abled persons, making it one of the largest contributions in humanitarian and development funding in Pakistan. The PHF members played effective role in achieving 13 major Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) engaging federal and district level including NDMA and PDMAs.
Farhan Ahmed Khan, Country Representative, CESVI Pakistan, and PHF Chair considered Pakistan the supermarket for disasters in 2020 as at least 10 major disasters hit the country and affected the society. The PHF members reached to vulnerable societies at various districts and facilitated government of Pakistan in implementing its flagship Ehsaas programme to help people get out of poverty. Bernard Jaspers Faijer, Head of Office Pakistan / Iran at European Union Humanitarian Aid Office said that, “The year 2020 was critical for developed and developing countries in responding to Covid-19 pandemic. In case of Pakistan, INGOs carried out their humanitarian initiatives despite facing several challenges of mindset of local communities and government’s restrictions to the NGOs in Pakistan. He encouraged PHF members to focus on humanity and keep sustainable implementation of projects as the money generated through taxpayers and philanthropists is meant for the economic benefit of the people. Julien Harneis, UN Resident Coordinator said that, “the PHF members have engaged government in implementation of various projects and behavioral change of the communities. It is pertinent that, INGOs further organise their operations to ensure programmes implementation to alleviate poverty. Former Chairman NDMA Lt Gen Omer Mahmood Hayat and PHF board member said that, “the PHF members coordination with NDMA and PDMA at federal, district and communities level facilitated in protecting people form Covid-19 pandemic.
The INGOs have effectively implemented projects for the vulnerable communities and developed synergies with government institutions to serve better.
Other speakers acknowledged the support of INGOs and civil society organisations in responding to major disasters including Covid-19 pandemic. The joint efforts are further needed to reach out to vulnerable societies.