In an Australian-first move, 22 of Australia’s aid agencies have joined forces to respond to emergencies both globally and closer to home in the Pacific.
The $50 million, five-year Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP) was announced by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Brisbane earlier today.
Federal Minister Julie Bishop said Plan International Australia and five other major aid agencies - CARE, Caritas, Oxfam Australia and World Vision – will lead special consortiums.
Plan International Australia is leading the humanitarian response group with ChildFund, CBM Australia, AVI, ActionAid and the International Medical Corps (IMC) to provide emergency assistance globally. And together with partners in the Pacific, Plan will run effective disaster-preparedness programs.
This consortium will coordinate their efforts and share resources and technical expertise to improve the reach, impact and effectiveness of emergency response.
Plan International Australia’s CEO Ian Wishart said in the face of more intense and more frequent disasters, joining forces to strengthen capability is crucial.
“This partnership represents a truly positive change in how the international aid sector is operating. We’re working smarter and leaner than we ever have, with the ultimate outcome of saving more lives,” Mr Wishart said.
“As well as getting essential aid to survivors of disasters – particularly children – as soon as we possibly can, Plan’s consortium focusses mitigating the impact disasters, so that our region is better prepared when they do strike.
“Plan has a strong history of responding to famines, floods, cyclones, earthquakes and supporting refugees. We are now ready to respond to disasters in 88 countries, with an improved focus on assisting women and girls and people with disabilities.
“All of our valued partner organisations have extensive experience and well-developed networks throughout the Pacific. Together, we can boost our efforts to another level when we prepare, prevent and respond to crises in our region and further abroad.”Speaking at the launch of the AHP in Brisbane earlier today, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said: “I saw the positive impact NGOs make when I visited Vanuatu and Fiji following devastating cyclones in 2015 and 2016. They were helping to rebuild markets and infrastructure, restore livelihoods, and get children back to school.
“The Australian Humanitarian Partnership continues Australia’s strong tradition of helping our neighbours and will help create a more stable and prosperous region,” Ms Bishop said.