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Statement from Alliance 4 Empowering Partnerships World Humanitarian Day 2019: Paying tribute to local and national women humanitarian workers

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On the first anniversary of A4EP, we, the International Conveners of the Alliance for Empowering Partnerships (www.a4ep.net), would like to pay tribute to the local and national women humanitarians who have dedicated their lives to their work, but often remain unacknowledged. We acknowledge their hard work and commitment to help their communities. A4EP members stand in solidarity and we call for more support for the growth of independent, sustainable and accountable local and national organisations led by women in the aid-recipient countries, that serve their communities and are committed to promoting democratic societies with equality and social justice.

We welcome the women leaders Naomi Tulay Solanke, Community Health Care Initiative, Liberia, Josephine Alabi, Keen and Care Initiative (KCI), Nigeria, Samar Muhareb, Executive Director, Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD), Jordan, who have recently joined A4EP and look forward to working with them to advocate to create a more balanced and just humanitarian system that is fit for purpose and which reinforces local and national capacities rather than replaces it.

Our mission is to create an active and effective network of independent and locally/nationally grown organisations and of global activists, to promote locally/nationally led response. This will provide a platform for information dissemination, sharing experiences, evidence, good practice and learning.

We will lobby and develop evidence based advocacy strategies in our own respective countries and at global level and share our learning. Through our work, the Alliance will contribute to on-going research and debates and develop consulted and commonly agreed positions and advocacy strategies around the global agenda of ‘localisation’, ‘particip ation revolution’ and ‘transparency’.

The Alliance believes in positive engagement and positive relationships with all related stakeholders but will retain our independent and critical perspective.

• The Alliance urges the international actors to recognise the importance of local leadership and to ensure adequate financial and other resources, so that they are able to serve and enable affected populations with adequately qualified staff, with safety and security in place

• Humanitarian workers of local and national organisations, particularly women workers, often work without adequate compensation with little job security. In order to address that, international actors should work through partnerships, ensure multi-year financing and also leave the domestic fundraising space for homegrown local and national actors.

• The Alliance urges the State and non-state actors to stop Gender Based Violence, including against aid workers and adhere to International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law.

• The Alliances urges the state actors, multilateral agencies and other key stakeholders to seek early and durable solutions to all protracted crises to bring down number of refugees and IDPs (Internally Displaced People) within stipulated time and share the responsibility with the host countries.

• The Alliance urges the international actors to provide the space and recognise and support local leadership, actively address the power imbalances and stop discrimination against them at all levels including, through their country offices, national coordination mechanism and global bodies.

• The Alliance urges international donors to be courageous in finding innovative solutions to ensure they can meet their localisation commitments.

• The Alliance urges the international organisations to support locally led response through empowering partnerships following Principles of Partnership.

• The Alliance urges the signatories of Grand Bargain to review the definition of local and national actors provided in the IASC Definitions Paper, in order to address the loopholes and thereby ensuring that the funds reach the homegrown local and national actors.

• The Alliance urges international actors to establish more Country Based Pooled Funds, which should exclusively be accessible to homegrown local and national actors

• The Alliance urges the international actors to stop the backlash against and targeting of the local and national leaders and their organisations, who are calling on international actors to honour their commitment to ‘reinforce rather than replace’ local and national capacities, and to define concrete localisation plans.