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The Humanitarian Coalition Supports the Auditor General’s recommendations for strengthening Canada’s response to humanitarian emergencies

(Ottawa, November 25, 2014) – The Humanitarian Coalition welcomes the findings in “Responding to the Onset of International Humanitarian Crises,” the first chapter of today’s report by Canada’s Auditor General.

Released one year after typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines and in the middle of ongoing humanitarian crises in South Sudan, Syria, and many other places, the report touches on issues that remain top of mind for Canada’s humanitarian community.

The report reflects Canada’s role as a global actor in supporting the needs of people affected by disasters and sheds light on some of the challenges inherent in funding Canada’s humanitarian response to disasters and crises. We welcome the Auditor General’s approval of the criteria used by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development (DFATD) to select which organizations will receive funds for disaster relief. It also points to areas where improvements can be made to ensure that following a disaster, life-saving aid reaches those in need in a timely manner. The recommendations put forward by the Auditor General in this respect should be implemented without delay.

The Auditor General today provides an important reminder that Canada’s humanitarian assistance to disaster survivors is, and must always be, guided by the core humanitarian principles of Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality and Independence; that funding must be allocated based on needs and in the timeliest manner possible.

The member agencies of the Humanitarian Coalition work closely with the Canadian government to ensure that humanitarian assistance is delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible in some of the world’s hardest to reach places. To this end, earlier this year, DFATD and the Humanitarian Coalition created the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund (CHAF); a funding mechanism designed to support improved timeliness and efficiency of humanitarian assistance. This new funding stream increases the ability of our member agencies to respond to underfunded small-scale disasters and emergencies throughout the world.

The CHAF is funded by DFATD’s International Humanitarian Assistance Directorate, and managed by the Humanitarian Coalition. The funds in the CHAF’s pool of $2,000,000 CAD are allocated to member agencies of the Humanitarian Coalition following an established, project-based application process.

About the Humanitarian Coalition

The Humanitarian Coalition is Canada’s only joint appeal mechanism for humanitarian assistance. It is comprised of CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children Canada. With a combined presence in more than 120 countries, we bring together Canada's leading aid agencies to finance relief efforts in times of international humanitarian crises. We work together to eliminate unnecessary competition, reduce the duplication of fundraising costs, and inform the public on humanitarian needs. The Humanitarian Coalition is a member of the Emergency Appeals Alliance, which is made up of similar humanitarian networks from eight countries.