Humanitarian Response

During 2018, NCA and its partners responded to humanitarian crises resulting from protracted conflict (Iraq, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Palestine, South Sudan, Sudan and Syria), drought (Afghanistan and Somalia) and other natural disasters (Guatemala, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia), and disease outbreaks (cholera in the DRC). In many of these responses NCA supported refugees, migrants or returnees (Angola, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Lebanon, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia). From 2016-2018, about 5.4 million people were supported by NCA and its partners in humanitarian response (on average 1.8 million people each year).

NCA’s added value in humanitarian response lies in the long-term country presence in countries with fragile political and natural resource environments, and in the two-pronged approach to humanitarian action: partner-based where feasible and directly implemented where necessary. Partner-based responses have advantages in accessibility, in providing a better contextualised understanding of needs and problems, enhancing outreach services (through language and cultural appropriateness) or to extend our technical scope through qualified and verified partners, building on existing capacity. A partner-based approach can also mean that together NCA can reach those not reached by others, especially in out-of-camp scenarios. However, there are situations and circumstances where direct implementation is necessary to ensure quality or scale of response.

Humanitarian response

Historically, NCA’s humanitarian focus has been WASH, but NCA and its partners have growing technical and programmatic experience in GBV and in integrated peacebuilding and conflict resolution in the more “technical” response actions. Increasingly, NCA implements integrated humanitarian WASH and GBV initiatives (Bangladesh,  DRC, Niger and Nigeria). Other technical areas of expertise include nutrition (Palestine), education (Somalia) and energy (Angola). NCA has also broadened the methodologies available to its programmes, especially in cash-based interventions (Ethiopia, Palestine and Somalia).

A long-term presence means NCA and its partners are better placed across humanitarian response, early recovery and development interventions, for a considerable time period in a particular location. This can help to provide coherence between different funding sources (e.g. Mali), and more sustained solutions. This long-term engagement has also encouraged NCA to play a stronger role in humanitarian coordination platforms, at national and sub-national level (Afghanistan, Burundi, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and South Sudan).

Alongside the country presence and action, NCA’s global profile in GBV and WASH has increased. In the global WASH Cluster and GBV Area of Responsibility, NCA plays a significant role in operational, technical and strategic input. Additionally, recently NCA has played an increasing role in other global GBV and WASH initiatives – the Sphere handbook revision, various innovation initiatives (e.g. with Innovation Norway), and in other technical forums.

Results case

Tackling violence against women and girls in Rohingya community, Bangladesh.