Cairo, 25th March 2011
Following our teleconference on 16th March with 22 key humanitarian organisations from Europe and the Middle East on needs in and around Libya, we held a face-to-face meeting in Cairo on 24th March.
Our conference was hosted by the League of Arab States and brought together 42 organisations from 9 countries. There was an equal balance between the multilateral system, western international NGOs, Islamic INGOs and local Egyptian and Libyan NGOs.
The meeting showed the need for joint leadership, with Arab organisations complementing existing international coordination. The meeting focused on the needs in different parts of Libya and the neighbouring countries. It discussed the up to date situation, shared wide experiences, created new connections and discussed in detail how to meet medical needs and improve the information.
In her opening remarks, HE Dr. Sima Bahous, the League of Arab States’ Assistant Secretary General for Social Affairs said: “We must boost efforts to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to countries hit by unrest”. Dr. Bahous added "This good participation reflects a strong desire to react fast to the problems in the region".
Salim-Abdul Rahman Al Nuaimi, Secretary General of Human Appeal International, believed that the event went a long way in working to pool the international efforts to alleviate humanitarian suffering of the Libyan people.
Dr. Hany El-Banna, president of The Humanitarian Forum, added: “I believe local communities and the NGO sector are important. They both face many challenges and we must invest in a strong, broad NGO sector to help people cope with disaster and unrest, such as the one we’re facing in Libya”.
The participants agreed that communication is vital. They agreed to share information and to meet again. Several new partnerships were created for aid delivery and information gathering/sharing.
The participants also discussed humanitarian needs in Yemen and the need to work with local communities and NGOs there.
Note to Editors: The Humanitarian Forum is a network of key humanitarian and charitable organizations from Muslim donor and recipient countries, the West and the multilateral system. Recognizing the challenges facing NGOs in many countries, we want to improve the lives of those affected by disasters by developing the capacity of NGOs and building partnerships.
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