In response to the December 2004 tsunami, Charities Aid Foundation UK and APPC have developed a collaborative project to strengthen philanthropic responses to natural disasters in the Asia Pacific region. A conference, ‘Philanthropy in Disasters: Tsunami and After’, set for early December 2005 (venue to be decided), will be one of the major activities.
The scale of the disaster provoked a massive response across a wider range of groups and individuals – from schoolchildren to governments – than disasters normally do, and all sectors were challenged to respond quickly, effectively and in collaboration with other critical players, including the military, national and local government agencies, corporations, local NGOs and community organizations, and media.
The two-day conference will look at this collaborative effort and at what can be learned from both its successes and its failures. The conference will aim to develop action programmes related to regional resource mobilization, disaster preparedness at the community level, and regional advocacy for multisectoral efforts in natural disasters. It will also raise critical issues which came to the fore in this disaster, such as accountability for funds raised to donors and to recipient communities, the challenges of sustaining the development approach to disaster preparedness through community mechanisms, and the very influential role of media/electronic communications in supporting philanthropy and development.
‘The whole discourse on managing disasters like tsunami should move away from the narrow concept of providing relief and charity,’ argues APPC Chair Ifti Zaman, ‘to a comprehensive management strategy involving aid workers, development specialists, policy planners, community mobilizers, academics and other stakeholders.’ The conference agenda and sessions will be posted on both APPC’s and CAF’s websites, http://www.asianphilanthropy.org and http://www.cafonline.org respectively, and in the next column in Alliance.
For further information please email the APPC Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact Rory Tolentino, Executive Director
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