In response to the December 2004 tsunami disaster, European foundations and corporate funders are coming together to focus on long-term strategic solutions for disaster response, and development issues as a whole, within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals. European Foundation Centre (EFC) members and partners got this effort going at the Europe in the World ‘Disaster Response: Bridge to Strategic Development’ meeting, held on 31 January in Brussels.
Since the disaster, many European foundations and corporate funders have poured resources into relief work and longer-term assistance. The Centre is monitoring responses from its members and the larger foundation/corporate donor community. A continuously updated list of these responses is available on the Europe in the World and EFC websites. The Centre has also set up a clearing house to facilitate coordination and provide guidance on strategic thinking to foundations and corporate funders who wish to take part in the reconstruction and rehabilitation work in South East Asia, as well as to those who want to address the broader development agenda.
Disaster Grantmaking: A practical guide for foundations and corporate donors, which is the product of a joint EFC and Council on Foundations initiative, provides an excellent framework and starting point for discussion on how to address these issues. The guide is available at: http://www.efc.be/projects/ic/dri.htm
Exploring partnership with multilaterals
The Centre is also exploring partnership and leverage opportunities in the affected regions and in respect of the Millennium Development Goals, with UN agencies and the World Bank. There is particular interest in exploring ways to boost the development of community foundations within the broader collaboration on the World Bank’s Community Foundation Initiative and the Foundations-World Bank Dialogue. Following the Foundations-World Bank Dialogue held last October in Thailand, the country could be a possible pilot for any initiative along these lines.
1 See p5 for a write-up of this event.
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