Caritas Australia is leading a consortium of eight church agencies who have partnered with the federal government to better respond to humanitarian crises, particularly in the Pacific region, the charity reports.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) last week announced the Church Agencies Network Disaster Operation” (CAN DO) consortium led by Caritas Australia, was successful in tendering for the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP).
The AHP is a five-year $50 million commitment from the government which brings together six non-government organisations (Care, CAN DO, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children and World Vision) and their consortium partners to rapidly respond to global crises.
Joining Caritas in the CAN DO is Act for Peace, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency Australia, Anglican Board of Mission, Anglican Overseas Aid, the Australian Lutheran World Service, Transform Aid International (Baptist World Aid Australia) and UnitingWorld.
The AHP also has a new strategic focus on Pacific preparedness and resilience work. This new focus, in particular building capacity of local organisations, will enhance the effectiveness of the CAN DO networks ongoing disaster preparedness work through its extensive church network across the Pacific.
Speaking at the AHP’s launch in Brisbane on Friday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the partnership will increase the capacity of local organisations and communities to manage crises.
"Building on the NGOs’ extensive regional networks, we will help to ensure Pacific nations are more resilient to disasters, and can more quickly rebuild and return peoples’ lives to normal," Ms Bishop said.
CAN DO Chair, Anthony Sell, said the network members will use their extensive church partners throughout the Pacific to reduce the disaster risk of highly vulnerable urban and remote island communities.
“As individual agencies we already respond well to natural disasters. By joining together in a strong network, we can make an even greater difference, especially to our vulnerable neighbouring Pacific communities,” Mr Sell said.