CAFOD – Rapid Response for Humanitarian Emergencies

The Department for International Development (DfID) has appointed CAFOD as one of the first UK aid agencies to pre-qualify to receive government funds when an international crisis strikes. 

There is so much work to do and so many of the world’s crises never make it to the national news and our television screens. So this year, we have a great opportunity to make our donations even more valuable.

DfID’s new Rapid Response Facility (RRF) is being established on the recommendation of Lord Paddy Ashdown after his independent review of the way the government responds to humanitarian emergencies. Its role will be to provide immediate money to aid agencies during the first critical days after a major disaster, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, thereby reaching affected people faster and saving more lives.

It will mean the best organisations from across the UK can be mobilised in the critical first 72 hours following a disaster.

To access the funds, agencies must meet stringent standards of programme delivery, financial management, and obtaining results and value for money.

Appointing CAFOD to the official register of qualifying agencies, the Secretary of State for DfID Andrew Mitchell said: “Clearly we need our best experts, equipment and aid on the scene as quickly as possible after a disaster, not tied up in red tape. CAFOD need to be able to do their job in that vital window of 72 hours, to save as many lives as possible. Only the professionals, with relevant skills and equipment will be approved. By working with a small pool of specialists, we will end the dangerous crush of aid organisations which often pour into a disaster zone. These organisations represent the very best performing disaster response agencies. This will allow them to focus on delivery. Make no mistake, however, qualification for the fund will be revoked at the first sign of poor performance.”

Matthew Carter, Director of CAFOD’s Humanitarian Department and current Chair of the Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies, said:

“The recent multiple humanitarian disasters spanning the globe from the East Africa drought and earthquakes in Haiti, to floods in Pakistan and the Philippines, show there is an increased need for rapid and effective emergency response mechanisms to be in place. The UK has proven itself again and again to be a leader in the field of humanitarian response and CAFOD welcomes this recognition by the government of the quality and effectiveness of our own emergency work. We look forward to working with DfID’s support to help the people most in need at the times of greatest crisis.” 

Find out more about DFID’s Rapid Response network here – and you can keep up to date with CAFOD’s emergency updates on the main website.

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