Humanitarian Assistance

We strive to deliver an accountable, timely and coordinated response

©Christer Lænkholm

Results 2016

DCA responded to the massive refugee emergency in Uganda, where nearly 300.000 South Sudanese refugees was hosted in the Bidibidi settlement. 

In Ethiopia, DCA distributed emergency seeds and supported veterinary services for livestock to more than 450.000 people. 

In Gaza, Palestine, DCA worked on an innovative project where 15 community committees used digital software for data collection and for emergency preparedness through rapid cash transfer procedure. 

Several global trends are affecting the humanitarian situation around the world. We are facing challenges such as a record high number of refugees and mixed migration flows, a financing gap in the humanitarian sector, climate change that are resulting in an increased number of natural hazards leading to disasters and several regions struggling with conflict and war. States that have the responsibility to afford protection are often either unwilling or unable to do so. This has led to millions of people needing humanitarian assistance across several sectors such as food security, livelihood, protection and shelter. 

The above mentioned humanitarian situation has led the humanitarian work of DCA to increase its focus on cash transfer programming focusing on food security, community based Disaster Risk Reduction and preparedness, as well as an increased use of technology in our humanitarian work to improve programme implementation, field monitoring and support to DCA’s partners.

DCAs humanitarian work supports refugees and IDPs in several countries around the world. In 2016, DCA responded to the massive refugee emergency in Uganda, where nearly 300.000 South Sudanese refugees were hosted in the Bidibidi settlement. Also, Kenya, Bangladesh and Syria are some of the places where DCA works together with partners to assist people who have been forced to leave their home.

In all the humanitarian work DCA does, we strive to deliver an accountable, timely, coordinated and effective response that meets the needs and priorities of the disaster affected populations in an increased number of acute and prolonged crisis. Our work is based on international humanitarian principles and standards and is largely implemented through local partners. DCA is improving our ability to actively involve and promote the participation of those affected by disaster or conflict. They are the first and often the most important actors in their own survival, protection and rehabilitation. By supporting the capacities and strategies of partners, local communities and civil societies, we believe that they can protect themselves against threats of violence and conflict. 

DCAs overall humanitarian action policy goal is that marginalized women and men, boys and girls have increased resilience to anticipate, withstand and recover from disaster and conflict; and that they, when disaster strikes, enjoy equal access to accountable humanitarian assistance and protection of their life and dignity. The following activities are included in our humanitarian work and are all a part of achieving this goal.

Humanitarian assistance focus on

Assistance to acute emergencies

Assistance to acute emergencies

Based on the preparedness and capacity to respond developed with our local partners and the national ACT Fora, DCA responds to acute crisis. Our immediate response will be based on the affected populations’ needs and priorities independent of technical sectors, but building on the specific competencies of partners. DCA always seeks to link the humanitarian response to our development interventions to protect achievements made, enhance synergy, and advance longer-term disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

In countries, where DCA does not have a long term strategic engagement, we will engage in response to major humanitarian crises if there is an assessed need for DCA’s capacity, or for our accountability and thematic competencies, and if DCA has funding opportunities including for example significant Danish public funding support. In these countries exit strategies will be based on linkages to the development efforts of the ACT Alliance or other development actors.

Refugees and IDPs

Refugees and IDPs

As a result of the humanitarian situation with people being affected by war, conflict or natural hazards, a large part of DCAs humanitarian projects are in areas with a high number of refugees or IDPs. We help the populations that are affected on the basis of their situation and needs, and we work together with local partners who are familiar with the local social, economic and cultural conditions.

DanChurchAid works on sudden onset disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones and floods; with slow onset disasters caused by drought; with long-term and complex crises caused primarily by war and conflict, as well as complex emergency which are part of a vicious circle with poverty, climate fluctuations, limited capacity of national authorities and so on – and with reconstruction after disasters.

When disaster strikes, the affected population has the right to fast and effective humanitarian assistance.  Depending on the specific situation, it can be food, relief parcels, cash for local purchases or protection of vulnerable groups, or other needs which are the highest priority. Together with local partners, DCA works to provide humanitarian assistance that meets international standards for quality and accountability.

Cash Transfer Programming

Cash Transfer Programming

Cash Transfer Programming (CTP) is a growing area of importance for the humanitarian sector and one which has the potential to substantially change aid programme design, coordination, delivery and evaluation. Cash transfer programming can sustain livelihoods including market assessments to assess availability of goods, market absorption capacity, price control mechanisms and rights holders’ access to markets. We support continued monitoring of markets during cash transfer interventions to assess effectiveness of cash transfers and appropriate follow up actions.

In 2016, 37 of DCAs partners used cash transfer programming. Cash transfer programming offers a range of advantages in many contexts, one being a more empowering approach to secure the right to life with dignity. It can also contribute to a more successful transition from emergency response to early recovery.

Our use of Technology in Humanitarian Action

Our use of Technology in Humanitarian Action

Technology today is evolving exponentially and changing the way in which we live and work. Using technology is part of a process to improve both the speed and quality of data collection and reporting in humanitarian relief and development. As an aid organisation that wants to be innovative, DCA constantly seeks to develop new solutions that can support our humanitarian objectives.

Using technology in humanitarian aid increases the efficiency, speed and accuracy of data collection in all types of aid programming and increases accountability towards our beneficiaries among others. Some of the top benefits of using technology in humanitarian aid are:

* Getting better data analysis; improved ability to recognize patterns, cause and effect relationships, and different areas that need attention.

* Getting data in the hands of the people who can use it; data is not only gathered at the top, but in the hands of field workers and communities.

More transparency; everybody can see the data, including rights holders and duty bearers.

Working with partners

Working with partners

Partnerships is a founding principle for DCA. Partnerships is not only a way of working but fundamental to DCA’s values and identity, and it is our most important comparative advantage for achieving our goals, including greater sustainability, local ownership and cultural sensitivity.

At the global level, and with our strategic alliances and networks, we seek opportunities through the relevant advocacy processes to address political and structural factors which have an impact on disaster risks and conflicts.

At a local level, we work together with local NGOs and community- and faith- based organisations and their leaders. In 2016, 30% of our humanitarian funding was directly transferred to Southern-based partners’ responses.

Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction

Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction

Throughout our humanitarian action, we seek opportunities to address underlying risks and threats and include measures that reduce risks in the longer term. We ensure inclusion of risk reduction and preparedness and climate change adaptation measures when working to strengthen local response capacities, and as early as possible after a disaster.

Disaster risk reduction is particularly critical to early recovery programming in disaster prone areas and environments subject to stresses from climate change. DCA supports partners’ rehabilitation and recovery interventions based on assessments of current and future risks using methods identifying exposure, vulnerabilities and capacities in order to build resilience.