After a natural disaster like a flood or earthquake, or in conflict areas, people are often forced to leave their home and belongings. Food shortages and epidemics are often a result of these disasters. In situation like these, ICCO and Kerk in Actie jointly offer emergency relief.
For emergency aid to be effective, it is important to act quickly and tailor the aid to the needs of the local population. That is why we always work via local organizations and churches. They know the local context and people well and know where help is needed most. The local organizations offer emergency relief by issuing food, blankets, tents, water and medication, as well as psychological support, health education and training on conflict transformation. Emergency relief goods are bought locally as much as possible. This works effectively and this stimulates the local economy.
After the disaster
It is important that after a disaster, the situation in the area will improve in the long term. Also after the emergency aid programs of ICCO and Kerk in Actie are finished. That is why we link emergency aid to structural development projects. For instance, besides food, we also distribute seeds and give agricultural training. In this way, people are able to create a livelihood.
Learning from disasters
Disaster preparedness can prevent future damage. ICCO and Kerk in Actie therefore try to make local organizations, churches and communities better prepared for future disasters. For example by training them with disaster simulations or by planting trees to prevent landslides. By strengthening the capacities of local people and organizations, they get less vulnerable to natural disasters and less dependent of outside help.
Worldwide network and cooperation
ICCO, together with Kerk in Actie, provides training and financial support to local partner organizations. We operate in 39 countries worldwide. The partners are supported by our regional offices and from the global office of ICCO Cooperation in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Besides, we are active in the following networks:
ICCO is a member of the ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together), a worldwide network of churches and Christian NGOs. The ACT Alliance coordinates emergency aid in order for it to reach the people and places where it is needed most. The ACT Alliance offers help to victims regardless of their ethnicity, nationality, faith, gender or political conviction.
SHO (Emergency aid fundraising cooperative of Dutch NGOs)
Sometimes a (natural) disaster is so enormous that a lot of money is needed to address it well. In cases like that, ICCO and Kerk in Actie cooperate with other large Dutch NGOs to raise the necessary funds among the people in the Netherlands via Samenwerkende Hulporganisaties (SHO).
ICCO is also active in international network organizations ICVA (International Council of Voluntary Agencies) and NGO Voice (Voluntary Organizations in Cooperation in Emergencies), organizations which advocate for independent emergency aid for everyone.
Dutch relief alliance
ICCO is, together with Kerk in Actie, part of the Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA). The DRA responds to major international crises in a timely and effective manner. The Alliance is a cooperation of 14 Dutch NGO’s, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Dutch Relief Alliance consists of the following organisations: CARE Nederland, Cordaid, Dorcas, ICCO en Kerk in Actie, Oxfam Novib, Plan Nederland, Save the Children, Tear, Terre des Hommes, Stichting Vluchteling, War Child, War Trauma Foundation, World Vision and ZOA.