Belgian NGOs to focus more on 'forgotten crises'

Protecting women and children from violence, abuse and exploitation in emergencies and "forgotten crises": these are the priorities of a new financial framework agreed between Belgian humanitarian NGOs and the federal Development minister, Caroline Gennez.

The new framework defines the geographical focus and budgetary priorities for the next two years. "We have decided to concentrate our aid in areas where the needs are extremely high and international support is insufficient," said Gennez. "This is the case in the Sahel region - Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger - the Great Lakes countries - Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo - the occupied Palestinian territories and Yemen."

"Millions of people in need remain invisible and do not get the help they need. Humanitarian aid can mean the difference between life and death"

The fact that some humanitarian crises seem to be forgotten is a direct result of a lack of political commitment and media coverage, Gennez said. "This means that millions of people in need remain invisible and do not get the help they need. Yet humanitarian aid can mean the difference between life and death. This is as true in Ukraine as it is in eastern Congo."

For the years 2023-2024, the budget for NGO humanitarian programmes is 53 million euros. They have until the end of August to submit their programme proposals. Eligible organisations are Oxfam, Caritas, VSF, Médécins du Monde, Croix Rouge Belge, Plan International, Handicap International Belgium and Rode Kruis Vlaanderen.

NGOs can also set aside part of their budget for unexpected and acute crisis situations, such as floods or epidemics.


Federal minister for Development Caroline Gennez © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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