IASC Interim Guidance on Localisation and the COVID-19 Response

Local actors,3 including civil society organisations, government, and the private sector, as well as communities themselves (including displaced communities), are critical in every humanitarian operation, and even more so in the current context that is shaped by restrictions on travel and movement because of COVID-19. Those actors include not only local NGOs, but also local government, women’s networks, youth organisations, indigenous groups, faith-based organisations, human rights organisations, trade unions, and other specific-interest groups needed to ensure a complete response that reaches the most vulnerable people and considers the gender impact of the emergency. International travel and movement restrictions are impeding the international community to surge international staff and supplies at the usual scale and speed to provide expertise, capacity and support to staff and partners that are already working on the ground. While local actors are also affected by preventative measures, they retain a comparatively greater possibility to maintain and potentially scale up operations, provided they are given the means to do so. Localisation is therefore both a necessity and an opportunity for effectively meeting humanitarian needs and recovery efforts post COVID-19.

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