Extra muros | September 19, 2017

In May 2017, the Foundation took the floor during one of IRIS’ Stand-Up on Humanitarian Issues. The topic? Some argue that NGOs are unable to balance out new stakeholders coming from the private sector as they would be too greedy, not very agile, fearful and averse to risks, engulfed in accountability and dependent on aid […]

In May 2017, the Foundation took the floor during one of IRIS’ Stand-Up on Humanitarian Issues. The topic? Some argue that NGOs are unable to balance out new stakeholders coming from the private sector as they would be too greedy, not very agile, fearful and averse to risks, engulfed in accountability and dependent on aid control procedures… whereas businesses, especially those involved in the social and solidarity economy, would be “adaptable and would offer an extraordinary presence in the field alongside the most vulnerable”.

The Foundation’s intervention supported the one of Bénédicte Hermelin, Executive Director of “Coordination Sud”, a national coordination organization for French NGOs, who came to defend the non-profit sector’s point of view. Part of the debate revolved around the role played by major private companies, which are tendering for large humanitarian aid projects. There are never too many actors committed alongside the most vulnerable. However, it seems important to question the actions of these companies and the rationale behind a commitment that is not totally motivated by the humanitarian principles, but is part of a commercial approach. Should we, for instance, endorse a project that is both useful and in accordance with the humanitarian principles if it has been developed with the sole aim of promoting, if not improving, the image of a NASDAQ-listed company?

« Les ONG humanitaires en voie d’extinction ? », Stand Up de l’Humanitaire, IRIS, May 11, 2017.

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Posted in Humanitarian Aid