The country’s first locally led fundraising platform for disaster response and relief was launched in Quezon City on Tuesday.
The Shared Aid Fund for Emergency Response (SAFER) was formed through the combined efforts of founding organizations Caucus of Development Non-Government Organizations (CODE-NGOs), Humanitarian Response Consortium (HRC) and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA)/Caritas Philippines.
These three networks previously converged in disaster-stricken areas such as Leyte which was hit by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 and Marawi City.
“When there is disaster, a lot of resources are needed so this is a system built for that. If there are companies and international groups who want to channel their resources through us, we can reach even the far-flung communities,” Dick Balderrama of CODE-NGO told The Manila Times in an interview.
Balderrama said it took them two years to discuss and operate the partnership with a large humanitarian organization and a religious group.
Instead of competing for resources, the networks in the consortium will strengthen their reach through a fund that is readily accessible to local organizations that directly provide aid to those affected by disasters.
Balderrama explained that after activating an appeal on a charity project, fundraising and communication strategies will be done by SAFER members. The quality of delivered activities and interventions to communities will be monitored in order to promote accountability.
“Depending on our assessment and how much we can raise, sometimes, for as low as P50,000 we can do something like soup kitchen projects, food packages, medical missions, health programs, livelihood recovery, and even water resources,” Barrameda added.
All regions are covered by SAFER.
“Waiting in desperation for relief can sometimes be more difficult than being hit by disaster,” SAFER chairman Fr. Edwin Gariguez said.
“Our agenda is to strengthen and expand networks rather than compete for resources. This is the true spirit of bayanihan (communal unity and cooperation),” he added.