The Grand Bargain aims to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of humanitarian assistance. Looking at the upcoming annual meeting, Jameel Abdo, Direktor of the Tamdeen Youth Foundation in Yemen, demands a collective effort from the international community to address some of the longstanding challenges facing the humanitarian sector.
What hopes do you have that the situation in Yemen will improve and that the great need will come to an end?
The situation in Yemen can improve if there is a collective effort from the international community to end the conflict and provide humanitarian aid to those affected by the crisis. Also, the government and local authorities have to assume primary responsibility for preventing and responding to disasters and protecting their populations.
I hope to see a concerted effort to address some of the longstanding challenges facing the humanitarian sector, such as funding gaps and resource constraints. By working together and finding innovative solutions, we can ensure that those in need receive the support they require in a timely and effective manner.
Another reason for hope is the resilience and determination of the Yemeni people themselves. Despite the immense challenges they face, they continue to demonstrate incredible strength and courage in the face of adversity. This spirit of resilience is something that should inspire us all.
What do you expect from the annual meeting of the Grand Bargain?
I hope to see a renewed commitment from all parties involved in the Grand Bargain to work towards more efficient and effective humanitarian assistance. This means finding ways to reduce bureaucracy and unnecessary overheads, as well as improving coordination and communication between different actors. Also, it is necessary to increase the localization of humanitarian aid and start to walk the talk.
All grand bargain signatories (donors, United Nations agencies, international non-governmental organizations) must provide timely, full and transparent funding reporting to local humanitarian actors. Moreover, the timetable for the next phase of the grand bargain with the Sustainable Development Goals needs to be aligned; until 2030 – but with specific and measurable milestones, including gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
A renewed commitment to reducing needs and deepening the resource and accountability base on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls as part of the grand bargain is necessary, als well as adopting a rights-based approach that supports women’s effective participation, voice, and leadership in decisions that affect them in all contexts – under all pillars of the humanitarian, developmental, and peace relationship as a platform for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including grand bargain structures.
How can Yemeni NGOs be better involved in humanitarian decisions affecting their country?
There is a need for innovative and fairer partnerships with Yemeni non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as support and advocacy for the outputs of the localization initiative launched by more than 60 Yemeni NGOs in 2021. It is important that their efforts to localize and improve response mechanisms in Yemen are supported.
The humanitarian country team should adopt a new policy that improves the working environment and participation of local actors. The members should provide regular updates on performance, humanitarian developments, funding opportunities, coordination mechanisms and relevant data to local actors in order to enhance programming, decision-making and transfer of expertise and knowledge.
Leadership and a meaningful participation of various local actors are also important factors, as well as the participation of those affected – accountability to them needs to be assured. As an important part of this accountability, the data transparency related to finance needs to be improved.
Jameel Abdo is the CEO of the Yemeni Tamdeen Youth Foundation (TYF). The organization is the secretary for the localization initiative in Yemen and partner of the VENRO network project “Localization in Practice: Walk the Talk“.