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International Disaster Relief and Resilience at BITC

Posted: Monday 16 October 17, 3.32pm GMT

As mentioned in our previous newsletter, BITC’s International Team recently launched the Global Relief and Resilience Hub. With PwC support during the development process, this online Hub now helps identify and match humanitarian needs with businesses core competencies, skills, products and services.

Last month, Hurricane Harvey swept over the southern and eastern United States, causing catastrophic flooding and over 70 deaths. Irma then followed, smashing through the Caribbean towards the United States, leaving behind it a path of death and destruction with 25 people reported dead and 17,000 people in need of immediate shelter in the affected Caribbean islands. Then, Maria came after, leaving 88 people dead, the majority of whom where in Puerto Rico and Dominica. The hurricanes caused damage to livelihoods, healthcare services, schools and water supply systems with over a million people affected.

In South East Asia, which has seen much less media coverage, 41 million people have been affected by landslides and flooding across the region. 160 people have been killed in southern Nepal and in Bangladesh, 145 people have been killed, 100,000 houses ruined and 8 million affected. At the same time, Mexico is reeling from the earthquake in Chiapas State on the southern coast of Mexico, where 65 people have so far been reported dead.

When a disaster strikes, collaboration between business and humanitarian organisations is crucial to achieve a fast response and recovery, but if we wait until the disaster strikes to start this collaboration it could be too late. As BITC’s report Guidance for Business: Addressing International Disaster Relief and Resilience said ‘To make your business support for International Disaster Relief effective, planning in advance is key’. With this idea in mind we developed The Hub that will help you identify humanitarian organisations needs, giving you the opportunity to connect before a disaster and plan the conditions ahead. The Hub will also give you the opportunity to see businesses’ available resources and how they have previously responded to disasters – Read some examples on how BITC’s business members have partnered with humanitarian organisations to respond in the report on International Disaster Relief Business’ Unique Contributions II.

We know relief is not the only stage in the disaster management cycle where businesses and humanitarian organisations can partner to help communities in need. The preparedness stage is also a crucial stage to invest in order to reduce this risk of devastation as a result of a disaster. A recent blog by the START Network explores this idea, telling us about the Transforming Surge Capacity project that has rolled out a pilot led by ActionAid India, testing ways in which the private sector can support vulnerable communities in areas that are frequently hit by cyclones. With The Hub we want to achieve long-lasting relationships by strengthening both business to humanitarian, and business to business collaboration in every stage of the disaster cycle.

Default avatar Posted by
Laura Bengoa

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