The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees hopes its annual consultations with non-governmental organizations would lead to more concrete proposals on how to strengthen the role of its national NGO partners, agency officials said at this year’s meeting in Geneva.
“National partners are the frontline of any operation,” said Bernie Doyle, head of UNHCR’s inter-agency unit. “We’re trying to enhance our partnership, but not in the sense of them as implementing partners and us as the controlling element, but more to help them do what they are already doing, which is helping their friends and neighbours whenever a disaster strikes.”
Daisy Dell, director of UNHCR’s Division of External Relations, said attendance at the annual gathering showed how important national NGOs are to the agency.
“This year, 50 per cent of the organizations attending these consultations are national partners. Indeed, out 206 organizations that have registered for the 2010 consultations, 104 are national partners,” she told Reuters.
The gathering, which runs from June 29-July 1 in Geneva, tackles statelessness, urban refugees, sexual abuse and exploitation, the plight of internally displaced people, and xenophobia. More than 380 participants from 206 organizations are attending the event.