The Norwegian Church aid (NCA) works to secure safe water and better sanitarian- and hygiene conditions in vulnerable areas. The organization works in 12 countries with long-term WASH-programs, and with WASH in emergency situations. NCA have an ambition to build up their capacity on WASH in emergency situations in and outside of key countries, and wish to build a stronger cooperation with UNICEF and UNHCR.
NCA were recently in Geneva to discuss how they can support UNHCR’s work in Gambela, Ethiopia, where the number of South Sudanese refugees seeking refuge is increasing. NCA has during their visit in Geneva discussed the new initiative on emergency response within WASH with their sister organization, The Lutheran World Federation, and other members in the ACT alliance. NCA has also discussed the coordination mechanisms and training resources with UNICEF and UNOCHA.
- NCA is told from various stakeholders that the combination of being an organization that works both long-term and with emergency relief is sought, since one sees that there will be a gap for emergency responses and a need for the reconstruction phase to be strengthened and given priority. There is an expectation that the NCA will contribute in both phases; emergency relief and WASH, and in the recovery period, says Secretary General of the NCA Anne Marie Helland.
- We also hear from the UN organization that they want seconding of WASH personnel to the United Nations, continues Helland.
NCA says that one of the challenges is to ensure enough qualified personnel to WASH related work. WASH engineers are in demand on the job market in Norway, and NCA will make an effort in 2014 to recruit more members to their WASH roster.
NCA thanks the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their great support. With a framework agreement signed in 2013 for three years, NCA received several emergency response resources so that they now can emerge as a predictable partner in emergency response for the UN, and also contribute as an active partner in the important coordination-work in the global WASH cluster. NOREPS cooperation is also a pillar of the NCA WASH response and makes NCA prepared to respond with available equipment.
Read more about the WASH program here.