Sitting alongside a distinguished panel, including Anna Law, Programme & Policy Officer of the UN Word Food Programme (WFP), Junichi Hirano, Deputy Director of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Meimei Leung, Humanitarian Emergency Affairs Director for the East Asia Region of World Vision International, Marko also discussed the ‘accountability for shifting from disaster response to community development’.
He shared findings from a ‘Save the Children’ Report*, which cites that 99% of all children living in emergencies and protracted crisis list ‘education as their biggest priority’, and began with a thought provoking question by asking delegates in filled UN auditorium ‘who is really accountable to these children’ and ‘how do we measure our effectiveness of reaching them’.
After sharing an introduction to FundLife and some of the organisations work with UNICEF in the Philippines, Marko again engaged the audience by asking ‘if we all agree that the systems we have been using have not sufficiently allowed us to respond to the real-time need of post-disaster communities.
The core focus of the short presentation was to provoke the esteemed audience to consider the long-term goal of responding to an emergency before the short-term measurements. To illustrate this, Marko made reference to the ‘Build Back Better’ framework by concluding that ‘if conditions before the emergency were such that children were undereducated and marginalised, then we should be asking organisations ‘to build back smarter’ and improve the conditions that are not working.
Indeed, while the paramount need is immediate relief and recovery to communities after emergencies, we must remember that children who live in extreme and acute poverty are living in a perpetual emergency, which simply cannot be ignored. ~