Caritas Sri Lanka Participates at the International Conference on Localizing Response to Humanitarian Need: The Role of Religious and Faith – based Organizations

Caritas Sri Lanka was one of several faith-based organizations (FBOs) who took part in a 3-day International Conference on “Localizing Response to Humanitarian Need: The Role of Religious and Faith – based Organizations” which was held at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, Colombo from 16th  – 19th October 2017. Representing Caritas was Mr. K. Theivendirarajah, Manager for Disaster Risk Reduction and Mr. Priyantha Fernando, Programme Officer, Social Justice & Sustainable Peace.

The Forum was organized by a coalition of several leading international organizations which included the Partnership for Faith & Development, CADENA, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities and Islamic Relief Worldwide. The Venerable Banagala Upatissa Thero and Rev. Ebenezer Joseph served as the Local Co-Chairs of the 3-day Forum at which over 140 participants representing 36 countries participated.The goals of the forum were:

(1). To provide a platform for diverse religious and faith based organizations to come together with secular  partners,(2). To showcase and critically reflect on their respective contributions to humanitarian preparedness, response and recovery in order to strengthen partnerships with local religious and FBO networks, improve delivery and scale up interventions,

The Forum had been designed as a peer – to – peer learning exchange rather than a traditional academic meeting, where participants contributed to six (6) thematic working groups – Conflict & Peacemaking; Disaster Response; Refugees & Forced Migration; Disaster Risk Reduction & Resilience; Gender based Violence and Children & Health. At the conclusion of the 3-day Forum, participants proposed a Call to Action, which included eighteen (18) high level Recommendations covering all six (6) thematic areas which could pave the way for effective and collaborative localized response to future humanitarian disasters.