In a hearing session on humanitarian aid management in Gaza,
All civil society organisations and community initiatives underscore the importance of commitment to the values of integrity and transparency in humanitarian aid distribution
Gaza – The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN) held a hearing session on humanitarian aid management. The event brought together AMAN’s partner civil society organisations in the Clean Hands Campaign, as well as relevant actors mainly involved in promoting control of humanitarian aid distribution.
Need for concerted efforts to consolidate and validate data and lists of aid beneficiaries
The session underlined importance of the disclosure of all information on aid collection and distribution, conditions and criteria for aid distribution by group, and engagement of civil society. In addition to handling citizens’ complaints, the mechanism for coordination with the Ramallah-based Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) needs to be consolidated to ensure data validation. Within this framework, AMAN recommended that a mechanism be in place to promote the engagement of all civil society organisations and community initiatives to concert efforts in cross-checking lists of aid beneficiaries. The MoSD will be committed to enabling, facilitating, and coordinating with civil society and community actors.
Mr. Osama Sharaf, Director of the MoSD Association and Local Community Development Unit, provided a review of the MoSD aid management procedures. Mr. Sharaf presented on the key criteria and principles approved and streamlined by the MoSD to ensure impartial and transparent aid distribution. According to Mr. Sharaf, since 2013, the Ministry has designed the Charity Platform, a consolidated data programme for recipients of humanitarian assistance. He also called on all institutions and actors providing assistance to register lists of beneficiaries by type, nature, and provider, as well as candidates for assistance. This would consolidate data, facilitate the performance of validation checks on lists, create an enabling environment to strengthen the integrity of aid distribution, and prevent duplicity and any opportunities of corrupt management and provision.
Cooperation to overcome challenges to control of aid distribution
Mr. Sharaf indicated that the MoSD is the competent technical ministry in the Gaza Strip. An overall challenge is posed by control of all activities of associations, particularly the obligation to make data publicly available. Legally, the MoSD cannot require that unregulated civil society organisations and individual initiatives, which are triggered by voluntary efforts and involved in aid provision, to exercise control over this aid. However, on its organisational structure, the Ministry has created a Social Initiatives Section to facilitate effective coordination between the MoSD and these initiatives.
A code of ethics for aid providers
Participants unanimously identified the need to develop a code of ethics for aid providers. To be compiled by AMAN jointly with partner institutions, the code of ethics will be adopted and applied by the MoSD. After training is provided to the MoSD staff, the code will be rolled out to aid institutions.