CONCLUSION SIXAbsence of local funding
Communities at risk of disasters are not able to directly access funds to build their own resilience.
8 out of 10 community members say they can’t access funds or that access is extremely limited.
Most community members can’t access funds for risk reduction activities at the local level.
National government structures don’t allow for disaster risk reduction funding to be devolved and distributed at the local level, despite commitments to work directly with community level actors.
Where disaster risk reduction budgets are allocated to local governments, they often lack the professional competencies and resources to effectively distribute and make use of the funds.
All major international agreements since 2015 have highlighted the vital role of local people and organisations in delivering change.5, 6, 7
Governments and international organisations have repeatedly pledged to channel a larger share of resources to local actors for humanitarian response. And they’re falling drastically short on these commitments.
It’s no wonder that nearly 80% of community members say they can’t access funds or that access is extremely limited.
Many communities in Asia feel they have better access compared to other parts of the world. Interestingly, the 2016 Asia Action Plan for DRR8 puts a strong emphasis on local level engagement. Three years on, this may have influenced national governments to ensure that communities are informed and engaged in resilience building activities.
Why do so many Views from the Frontline respondents say they cannot access financial resources? One factor is that national government structures don’t allow for disaster risk reduction funding to be devolved and distributed at the local level.
Where disaster risk reduction budgets are allocated to local governments, they often lack the competencies and resources to effectively distribute budgets.
For example, Nepal’s legislation around disaster risk reduction allows for ample allocation of budget to the local level, for local resilience building. But Views from the Frontline data shows that communities still don’t feel they have access to this budget.
Increasing the capacity of local governments to utilise and distribute budget may help change community perceptions.
In contrast, in Indonesia, 60% of community members say they have some access to local resources.
References and photos
Photo (top): Bimala fixes a unit containing medicines to all wall in order to reduce damage during earthquakes. She is part of a group of local women that have undertaken training in non-structural earthquake mitigation in Chandragiri, a suburb of Kathmandu, Nepal. Credit: Lambert Coleman/GNDR
Photo and quote (above): Erijah Sabuka, 24, lives in Namwongo, Kampala. He makes a living by collecting and selling scrap from the community. He says: “Community members see us scrap collectors as hopeless people because they think our job cannot help us pay school fees and buy food. Yet we have benefited a lot from it, by recycling the collected scrap.” He says funds provided at a local level would enable him to start his own business and increase his income. Credit: Jjumba Martin/GNDR
5 Sendai Framework for DRR, Guiding Principle 19(f): “While the enabling, guiding and coordinating role of national and federal State Governments remain essential, it is necessary to empower local authorities and local communities to reduce disaster risk, including through resources, incentives and decision-making responsibilities, as appropriate”
6 Paris Agreement, Article 7.5: “Parties acknowledge that adaptation action should follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems, and should be based on and guided by the best available science and, as appropriate, traditional knowledge, knowledge of indigenous peoples and local knowledge systems, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant socioeconomic and environmental policies and actions, where appropriate.”
7 Agenda 2030, Para 34: “[…] We will work with local authorities and communities to renew and plan our cities and human settlements so as to foster community cohesion and personal security and to stimulate innovation and employment […]”