The Caritas Africa Forum met for second day in Nairobi, Kenya to look at better coordination, communication, and capacity building.
The morning session again focused on humanitarian response. Matthew Carter of Caritas England and Wales (CAFOD) spoke about the need for Caritas members to prepare the communities that they work in for disasters.
He spoke about the dramatic increase in the number of disasters over the last 30 years and how over the last decade crises have been affecting more and more people.
Matthew Carter said that many lives could have been saved had straight forward measures been taken. Earthquake resistant houses in China or an early warning system for coastal areas of Myanmar could have saved lives.
He said there is a need to focus on vulnerability. The poor are more vulnerable to emergencies and are vulnerable in different ways. Helping the vulnerable prepare for disasters is about partnership, local capacity, and making links between communities.
One of the participants said disaster preparedness programmes must be like an artichoke – at its heart is people who must own them.
Other contributions pointed to the need to reverse funds, to exchange ideas such as drought resistant crops and to strengthen the Caritas intervention.