Islamic Relief has underscored its commitment to empowering local NGOs in a powerful pledge announced last week.

The Charter for Change pushes for a fundamental shift in the humanitarian system, toward locally-driven interventions. As signatories to the Charter, Islamic Relief is throwing its weight behind a movement to build the capacity of local humanitarian actors, to recognise the important role they play, as well as to increase transparency within the sector.

Local humanitarian actors are on the frontline in times of humanitarian crisis, and are often the first to respond to disasters. Islamic Relief is already making headway in localising humanitarian interventions, and strives to achieve even more in future.

The eight-point Charter builds on discussions during the World Humanitarian Summit consultation process, urging international NGOs to increase direct funding to local humanitarian organisations. By signing the Charter, Islamic Relief has pledged to allocate at least 20 per cent of its own funding to southern-based NGOs by May 2018.

Islamic Relief’s first regional office, which brings us closer to the communities we serve in East Africa, aims to harness local knowledge and expertise and build capacity. We also actively build civil society capacity around the world as co-owners of the influential International Civil Society Centre (ICSC).