human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

Humanitarian capacity building

Empowering local actors


When an emergency occurs, local actors are on the frontline and often the best placed to be the first to respond. However, to do so, they need to be well prepared. There needs to be mechanisms in place that trigger a fast and effective reaction.

Among the 49 members of Caritas Europa, there is huge capacity and competence to respond to humanitarian needs. It is essential that this capacity and competence reach those countries, and particularly the areas and communities, that are most exposed to natural or man-made disasters.

Ultimately, strengthening capacities in humanitarian action is key to save lives and rebuild communities.

Why do we need this?

We need to build Caritas organisations’ humanitarian aid capacities so that they can serve quickly and effectively those who are affected by a disaster, be it big or small.

We need to spread know how to ensure that local communities are equipped in terms of tools and standards when an emergency occurs.

We need to invest in preparedness and disaster risk reduction in order to reduce damage, exposure to hazards and vulnerability of people.

We also need to build capacities to respond to international commitments taken during the first World Humanitarian Summit of 2016, where the Grand Bargain was signed with the aim of improving the financing and delivery of humanitarian assistance. In this context, strengthening the capacities of local actors falls within the scope of the localisation agenda, which seeks to support, as directly as possible, those who are impacted by humanitarian crises.

How does it work?

Caritas Europa undertakes different actions in terms of capacity building in the field of humanitarian aid.

A dedicated task force has mapped available online trainings and publications issued in the Caritas network, to give basic tools for humanitarian staff.

A two-year Humanitarian Aid Learning Path is offered to staff of Caritas organisations to strengthen their personal, organisational and networking capacities in specific areas of humanitarian action.

A programme falling under the EU Aid Volunteers aims to provide technical assistance in the field of volunteers’ management and Core Humanitarian Standards in order to make European organisations stronger and better prepared.

As part of Caritas Internationalis, Caritas Europa offers effective tools and mechanisms that enable a rapid and effective response in case of small, medium and big crises.