Australian aid and development agencies today announced the launch of one of the world’s largest international relief and development alliances.
The new ACT Alliance will deliver AUD $1.6 billion in aid each year to combat poverty, injustice, and human rights abuses, and also provide support in the wake of emergencies.
ACT Alliance is made up of 100 organisations from across the globe working in 125 countries with people of all faiths for positive and sustainable change. ACT Alliance members work to provide emergency food aid, shelter, water and sanitation facilities, and community-based development programs in some of the world’s poorest countries.
The alliance brings together ACT International, which has been working in emergency relief since 1995, and ACT Development, a grouping of agencies formed in 2007 to work on long-term development.
ACT Alliance General Secretary John Nduna said: “The membership of the ACT Alliance is wide, in every part of the world. Almost everywhere we have churches, we have ACT.
“We are big and we make an impact on the lives of the poorest in societies around the world.”
The alliance was announced in Australia by its Australian members: Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia; AngliCORD, an overseas relief and development agency of the Anglican Church of Australia; and Australian Lutheran World Service, the overseas aid agency of the Lutheran Church of Australia.
Alistair Gee, Executive Director of Act for Peace, said: “This unique alliance will allow us as Australian aid agencies to make a more focused and efficient response to emergencies when they occur. This launch heralds a new era of collaboration, partnership and dedicated action in support of the world’s most marginalised and poor people.”
AngliCORD CEO Misha Coleman said: “Through this alliance we will respond to emergencies more quickly, at lower cost, and in a more coordinated way than ever before. As Australian agencies we are proud to be at the heart of one of the world’s largest aid alliances.”
Australian Lutheran World Service Executive Secretary, Peter Schirmer, added: “The ACT Alliance represents a commitment by churches and church-based agencies to ‘get their act together’ in responding to disasters and fighting against the scourge of global poverty. The Australian and NZ ACT partners will play an active role in the alliance, as well as being able to benefit from their participation in it.”
Supported by its Australian members, ACT Alliance has been at the forefront of life-restoring work in Haiti since the massive earthquake hit Port-au-Prince on 12 January this year.
On that day, nine ACT organisations were operating in Haiti and were able to swing into relief efforts immediately. Act for Peace, AngliCORD and Australian Lutheran World Service have all provided financial support for the work of their ACT partners in Haiti.
Act for Peace, AngliCORD and Australian Lutheran World Service already support vital life-saving and life changing work in numerous countries around the world and with the creation of the ACT Alliance, can achieve even more by working with other ACT members.