Animal welfare at India's humanitarian summit
We attended the India Resilience Summit in New Delhi in March, to highlight the importance of including animals in humanitarian discussions and programmes
The summit on Monday March 12, 2018 was organised by Sphere India, a national coalition of humanitarian agencies, which promotes quality and accountability in humanitarian and disaster risk reduction (DRR) action.
Currently, animals are not considered as a priority in humanitarian discussions and programmes in India. We must actively and regularly participate in key humanitarian events like this, to highlight the importance of protecting animals in disasters.
Our recommendations for animals
Akash Maheshwari, our disaster veterinary officer, and representatives from Heifer International and The Donkey Sanctuary presented on the importance of animal protection in disasters. Over 200 participants attended, with emerging recommendations to be consulted on by the government in 2018.
Based on our presentation and the discussions, the group captured the following recommendations:
- animal protection to be integrated into disaster management policies, plans and programmes at all administrative levels
- animals to be a part of the larger humanitarian campaigns
- capacity building on managing animals before, during and post disasters
- a coalition to provide technical support in before, during and post disaster phases
- convergence of a national animal disease reporting system.
A positive platform for the future
These platforms provide the perfect opportunities to advocate for including animals in outcome documents and plans. These outcomes further help us to influence the humanitarian and government stakeholders who can commit resources and be responsible for protecting animals from future disasters.
The summit marked the launch of the Resilient India campaign. The Sphere India initiative aims to mobilise key stakeholders to build a disaster-resilient India. The outcome report, including our recommendations, will help guide humanitarian agencies and government to take appropriate action.