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Support to Aid
The importance of government leadership
In most cases it is vital that the government of the country concerned should coordinate the relief and development activities in its own country. This respects the sovereignty of the government, provided that it is a legitimate government. It is also usually improves the chances of the aid activity to succeed in the long term.
It is better to build up the capacity of a government to manage aid, relief and development efforts than to take over part of its coordination functions, even if in the short-term aid agencies might sometimes be able to perform those functions more efficiently.
That said, aid agencies can (and do) play a vital role in supporting government coordination, or filling a temporary gap in government capabilities, for example during an emergency or following long-term conflict.
If the government is not supporting the relief and development activities, then the coordinating role of UN and other international bodies becomes even more important and may need to take the initiative.
If the government attempts to interfere with important humanitarian principles, for example the allocation of aid on the basis of need alone, then humanitarian agencies will have the difficult task of showing respect for a sovereign government while remaining determined to uphold vital principles.
This page is meant to provide advice for partnering with local, regional and national governments. Like other AWN Advice pages, it is not be a comprehensive resource but, rather, a place that links to credible, practical organizations and resources related to the subject.
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