Budapest, 27-28 May, 2002

Role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief


"Role of the Non-Governmental Organizations in Disaster Relief" conference was organized by the Quick Relief Foundation on 27-28 May 2002 in Budapest.

Representatives of international organizations, Hungary and other countries delivered presentations in plenary sessions. Following this, role of the civil organizations, local governments and monitoring systems in disaster relief was discussed in sections by the participants who represented — among others — the official Hungarian disaster management, the National Directorate General for Disaster Management, different ministries, the Hungarian Red Cross, the Voluntary Rescue Organizations, the charitable organizations of churches, different companies and local governments. Presentations were delivered by experts from the EU, UN, the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe, Finland, UK and Yugoslavia.

Main objective of the conference was to provide fora to discuss the role of the NGOs in disaster management and relief in Hungary and in the Central-Eastern European region. Its aim was also to highlight the fact that in order to increase effectiveness of the activity, cooperation is needed.

As a final conclusion it was drawn that in accordance with the requirements of the EU, UN and Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe, civil organizations should play more active role in disaster management and in disaster assistance provided for the population in a more organized way and possibly with the coordination of an "umbrella" NGO which cooperates closely with the official disaster management authorities. The Quick Relief Foundation indicated that it would undertake this task and would establish the technical conditions needed for the effective coordination with the assistance of the government.

At the conference, Mrs. Mónika Lamperth, Minister of the Interior delivered presentation and expounded that in the fulfilment of its tasks the Government has been regarding the civil organizations as strong, autonomous partners capable of making independent decisions. It considered the preparation of the population in disaster management important and has been supporting the participation of non-governmental organizations also in this. In cooperation with the Non-Governmental Organizations regional cooperation in disaster management should be strengthened. In accordance with the practice of the European Union, preparation and the strengthening of preparedness should be emphasized in disaster management.

By accepting this document, the conference declares that, as part of the preparation for the EU accession in the field of disaster management, all voluntary and civil organizations should strive to organize their activities taking into account the aforementioned thoughts.

Budapest, 28 May 2002

Participants of the conference
"Role of the Non-Governmental Organizations
in Disaster Relief"