Marvin Parvez is the Regional Director of Community World Service Asia. As the current situation is unprecedented, he calls for ACT Alliance to be a role model to other networks, and advocates for a united, coordinated alliance.
“In Pakistan and Afghanistan, three ACT-members have been active since the Afghan refugee crisis in the eighties: Christian Aid, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and CWS Asia. We have partnered since 1980 to provide assistance to the refugees who were all over Pakistan and were involved in cross-border work. Since the beginning, we have been coordinating and partnering very closely. And in the Corona crisis, too, even though both countries do not have functional forums, the three of us have been in contact from day one, exchanging information, sharing resources, and meeting almost weekly to stay in touch, update each other, and jointly keep the secretariat informed.
“I think this is an emergency that requires that we all work together. We really have to join hands. It’s an unprecedented challenge to us, and so we have to collaborate in order to respond and to assist communities in distress. It’s also a time where ACT Alliance needs to mobilize its members for this global pandemic and I would really advocate that we should be able to assist the global appeal which is again unprecedented.”
A coordinated response will be an effective response
“I really want to motivate, shake and challenge our own alliance: all forum members, our regional offices and forums, to cooperate very closely, to share information and to work in a coordinated fashion. It’s the number one requirement. A coordinated response will be an effective response. That’s what I belief after my last 28 years of working in this field. Unilateralism, working in isolation, will not be effective at all. It will actually be counterproductive.
“I think our regional, our national forums are suitable to this kind of response. We just all need to participate. As I mentioned, there is no forum in Pakistan. But NCA, Christian Aid and we have been in touch from day one. That spirit needs to be there, that element of cooperation, collaboration, complementing each other as we try to assist communities in distress. And I see that happening and I do hope that we will all encourage this more, as it’s going to be very important during this emergency.
“All over the world, we see people who are very quick to blame somebody else rather than to focus the energies and time on building co-operation and collaboration, moving forward in addressing this global challenge. I see a very divided world. And that’s why I’m advocating for a united, coordinated alliance. ACT Alliance needs to be a role-model right now to other networks, other countries, to leadership. We need to show them how this works.
“I hope that cooperation is contagious.”