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Many people around the world increasingly find themselves in fragile living situations. Fragmented societies constitute an unstable environment, climate change aggravates crises, and disasters bring about new ones. Caritas supports communities in humanitarian crisis situations. We provide everyday necessities, cash and services. We invest in the construction, repair and reconstruction of temporary and permanent housing and public infrastructure. In many places, permanent solutions are elusive. In such situations, it is necessary to preserve a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian space, in order to show humanity, save lives and alleviate suffering.
Caritas considers a humanitarian crisis as a situation in which people are faced with an emergency that threatens their survival, and which neither the state nor society can or will alleviate at that point in time, nor in the foreseeable future. Humanitarian activities comprise emergency relief and activities for reconstruction.
People’s self-determination must be made possible and promoted even when they receive aid in an emergency situation. The aim is to preserve the dignity of people, to meet basic needs, strengthen resilience and ultimately increase equality of opportunity.
Caritas Switzerland’s emergency and reconstruction projects are located in the three themes of migration, income and climate, to enable a better integration after disasters or in protracted crises. Caritas Switzerland places great value on the nexus and its systematic implementation in programmes and structures. Correspondingly, Caritas Switzerland always takes account of the close connection between humanitarian aid and development cooperation.
Caritas Switzerland is looking closely at the question of how partnerships and networks can be maintained in fragile regions and projects implemented. It also examines how mechanisms of early warning, disaster preparedness and project implementation can be developed in countries where Caritas Switzerland is not yet present with an office.