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Local people and organizations are often the fastest to react in a crisis – their local knowledge and ingenuity can save lives in an emergency, or find effective solutions to longer-term challenges. But local voices are often not given the attention they deserve in these situations – large international organizations often take priority over smaller local groups.
NEAR, the Network for Empowered Aid Response, has been created from the desire by local and national NGOs from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America to promote a more equitable and dignified humanitarian and development system. NEAR wants to see communities and local and national capacities at the centre of all aid efforts. It also provides a much-needed forum for local and national NGOs to influence the wider policies and practices that affect their capacities and operations and the wellbeing of communities.