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Many religious institutions and faith-based NGOs (FBOs) have a unique comparative advantage in humanitarian contexts: they have an established relationship of trust and familiarity with local communities in which they are embedded. Due to their presence before a crisis they are often the first responders and key providers of assistance and protection during crises, and they will remain after international organizations leave. Utilizing their localized networks, resource mobilization, trust and influence with local communities and commitment to peace and dignity, they provide critical and sustainable contributions to all aspects of humanitarian response as well as subsequent development needs.
The Charter for Faith-Based Humanitarian Action was endorsed at the World Humanitarian Summit by more than 160 faith-based actors (FBOs and religious Leaders), representing all major faith traditions and different geographical regions. The charter presents concrete commitments from religious leaders and other humanitarian actors to increase the impact of faith-based actors in reducing humanitarian need and suffering, and to call for their inclusion within policy- and decision-making at all levels of humanitarian response.