VOICE stands for “Voluntary Organisations in Cooperation in Emergencies” and it is an NGO network promoting effective humanitarian aid worldwide since 1992. VOICE is the main NGO interlocutor with the European Union on emergency aid and disaster risk reduction, and it promotes the values of its 87 member organisations.
VOICE members are active in different sectors of humanitarian aid (such as food and nutrition, health, water and sanitation, shelter, aid to refugees and internally displaced people) in all countries affected by natural disasters, armed conflicts and emergency situations. Most VOICE members have a framework partnership agreement with the Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission (DG ECHO). These organisations are dedicated to practicing good humanitarian aid and saving lives.
Humanitarian aid is intended to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity during and after man-made crises and disasters caused by natural hazards, as well as to prevent and strengthen preparedness for when such situations occur.
VOICE member organisations share similar core values and strive:
- To save lives and prevent suffering
- To respond in a swift and timely manner to humanitarian crises
- To base their interventions on international humanitarian law and principles, such as impartiality and independence
- To follow the relevant codes of conduct and best practices
- To have high quality standards of professionalism and expertise
- To have a participative approach with their local partners in the regions of intervention
- To view the emergency intervention in the light of future sustainable recovery and development
For the past years, VOICE has been working with its member organisations to embed these principles in humanitarian policy at EU level, and present humanitarian NGO perspectives on EU policies having an impact on the EU’s humanitarian aid. For instance, VOICE establishes common positions through working groups such as the FPA Watch Group, which was one of the first official bodies for dialogue with the European Institutions.