Local authorities have been asserting themselves gradually as full participants in humanitarian and development aid. Their margin of action in the primary domain where responsiveness is at a premium, however, is constrained by administrative procedural rigidity.
Communities act either by paying contributions to the state (support funds), grants to international solidarity associations, or through partnerships (decentralized cooperation).
Currently, no statistics accurately assess the financial contributions paid in one year by local authorities to show their solidarity with the victims of a natural disasters or conflict. In contrast, decentralized cooperation actions are better known. 4789 French local authorities (regions, departments, municipalities, and intercommunal structures) are currently engaged in 12,000 decentralized cooperation projects, distributed throughout 141 countries.
The motives are political (convergence), economic (promoting local businesses, integration into a local development policy), social (mobilizing goals, presence of a strong community from that country), strictly humanitarian (emotional response), historic (long-standing linkages with the community affected by a tragedy).
Publication Date : March 7, 2011