‘United for a Cause’ Conference – Establishment of a Corporate Secretariat
8 November 2010

The United Nations (UN), the Provincial Disaster Management Authority Sindh (PDMA), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), JS Bank and The Mahvash & Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation (MJSF) held a joint Conference at Mohatta Palace Museum focused on developing coordinated strategies to address humanitarian needs of flood hit communities.
Present at the conference were delegates from UN agencies such as, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), IOM, UN Habitat for Humanity, the World Food Program (WFP), along with representatives from major corporations, government agencies, foundations and the media.
The conference provided a comprehensive update on the current situation of areas affected by the floods, highlighted a few best practices of private and public partnerships in action to address key needs and discussed ideas for rehabilitation efforts.
Speaking at the conference, Manuel Bessler, Head of UN OCHA in Pakistan said “We need all hands on deck to respond in a timely and effective manner to growing humanitarian needs.  Therefore, the UN and its partners have a keen interest in fostering public private partnerships to further humanitarian action.”
Mr. Saleh Farooqui, Director General of PDMA Sindh added, “We are appealing for everyone to work together to ensure effective management of resources at a government and a non-government level for the benefit of the flood effected people.”
The conference served also as a platform for launching the concept of a Corporate Secretariat, a collaborative initiative aimed at maximizing the impact donors can make by channeling their support towards identified humanitarian needs and accelerating resource mobilization.
Such a forum would provide access to UN and government expertise and best practices.  As opportunities are identified factual data would be provided to guide decisions, design templates and implement ideas as well as facilitate logistical support.
Speaking on behalf of the Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation, Mr. Ali Jehangir Siddiqui commented, “Less than 150 kilometers from Karachi the areas are still flood ravaged. Rehabilitation will require a broad-based coordinated effort well into the future.  Partnering with the local authorities and UN agencies has been key to effectively delivering relief.  We hope the Corporate Secretariat will engage other donors to leverage these resources and fill key gaps within the current humanitarian efforts”