The event was attended by the Rt Hon Desmond Swayne MP, Minister of State at the Department for International Development. While referring to Muslim Aid’s work in the impoverished parts of the world, he said: “I appreciate the work that you do. I recognize that your strength comes from your faith and your faithfulness. You have a reach and permission which secular organisations simply cannot match. I have seen fantastic inspirational young people go to remote parts of Kenya and Pakistan to deliver vital maternal healthcare unless, they were the people of Muslim faith they would simply not be able to do that so we need you”.
Amongst the three speakers on the panel were Dr. Randolph Kent, a visiting Senior Research Fellow at King’s College. He gave an overview of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the effect of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in fragile states. He said “All of us need to start looking at sustainable development in a holistic way. It can’t be just United Nations parts; it has to be something that transcendence globally in institutions and vision. A part of the goals will have to take into consideration whole new dimensions of vulnerability and risk, structural innovation and institutional coherence”.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Hamid Azad, the CEO of Muslim Aid reviewed the shortcomings of the Millennium Development Goals and how global humanitarian agencies can facilitate development organisations in contributing towards Sustainable Development Goals. He said: “One of the biggest impediments faced by non-governmental organisations is the political instability and state’s unwillingness to support them to achieve development goals more efficiently. This is where the global agencies can negotiate and pave paths for the development organisations to assist the local communities. Without appropriate financial, human and technical resources, development organisations are the risk of failing to attain Sustainable Development Goals post 2015. Investing in development organisations is the key to achieve our common goals.”
While presenting case studies and empirical evidences of Muslim Aid’s successful sustainable projects in fragile states, Mr Imtiaz Mohamed, Head of Overseas Department said: “For us to translate the international commitments like Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals into action on the ground, we need support and space that allows us to do our work”.
Rehman Chisiti mentioned Muslim Aid’s Warm Heart Campaign in the UK and said “what you do here in this country is immense. It shows that you not only look after people around the world but equally help the most vulnerable here in this country”.
The panel discussion was followed by a question and answers session. The event highlighted some of the key challenges faced by international humanitarian organisations in implementing development projects in fragile states.