The bank for a changing world

CARE France : Meet with Maïlys Bernadet, Head of Corporate Partnerships

  • 25.08.2016

Each year, World Humanitarian Day offers an opportunity to pay tribute to humanitarian aid workers and the essential work they do around the world in providing relief during during one-off as well as long-term emergencies. We meet with Maïlys Bernadet, Head of Corporate Partnerships at CARE France who presents the NGO, its vision, organization and her take on the partnership with BNP Paribas, through the Rescue & Recover Fund.

Tell us about CARE France.

 CARE  is one of the world’s largest international solidarity networks. Our goal is to combat extreme poverty by attacking its structural causes: lack of economic opportunity, food security, access to education, healthcare, climate change, etc. 

Every year, we support some 72 million people through our long-term development projects and disaster relief efforts. To ensure the viability of our projects, each one is  planned and carried out by teams of local residents in countries where we operate, in partnership with all local communities. The challenge is to get everyone on board, especially women, who are the first victims of poverty and discrimination. Our role also involves defending human rights and thereby improving women’s rights. 

World Humanitarian Day took place on August 19. What does the event represent for you?

This type of event helps draw attention to disasters and conflicts currently afflicting global populations. For us, it’s a chance to shift the focus back to certain “forgotten crises” that we no longer talk about despite the crucial needs they represent. Unfortunately, one day is nowhere near enough to bring about any substantial change. We know that we need long-term action and, above all, a strong commitment from everyone involved. 

Copyright Photo : Cyril Le Tourneur // Ruhani KAUR // CARE

What major commitments have you pursued in 2015 and 2016?

Humanitarian crises are unfortunately growing at an alarming rate. As a result, we are mobilized across each and every continent.  

Certain crises extend over several years. Humanitarian needs are only increasing in certain countries, exhausting the resilience of local populations. That’s why we have continued our support for millions of people affected by the Syrian civil war, both within the country and in neighboring states. We deliver emergency aid and put pressure on the international community to take action against the mounting human rights violations occurring inside Syria

More broadly, CARE supports refugees coming from any country. We have taken several emergency actions within Europe, both along the Balkan route and in Greece: distributing food and water, blankets, improving sanitary measures at camps, etc. 

It is equally important for us to mention forgotten crises, such as South Sudan where more than 5 million people need emergency aid following over three years of war. The situation has become even more dire as a new round of violence ignited in early July. 

We also take action during natural disasters, such as the earthquakes in Nepal and Ecuador, and recurring emergencies like El Niño, which will impact more than 60 million people around the world this year. Populations in southern Africa, for example, are facing the worst drought in 35 years. Many people have absolutely nothing to eat due to failed crops. They are scraping by on only leaves and wild berries. 

Humanitarian crises are unfortunately growing at an alarming rate. As a result, we are mobilized across each and every continent.

You receive support from the BNP Paribas Rescue & Recover Fund. What does that represent for you?

For us, the partnership is essential because of its reactivity. Emergency aid requires fast action! 

It also represents reliable support, delivered over time, and a team that is available to listen to our needs, while understanding our work and priorities. We have forged a relationship built on trust with the fund managers. We see it as a successful commitment and we hope others will replicate the model. 

Funds raised by the Rescue & Recover Fund are distributed to its three partner associations. Do you stay in contact or coordinate actions with the 2 others associations?

We know each other, of course. Our methods of action are different and complementary. That fact allows us to cover more needs: health, food, etc.  

During large-scale disasters, there is a system in place to coordinate the efforts of the different associations. The OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Actions of the United Nations) carries out this task. 

What are you hoping to accomplish at this year’s World Humanitarian Day and throughout the rest of 2016?

The number of people impacted by humanitarian crises continues to rise: 130 million in 2015. Mobilizing the efforts of everyone involved is essential for improving the situation: international organizations, donors, media, public authorities, etc. 

Financial concerns are obviously of crucial importance for our actions. We want to extend our thanks to all those who support us. We hope that their precious generosity will continue throughout the years to come, because it is only through their help that we can deliver aid to those who need it most.