Muslim Aid were present this morning at the launch of a new charity aiming to improve the response to UK disasters.
The launch of the National Emergencies Trust (NET) took place at London’s St Martin’s in the Fields with Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge alongside former Chief of the General Staff Lord Dannatt, now Chair of the NET.
"Whenever and wherever disaster strikes here in the UK, this country has a unique way of pulling together," Prince William said in his speech this morning.
"Many thanks to the whole team behind the Trust for all their hard work ahead of the launch. We all dread the day when you are needed. But I know that, like everyone here, I am glad that you now exist.”
The National Emergencies Trust was set up in the aftermath of several significant tragedies such as the Manchester terror attack and the Grenfell Tower fire, in response to the need for greater quality and coordination in the public and civil society response to major UK disasters.
Lord Dannatt said, “The British public has traditionally been enormously generous in response to such emergencies. But until now there has been no mechanism in place to co-ordinate the public response to domestic emergencies, both in terms of raising money and distributing it effectively.”
Muslim Aid were involved in the consultation on creating the NET. After being heavily involved in the response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, we have consistently argued for the role of voluntary and community organisations to be valued in domestic disaster relief.
Muslim Aid’s report on the strengths and weaknesses of the Grenfell response, “Mind the Gap”, has contributed to government planning, and elsewhere, the organisation has a memorandum of understanding with the London Borough of Islington on its role in emergency response.
Jehangir Malik OBE, Muslim Aid’s chief executive officer, sits on the board of the NET. Commenting on the launch, he said: “I am proud to support the establishment of the National Emergencies Trust, which will enable organisations to pool expertise and resources well and swiftly when responding to serious domestic incidents.”
“As an organisation that has responded to disasters both at home and overseas, we value the importance of spaces for humanitarians to coordinate their efforts, and where community and civil society organisations inform and shape the assistance that is given when disaster strikes.”