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Newly-nominated Sphere focal points to spread awareness on humanitarian standards in China and Germany

Nanchong Relief Group in SPHERE training facilitated by Showyou (Benevolence Group), Focal Point in Mainland China

Two new focal points have recently joined the ranks of the Sphere network, making it a 54 members strong global community of practitioners engaged in the promotion of humanitarian standards.

The focal points will expand the reach of Sphere’s activities into China and Germany – running Sphere trainings, strengthening the local network, spreading awareness on humanitarian standards, and more generally improving the quality and accountability of the local disaster response systems.

The Benevolence Standards Working Group was recognized in January as Sphere’s focal point in mainland China. The Group, which is itself a coalition of four organizations (the Amity FoundationShowyou, The Disaster Relief Committee, and Zhuoming Information Aid), was founded to create a common language and reference system around disaster relief coordination in the country. Working closely with two existing Chinese focal points, both based in Hong Kong, it will promote the contextualization and local application of humanitarian standards. (Nanchong Relief Group in SPHERE training facilitated by Showyou (Benevolence Group), Focal Point in Mainland China)

The new addition to the Sphere network in Germany responds to a strong need for increased Quality & Accountability advocacy in Europe, particularly in the context of the current refugee crisis. Germany’s newly-nominated focal point is a group of three experienced Sphere trainers: Dr. Markus Moke of Aktion Deutschland Hilft (AHD), Axel Schmidt of Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Deutschland (ASB), and Dr. Oliver Hoffmann of Johanniter International Assistance (JUH). A long-time Sphere partner organization, ADH coordinated the translation of the Sphere Handbook into German in 2011.

The Sphere network currently spans 48 countries, where focal points and trainers advocate for the implementation of Sphere principles and values within the humanitarian community.