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With the scale of humanitarian need fast outpacing the ability of traditional actors to respond, it is more important than ever to engage the private sector in addressing crises. The potential for the business sector to collaborate with the international community is vast and while businesses are already making significant contributions, there are still many opportunities to expand the impact.
The Connecting Business initiative (CBi) is a multi-stakeholder initiative that provides a mechanism for the private sector to engage with the United Nations system, national governments and civil society in a coordinated manner on disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness, response and recovery.
The initiative coordinates and facilitates access to tools, resources and mechanisms that enable businesses to strategically engage before, during and after crises. CBi supports 13 private sector networks around the world: in Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Haiti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Nigeria, Pacific, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Vanuatu and continues to expand. Together these networks represent more than 1,500 companies and reach over 40,000 SMEs. The networks collaborate with governments, NGOs and international actors at regional, national and local levels. By working together with the private sector and supporting these networks, CBi aims to strengthen strategic engagement of the private sector in disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness, response and recovery at societal, sectoral and company level, and connect the them with national, regional and international coordination structures.