The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, through its member societies and secretariat, has from day one mobilised its regional and international emergency response tools and mechanisms to support the Pakistan Red Crescent Society. We are committed to supporting the Pakistan Red Crescent in contributing to the long-term recovery and reconstruction effort and to engaging our partners in the recovery planning process.
From the start we have focused our operations on inaccessible areas. We believe that the Movement has reached a total of approximately 300,000 people affected by the earthquake. This has been achieved through the heroic efforts of more than 450 volunteers of the Pakistan RC supported by international staff brought in from elsewhere in South Asia and South East Asia, and further abroad.
The Federation will sustain the relief programme throughout the winter but also recognise that assistance programmes to affected populations must be underpinned by a longer term recovery perspectives that promotes the restoration or improvement of living conditions and the rebuilding and strengthening of community resilience. In the longer term it will be necessary to ensure that recovery programmes begin to address underlying vulnerability and the reduction of disaster risk.
Our programme is based on a number of operational guidelines and on the seven principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, as well as humanitarian community standards such as the Sphere standards and the Better Programme Initiative.
Focus on the most vulnerable - essential that programming be based on actual needs
Community emphasis and beneficiary choices - community voices must be heard in defining the right kind of assistance that meets their needs. This means we need solid community dialogue and with the opportunity for all vulnerable groups needs to be well understood.
Restore capacities and build resilience
To address specific issues: we are of the firm belief, based on our years of disaster response experience, that it is always better for people to remain where they are (on or close to their pre-earthquake property) rather than being relocated.
Our recovery program will address 3 lines:
- health interventions,
- shelter and
- food security & livelihoods.
The health interventions will support the medium-term strategy plan developed by NWFP Health Department. This focuses on ensuring survival throughout winter focusing on serve remote villages first, especially those soon cut off from any support possibilities during winter, and will be based on identified needs and gaps.
The International Federation shelter strategy recognises that successful sheltering is a holistic process and that the restoration of the homes of affected people is closely related to the restoration of their food security, employment and livelihoods, as well as their recovery from the loss and trauma caused by the earthquake.
Through the winter months, the Federation will
- continue to provide winterised tents; stoves and heaters and self-build, repair kits to more remote and hard-to-reach communities;
- support the strengthening of non-winterised shelters currently in use in more remote and hard-to-reach communities;
- support improvements to informal and spontaneous settlements. During and following the winter months, the Federation will support self-initiated rebuilding of homes and livelihoods. This may include activities to provide materials and tools, replace assets and generate income.
The Federation also recognises the importance of ensuring food security and restoring livelihoods. In the short period before snow intervenes the Federation will obviously focus on ensuring survival through the winter and this may be achieved through the provision of food, the provision of tools for the clearing up and recuperation of valuable material such as planks, logs, reinforced iron, cement rubble etc to be used in the reconstruction phases.
As the snow disappears, and access is improved to rural areas, the Federation will program will include: tool distribution for reconstruction linked with agricultural activities. This may be in the form of in-kind supplies, vouchers and or cash along with the provision of information on improved shock resisting construction; support to credit and micro credit schemes; targeted assistance for women; seed and tool distribution and asset recovery.
On financing: our emergency appeal calls for 152 million CHF (USD 117 million). At this stage our appeal is 63% covered. Although this has been an encouraging response it is far from being fully covered.
From the initial plans we have drafted for the recovery phase we foresee a 5 year engagement with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, with an estimated value of the programming at approx. 300 million CHF.
Our Provisional Framework for Earthquake Recovery, circulated here today, will be developed into a more substantive strategy and programme for the Federation and launched as an Appeal Extension during December this year.
We appreciate the support that has already been received both directly and through our National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and look forward to that support continuing.
Throughout this process we are fully committed to working with and supporting the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and their important volunteer network. Our support will include capacity building initiatives for the PRCS and ensuring that this National Society grows in its local and national strength to respond to terrible tragedies such as earthquakes, landslides and floods.
The International Federation has been working with the PRCS for many, many years through the best and worst of times addressing the needs of the most vulnerable communities in this country.
We remain committed to ongoing solidarity with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society and will be supporting to deliver the most effective relief and recovery programme for communities.