World Disasters Report 2015 launched in Pakistan

Publié: 22 janvier 2016 9:32 CET

By Majda Shabbir, IFRC

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Pakistan recently launched the World Disasters Report 2015 in collaboration with the Pakistan Red Crescent. The 2015 Report calls for greater recognition and support for local humanitarian actors and examines the complexities and challenges local actors face in scaling up and sustaining their humanitarian response. It also highlights that although widely recognized, the effectiveness of local or national humanitarian organizations is not reflected in humanitarian financing or coordination structures.

Dr. Rizwan Naseer, Secretary General of Pakistan Red Crescent said there is an urgent need for a radical redefinition and reframing of what partnership with local responders means to adequately meet the complex, specific and changing nature of disasters, health crisis and conflicts. 

“The argument is not that local is better than international or vice versa, as the context determines what role each actor can play. What we need is a better understanding of how best to use existing capabilities to complement, not replace, one with the other,” Gorkhmaz Huseynov, the IFRC Head of Delegation in Pakistan said in his speech. “Investment in capacity development pays off in the long term where local actors are active in programme design and where cultural values are mixed with creative methods.”

The launch also provided a platform for a panel discussion where experts on the subject discussed the role of local actors in humanitarian effectiveness in the Pakistan context. The experts reiterated strengthening the local actors while keeping up with accountability and quality assurance that international actors operate on.

The panel included Ahmed Kamal from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Tahir Waqar from the National Rural Support Programme, George Khoury from UNOCHA, and Muhammad Amad from the National Humanitarian Network, and was moderated by Usman Qazi, who has more than 20 years of humanitarian experience in disaster risk reduction, response action and research.

The Chief Guest, Major General Asghar Nawaz who is Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, talked of the need to improve coordination and communication among various humanitarian actors working in the country. He highlighted that at policy level, the NDMA is ensuring appropriate measures to involve local actors while initiating disaster risk reduction endeavours.

A case study was also presented through a video of a Vocational Training Centre that the Pakistan Red Crescent has established in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with support from IFRC, which works on the same lines of engaging local actors in running the humanitarian operation effectively. The training centre is being used as a platform for communities to learn technical skills such as sewing, stitching, embroidery, and computer literacy, while also targeting the commercial sector by mass producing school uniforms and school and laptop bags to raise funds for their sustainability.

Dr Saeed Elahi, Chairman of Pakistan Red Crescent, concluded the launch by thanking all, saying that the Red Crescent, in collaboration with NDMA would be restructuring the National institute of Disaster Management, which will be housed at the Pakistan Red Crescent national headquarters in Islamabad to channel and train human resource for disaster management.

The launch was attended by representatives of Malaysian, French, China, Japanese, Austrian and Indonesian embassies, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), Unicef, World Food Program, UNOCHA, Riphah International University, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, alongside about 38 national and international humanitarian organisations. Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners present on the occasion included representatives from Pakistan Red Crescent, the International Committee of Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross, Danish Red Cross, German Red Cross, Iranian Red Crescent,  Norwegian Red Cross, and Turkish Red Crescent.