Founded in 1933, at the suggestion of Albert Einstein, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a global leader in emergency relief, rehabilitation, protection of human rights, post-conflict development resettlement and advocacy for those affected by violent conflict and oppression. At work in over 40 countries, the IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives, and restore safety, dignity and hope. The IRC leads the way from harm to home. The IRC headquarters is located in New York City, and administratively, its programs are managed through 22 regional US offices, 27 country program offices and 15 surge project offices. Over 8,800 highly skilled and professional staff members work for the IRC.
The IRC has been implementing humanitarian programs in Afghanistan since July 2010. IRC Afghanistan has been working in emergency response since its establishment and has amassed a wealth of technical knowledge, skills and experience to effectively respond rapidly and effectively in emergencies. To date, the IRC has assisted over 44,691 families (315,994 individual beneficiaries) in seven provinces of Afghanistan through humanitarian emergency response programs by distributing relief materials including NFI kits, hygiene kits, emergency latrine kits, emergency shelters, hygiene promotion and water trucking.
1. THE PROJECT
1.1 Project Background, Goal and Objectives
I. Project Background:
Afghanistan is not only a country that has suffered from wars and conflicts; it is also a country prone to earthquakes, avalanches, floods and drought, and its human development index (HDI) is one of the lowest in the world. Partly because of its mountain ranges, the country is also hindered by lack of transport which results in some of the most isolated villages in the world. Nearly half of Afghanistan‘s 400 districts are hazard-prone and 250,000 Afghans are affected by natural disasters every year. Chronically poor and conflict-ridden communities are so vulnerable that even small-scale natural hazards can have a devastating effect on people’s lives. The country faces frequent floods during spring and summer when snow begins to melt and rainfall is heavy. Afghanistan is located in a zone of high-seismic activity; it is 12th on the seismic risk index, 22nd on the drought risk index and 24th on the flood risk index. Afghanistan's 2003 National Disaster Management Plan stresses the need to work closely with communities; therefore the project will provide an entry point for community-level action. DRR-aware communities will be in a better position to engage with local government structures in the development of local disaster management plans. In view of the above, the major goal of the project is to support the development of disaster-resilient communities across Afghanistan.
II. Project Goal: To mitigate the effects of acute natural and conflict disasters on populations in eight target provinces through emergency response and disaster risk reduction preparedness, including developing organizational and technical capacities of provincial authorities and communities to respond effectively to emergencies.
III. Project Objectives:
Ø To respond to the urgent NFI needs of crisis-affected populations in an effective and coordinated manner.
Ø To respond to the urgent emergency shelter needs of crisis-affected populations in an effective and coordinated manner.
Ø To build self-reliance of communities to mitigate risks of and respond to natural and man-made disaster.
Ø To respond to urgent hygiene and sanitation needs of crisis-affected populations in an effective and coordinated manner.
1.2 Expected Outcomes
At the end of the project:
Ø Level of awareness, knowledge and skills to mitigate and manage disaster risk reduction of the community DRRC/CBDRM and the provincial management structures (ANDMA/RRD) is increased.
Ø Communities are able to mitigate risks and timely respond to natural and man-made disaster.
Ø Community-based Early Warning Systems (EWS) is designed and set up with appropriate outreach to communities.
Ø Project staff, local community people and representatives of different implementing partners and provincial and district Government departments trained in disaster preparedness, mitigation, and management, disaggregated by sex.
Ø Communities affected by disasters are less vulnerable and more resilient to disasters.
Ø DRR training manuals, presentation and activities are revised, designed, updated and ready to be expanded to additional target provinces during the project duration
Ø Rescue and first aid kits are procured and distributed to the trained DRRC/CBDRM committees.
Ø DRRC/CBDRM committees know and are able to use the rescue and first aid kits materials.
Technical sustainability: At the end of the project, the community and local provincial government departments will have the technical skills required to maintain and update the system. The DRRCs/CBDRM will know how carryout maintenance and repair of any tools that are part of the monitoring and observation systems.
Organizational sustainability: At the end of the project, the community represented by the DRRCs will fully take over the ownership of the EWS, its management, implementation and running budget through community contributions. Throughout the development of the EWS, clear roles and responsibilities will be defined to ensure a smooth transition at the end of the project.
Community-level micro infrastructure/ hazard mitigation works: The project will construct quality structures that are mainly river bank protections ensuring the protection of human lives, fertile land, houses and livestock, and are mainly on agricultural lands used for farming, cultivation and other agri-business purposes. During the project implementation, the IRC technical team and the DRR Consultant will coordinate and work closely with both the technical and operational teams of the related stakeholders (RRD, ANDMA, community Shuras, CDCs, DDAs and other implementing partners) and will carry out plans including community contributions to ensure quality and sustainability of the infrastructure works during and after the projects. Project designs, quality and information will be shared with other implementing partners to ensure high quality structures.
1.3 Geographic Areas
Badghis, Helmand, Herat, Khost, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Paktia provinces
1.4 Sector-level Coordination
A high level of coordination at the community, district and provincial levels is necessary for the success and sustainability of the community-based DRR activities. All DRR stakeholders, including INGOs, local NGOs and specifically ANDMA, will be consulted in the revision and design phase of DRR training modules and section of DRRCs. The establishment and operation of community-based Early Warning Systems (EWS) will involve many stakeholders with the disaster prone community at the core. During the design of these systems, the project team will work with the DRRCs to conduct a detailed institutions and stakeholder analysis. The project team and the community will identify other organizations (NGOs/INGOs/ARCS), government institutions (including ANDMA, DoRR) as well as community Shuras, CDCs which can provide support for and be a part of EWS.
The IRC has SELECT SQL_CACHEed its areas of intervention based on high level of returnees and displacements due to recurring incidence of natural and man-made disasters. The security situation in the majority of the SELECT SQL_CACHEed areas of intervention will remain the same or, according to some projections, will more likely further deteriorate leading to an increased number of IDP households and greater need for support. Most humanitarian actors expect emergency needs to increase during the months to come.