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World: Topic Guide: Effective Post-disaster Reconstruction Programmes, August 2016

17 August 2016 - 6:14am
Source: Evidence on Demand Country: Haiti, Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, World

Effective post-disaster reconstruction programmes

This topic guide is a review of the state of play in post-disaster reconstruction. It builds on extensive research, literature and experience to date, most recently considering outputs from the 2015 Sendai Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). It considers the status quo and puts forward alternative positions for facilitating effective reconstruction through a more seamless and re-planned approach.

The conclusions of this publication are the following (p. 57):

  • It is critical to set in motion a continuous, timely and cost-effective process of reconstruction and recovery after a disaster with a clear understanding and fine-tuning of the roles and efforts to be contributed by different actors.

  • All pre- and post-disaster efforts have to be seen as part of an interrelated, coordinated and continuous process of promoting sustainable development and building resilience.

  • Reconstruction should be seen as an integral part of the pre-disaster planning and should be based on good local knowledge of both the damage and the needs.

  • Any attempt by international NGOs to recruit government employees at inflated wage levels to assist their own operations must be resisted since this further weakens a depleted government capacity.

  • Disasters present unique opportunities, not only for new or improved infrastructure but also to improve the built environment and restore the natural environment as well as to strengthen institutions, processes and mechanisms.

  • Enhanced protection and efforts should be directed pre-disaster towards strengthening critical infrastructure, essential cultural assets, and other resources needed for emergency management. These should also receive priority protection in reconstruction.

  • Reconstruction should be specific and tailored to relevant hazards, such that there is appropriate seismic design for earthquake zones and sustainable flood management where required.

Philippines: Bayanihan after Typhoon Haiyan: Are we romanticising an indigenous coping strategy?

15 August 2016 - 2:36am
Source: ODI - Humanitarian Practice Network Country: Philippines

By Yvonne Su and Ladylyn Lim Mangada

Narratives of disasters are full of binaries – victim/survivor, vulnerability/resilience and devastation/recovery. Immediately after a disaster, there are stories of destruction and death. But as people start to recover, victims become survivors, and vulnerability exists alongside community and individual resilience. The Philippines – a country well-versed in this exercise and known for its vulnerability as well as its resilience – experienced Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda), the strongest storm to have made landfall in reported history, on 8 November 2013. Despite the high level of devastation, the overriding impression, from media coverage, government officials, NGO reports and general sentiment – was one of resilience. A report by the Philippines Humanitarian Country Team in August 2014 (nine months after the typhoon) noted:

“Self-recovery efforts by affected communities, combined with a scaling up of government-led interventions and effective national and international humanitarian efforts, have led to a significant reduction in the level of humanitarian needs … [and] many sectors are already well into the recovery phase on the ground.”

The common explanation for these early self-recovery efforts is the Filipino principle of bayanihan (collective cooperation), which is commonly evoked after major disasters by NGOs, governments and the media to demonstrate the resilience of the Filipino people. But what is the bayanihan spirit, and does this indigenous principle really serve to increase community resilience in the modern age? Drawing on fieldwork in the province of Leyte after Typhoon Haiyan, we argue that, while bayanihan was once a principle that was believed to be upheld by the whole community, its contemporary expression is often on a much smaller scale, from neighbour to neighbour, and only for a brief period during crises. Moreover, we argue that, despite its popular use after disasters, calling on communities to evoke bayanihan is often an inadequate answer to the need for collective action that commonly exists in post-disaster recovery. As such, we call for a more critical examination of the potential and limitations of bayanihan as a post-disaster coping mechanism in the Philippines. In addition, echoing the concerns of others, we caution against the romanticisation and over-reliance of bayanihan and other indigenous Filipino coping strategies as a source of post-disaster community resilience, particularly if doing so shifts the pressure away from government institutions with formal responsibilities.

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Philippines: PRC's Operation Typhoon Hayan builds 2,298 houses

14 August 2016 - 12:43am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

August 12, 2016 Alex A. Lumaque

ROXAS CITY, Capiz, Aug. 12 (PIA6) – Two thousand two hundred ninety – eight houses out of the 2,500 target are already built by the ongoing Typhoon Haiyan Operation of the Philippine Red Cross in the province.

“The remaining houses are under construction and up for completion in time for the termination of German and Swiss Red Cross core shelter support by September,” said Typhoon Haiyan Operation in Capiz Shelter Sector Officer Paul Arcenas.

He added that some of the houses were funded by the International Federation of Red Cross, HSBC, Taiwan and Hong Kong Red Cross in identified housing project sites. The PRC’s core shelter assistance is implemented in the identified barangays of Panay, Panit-an, Ivisan, Dao, Dumalag, Dumarao and Tapaz towns.

“These houses were designed to withstand strong typhoons,” he noted, adding that the core shelter units are either full wooden or half concrete structures.

Each of the full wooden house costs P80,000.00 to P100,00.00 while a half concrete house ranges from P100,000.00 to P120,000.00.

The Red Cross is among the many international humanitarian organizations which immediately responded to help Capiceños after the onslaught of supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013. (JCM/AAL/PIA6 Capiz)

Fiji: Cyclone Winston: A reminder the poor pay the price for climate-change inaction

10 August 2016 - 11:45pm
Source: CARE Country: Fiji, Philippines, Vanuatu

By CARE Australia

As we mark six months since Cyclone Winston devastated Fiji, CARE Australia’s Emergency Response Manager Adam Poulter reflects on the pattern of severe storms that is becoming the new normal.

We have crossed the threshold. Gone are the days when catastrophic cyclones were a once in a lifetime event.

A couple of years ago it would have been inconceivable to have multiple category-five mega-storms hitting Australia’s neighbours in so short a time. But that is today’s reality.

In just the last three years we’ve seen three of the biggest storms ever recorded – all in the Pacific.

When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in 2013, it was unprecedented. We had never seen 300km/h winds and the damage they could inflict. Homes were destroyed, whole communities devastated.

The recovery effort was huge. CARE helped people mend their homes and we provided advice on how people could build safer homes that were better able to stand up to storms.

Afterwards, we all breathed a sigh of relief. Well, we thought, we won’t see one of these again for another five-to-ten years. Then, just over a year later, Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu. It was the biggest storm the country had ever seen.

As the recovery process got underway, again we breathed a sigh of relief. That’s a one-in-twenty-year event. We won’t see another one like that in a while, we said, not in the Pacific anyway.

Then Cyclone Winston ripped across Fiji. It was the biggest storm ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere.

Fiji is a robust country with a centralised, well-organised government. People were evacuated and, thanks to an investment in disaster preparation, the number of casualties was relatively low. But the long-term impact is more complex.

The trouble is these disasters are smashing people’s homes and their livelihoods – the way they make a living. And the storms are destroying the vital infrastructure of countries. If you take the case of one island alone in Vanuatu – Tanna – Cyclone Pam cut gross domestic product by 50 per cent.

While the ‘debate’ around climate change continues, it is the world’s poor who are paying the price.

But there is some positive news: the number of people being killed by disasters is falling. And there is a clear reason for this: preparation.

In places like Vanuatu and Fiji where we work with partners Live and Learn, we are helping remote communities gain better access to cyclone warning systems. We have been working with telecom providers to disseminate warning messages to the ever-expanding mobile phone network, and working with communities to build safe community structures which are more robust in the face of storms. Crucially, we have been training men and women to lead disaster preparedness teams, called Community Disaster Committees (CDC).

In Vanuatu, once the CDC knew Cyclone Pam was near, they started the evacuation procedure, using the megaphone provided by CARE, to announce the imminent arrival of the cyclone. Using CARE’s cyclone map and listening to warnings via radio, the team advised everyone to prepare their houses and to be ready to move to an evacuation centre. Immediately people started preparing: cutting down branches near their homes, fastening roofs, pulling fishing boats out of the water, and gathering essential supplies.

The CDCs were successful: there were no deaths reported in the many villages where CARE has been working.

In today’s reality, preparedness is more important than ever.

World: IOM Contributions to Progressively Resolve Displacement Situations: Compendium of activities and good practice

10 August 2016 - 4:41am
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Zimbabwe


The number and scale of crises are forcing record numbers of people to flee their homes seeking relative safety within or across international borders. However, the growing complexity and unpredictability of these crises is resulting in increasingly protracted displacement situations which challenge the versatility of the three traditional durable solutions – voluntary return and sustainable reintegration, sustainable settlement elsewhere and sustainable local integration. More inclusive approaches that recognize the needs and rights of all those affected by crises and development and recognition of existing, and exploration of new, mobility strategies may offer new avenues towards the progressive resolution of displacement situations.

Compendiums are central to IOM’s own processes of collecting and learning from good practices globally. Externally, they demonstrate IOM’s experience on a given topic. This compendium is primarily designed to support IOM staff, aiming to facilitate exchange of good practices and promote innovative, high-quality programming while cognisant of the need to assess feasibility and adaptability to local contexts. This compendium is based on IOM’s extensive achievements in the field: some 550 projects in 35 countries implemented between January 2010 and December 2014, which contributed towards building resilience and progressively resolving displacement situations.

The Global Review section of this publication provides an analysis of global trends based on contributions from IOM offices, contributing to a better understanding of types of migration crises and the populations affected by crises and displacement. Using available information, a mobility perspective is applied to each of the eight criteria outlined in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Framework on Durable Solutions for Internally Displaced Persons. Good practices shared by IOM offices are summarized.

The Country Pages section provides an overview of key migration crises occurring in 35 countries between 2010 and 2014. IOM’s efforts to contribute to the progressive resolution of those displacement situations – including the identification of key partnerships and critical enablers and disablers, a good practice and IOM’s future objectives – are outlined.

The process of developing this compendium has directly contributed to the development of a new IOM framework – the Progressive Resolution of Displacement Situations (PRDS) Framework – which aims to guide IOM and inform its partners to frame and navigate the complexity of forced migration dynamics and support efforts to progressively resolve displacement situations. The PRDS Framework promotes an inclusive, resilience-based approach and embraces mobility strategies that support progression towards resolving displacement while ensuring safety nets are in place to avoid potentially harmful mobility strategies.

This compendium is part of an evolving process to contribute to a growing knowledge base and to learn from experience and good practices of how resilience and mobility can be better integrated across IOM’s response to migration crises.

World: Climate impacts on food security and livelihoods in Asia - A review of existing knowledge

10 August 2016 - 2:36am
Source: Government of the United Kingdom, Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers, World Food Programme Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Viet Nam, World


There is agreement in the scientific community that the global food system will experience unprecedented pressure in the coming decades – demographic changes, urban growth, environmental degradation, increasing disaster risk, food price volatility, and climate change will all affect food security patterns.

Climate change can act as a hunger risk multiplier, exacerbating drivers of food insecurity. Climate change disproportionately affects the poorest and most food insecure through a combination of decreasing crop production, and changes in the frequency and intensity of climate-related hazards, all of which can result in more humanitarian and food security crises.

Climate change affects the different dimensions of food security in complex ways. The availability of food can be affected through variations in yields – especially in key producing areas – due to increasing temperatures as well as changes in the quantity of arable land and water available for agriculture. Changes in production, in turn, can affect the ability of households to access food and as such impact on dietary diversity. Moreover, changes in rainfall and temperature patterns directly impact livelihoods that depend on climate-sensitive activities, such as rain-fed agriculture and livestock rearing. Changes in the timing and availability of water may create sanitation problems and impact quality of available drinking water, leading to increased health concerns, including diarrheal diseases. Together with other vector-borne infections, it has the potential to increase malnutrition, and affect food utilization.

Extreme weather effects disrupt the stability of food supply as well as people’s livelihoods.

Understanding the specific impacts of climate change on food security is challenging because vulnerabilities are highly contextual and are unevenly spread across the world. Ultimately, these vulnerabilities also depend on the ability of households, communities, and countries to manage risks. Under climate change, some regions of the world may experience gains in terms of food security outcomes, but the poorest and more isolated parts of the world tend to be more adversely affected in the absence of adaptation efforts.

The Asian continent is particularly vulnerable to climate change due to a combination of: high reliance on climate-sensitive livelihoods, high incidence of poverty and food insecurity, and high population densities in vulnerable and areas highly exposed to climate-related hazards such as floods, cyclones and droughts, and long-term climate change such as gradual changes in monsoon patterns, glacier melt and sea-level rise.

The purpose of this primer is to review the current state of knowledge on the relationship between climate change and food security, focusing specifically on the Asian context, to provide an evidence base for discussion and further analysis.

World: Extrêmes climatiques et réduction de la pauvreté par la résilience - le développement conçu dans l’incertitude

9 August 2016 - 7:13am
Source: Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters Country: India, Mali, Philippines, World


En renforçant la résilience face aux extrêmes climatiques et aux catastrophes, nous contribuerons au succès des efforts déployés mondialement pour éliminer l’extrême pauvreté.
Pour atteindre et maintenir un niveau zéro d’extrême pauvreté, le premier des Objectifs de développement durable (ODD), un effort collectif est requis afin de gérer les risques liés aux extrêmes climatiques actuels et aux projections concernant le changement climatique.

1.Joindre les efforts pour combattre le changement climatique et la pauvreté Notre planète voit son climat se réchauffer, et nous disposons aujourd’hui de plus en plus de preuves que la variabilité du climat augmente dans beaucoup de régions, les extrêmes devenant, en effet, plus fréquents et plus intenses dans certaines régions du monde. L’augmentation de la variabilité saisonnière et des changements au niveau de la prévalence et de l’intensité des extrêmes climatiques rend la réduction de la pauvreté très difficile à l’avenir, tant au niveau de l’impact que de l’incertitude accrue qui accompagne l’intensification du risque climatique.

Trois grands cadres de travail internationaux orienteront l’action de l’après-2015 sur le changement climatique, les catastrophes et le développement, à savoir : la 21ème session de la Conférence des parties à la Convention-cadre des Nations unies sur les changements climatiques (COP21) à Paris, le Cadre de Sendai pour la réduction des risques de catastrophes et les Objectifs de développement durable (ODD). Avec le Sommet humanitaire mondial 2016, ils offrent une occasion de coordonner les efforts et d’aborder les défis du développement et du changement climatique.
Pour sécuriser l’efficacité de ces cadres de travail, les pays doivent s’assurer que leurs parcours de développement ne maintiennent ni n’exacerbent les risques liés au climat.

2.Examiner les extrêmes climatiques et la réduction de la pauvreté par la résilience Dans le présent rapport, nous étudions les relations entre changement climatique et pauvreté en nous concentrant sur les extrêmes climatiques, selon la conviction que ces derniers affecteront le plus nos efforts pour combattre la pauvreté au cours des 15 à 25 prochaines années.

S’inscrivant dans le cadre d’une analyse plus large, trois études détaillées (sur le risque de sécheresse au Mali, les canicules en Inde et les typhons aux Philippines) illustrent la relation entre changement climatique, extrêmes climatiques, catastrophes et impacts sur la pauvreté.

Ces trois études montrent tous les effets disproportionnés des extrêmes climatiques sur les populations qui vivent en dessous du seuil de pauvreté et sur celles qui souffrent de la pauvreté dans ses dimensions non monétaires. Parmi ces impacts immédiats sur les ménages pauvres, on compte la perte de vie humaine (et la perte de revenus du ménage correspondante), la maladie et les perte de récoltes ou d’autres biens. Les effets à plus long terme comprennent la hausse des prix des aliments de base, une sécurité alimentaire réduite, la dénutrition, la malnutrition et le retard de croissance chez l’enfant, ainsi qu’un niveau plus faible d’assiduité scolaire.

Les effets indirects ne sont pas seulement ressentis par les ménages pauvres qui vivent dans les zones affectées, mais aussi par ceux des autres régions du pays en raison des baisses de productivité et de croissance économique, de la perte d’actifs publics, de la perturbation des services et de la réallocation des dépenses publiques vers les activités d’intervention. Cela confirme la constatation selon laquelle il n’existe pas de co-localisation géographique simple des extrêmes climatiques et des impacts sur la pauvreté.

Certes, il existe des points névralgiques, telles les zones urbaines vulnérables aux inondations ou aux tempêtes, sur lesquelles doivent être ciblées les interventions.

Toutefois, on relève aussi d’importantes répercussions sur les populations démunies des autres zones.

3.Implications pour la politique et la planification Le présent rapport appelle à une amélioration de la résilience aux extrêmes climatiques comme condition nécessaire pour atteindre les objectifs de lutte contre la pauvreté.

Pour y parvenir, planificateurs et responsables politiques devront soutenir le renforcement des capacités d’absorption, d’anticipation et d’adaptation des communautés et des sociétés. Des méthodes de travail inédites s’imposent : d’une part, pour lier entre elles des institutions auparavant mal connectées, et, d’autres part dans l’utilisation de nouveaux critères de prise de décision, y compris, pour la sélection de solutions basée sur les scénarii climatiques. L’ampleur de l’enjeu laisse penser que davantage d’actions transformatrices pourraient être requises, notamment le recours à des mécanismes innovants de financement du risque.

Renforcer les capacités d’adaptation, d’anticipation et d’absorption Pour relever le double défi de l’éradication de la pauvreté et du changement climatique, des mesures s’imposent pour accroitre la résilience des communautés et des sociétés les plus vulnérables face à l’augmentation des risques climatiques. La capacité à l’échelle locale informe la façon dont les effets des extrêmes évoluent et affectent les schémas de pauvreté. En renforçant les capacités d’anticipation, d’absorption et d’adaptation des communautés et des sociétés les plus exposées à l’augmentation des risques climatiques, nous pouvons minimiser l’impact des extrêmes climatiques sur les niveaux de pauvreté et sur les pauvres.

Consolider les institutions à toutes les échelles Des investissements soutenus sont requis dans les capacités et les institutions locales de gestion du risque de catastrophe, ainsi que des efforts pour renforcer la coordination entre les différents niveaux de gouvernance. La décentralisation peut contribuer à autonomiser les institutions locales.

Lorsqu’elle est accompagnée d’efforts d’intégration des unités locales au sein de systèmes de planification national et régional, elle peut aussi offrir des solutions locales plus efficaces aux risques posés par les extrêmes climatiques.

Penser mondial, mais évaluer le risque localement Bien que les évaluations régionales et mondiales soient essentielles pour comprendre la portée de l’enjeu climatique, un diagnostic local est nécessaire pour nous permettre de comprendre plus précisément comment le risque est réparti.
Une analyse, reliant les niveaux macro et micro et reposant sur les forces comparatives offertes à chaque niveau d’analyse, présentera un tableau plus nuancé et plus précis du lien changement climatique, catastrophes et pauvreté.

Relier institutions et solutions Les solutions qui visent à renforcer la résilience et réduire la pauvreté devront relier entre elles des institutions auparavant mal connectées. L’analyse du lien entre changement climatique, catastrophes et pauvreté révèle d’importants manques de connectivité et de coordination entre les différents domaines du politique et du pratique.

Il pourrait s’avérer nécessaire d’adopter des méthodes de travail moins cloisonnées entre les différents secteurs et échelles, utilisant autant les informations au lieu de renseignements climatiques et météorologiques que les scénarii visant à informer la planification.

Rôle de l’action transformatrice Un renforcement progressif des capacités de résilience risque d’être insuffisant pour parvenir à la réduction de la pauvreté face au changement climatique. L’ampleur et la portée des risques climatiques futurs nécessiteront une évolution transformatrice dans la manière dont le risque est géré. Les changements transformateurs peuvent être de nature catalyseurs, ayant un effet de levier sur le changement au-delà des activités directes initialement menées. Ils permettent d’opérer des changements à grande échelle et de produire des résultats d’un ordre de grandeur très élevé par rapport aux ressources investies. Ils peuvent également s’avérer durables dans le temps, et survivre bien au-delà du soutien politique et/ou financier initialement apporté.

Le financement, moteur de transformation Les instruments de financement du risque peuvent engendrer des changements transformateurs en agissant comme catalyseurs d’autres investissements dans la gestion du risque de catastrophe et l’adaptation. Les mécanismes financiers régionaux peuvent eux aussi aider les pays à intensifier ces investissements là où ils sont les plus nécessaires. Certes, le financement n’est pas une panacée et, dans certains contextes de développement, il a ses limites. Toutefois, il peut offrir et offre bel et bien des possibilités de méthodes innovantes de gestion du risque qui méritent davantage d’attention dans le cadre d’un portefeuille de solutions.