Coordination Activities in the Field
|Income from Voluntary Contributions1||1,313,938|
|Consultant Fees and Travel||89,994|
|Supplies, Materials, Furniture and Equipment||326,166|
|Fellowships, Grants and Contributions||35,000|
|Programme Support Costs||387,660|
|Total Expenditure (US$)||3,314,482|
|1 Includes allocations from the Field Coordination Reserve Fund of US$ 65,000|
Humanitarian needs in the aftermath of the October 2005 earthquake in South Asia were immense, leaving more 3.5 million homeless and 2.3 million food-insecure. Around 600,000 homes, 6,000 schools and over 500 health facilities were destroyed or seriously damaged. The period covered by the flash appeal ended in mid April 2006 and was followed by the joint Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) and United Nations Early Recovery Plan, marking the shift from relief to recovery programming. Correspondingly, the focus of OCHA’s activities gradually moved from emergency relief to supporting the coordination during the recovery period and facilitating the return of IDPs. As planned, at the end of June 2006 OCHA reduced its staffing, and operations were integrated into the RC/HC’s office.
Five priorities were identified for the second half of 2006: support for IDP returns; assistance to residual IDP caseloads in camps and host families; enhancement of coordination structures under government leadership; contingency planning and national disaster preparedness (including for the 2006 – 07 winter); and strengthened information management.
The success of OCHA’s operation in Pakistan following the earthquake can be attributed to the strong partnerships established between the Government of Pakistan (especially the military), donors, humanitarian actors and the affected communities. The cluster approach provided a framework for relief coordination, strategic direction, decision-making and practical solutions during the relief phase. The clusters were eventually replaced by government-led working groups. The IASC-mandated Real Time Evaluation of the Cluster Approach in Pakistan in February 2006 contributed valuable insights to discussions taking place within the IASC Early Recovery Cluster Working Group.
The IASC-CT was established in March 2006, tasked with supporting the post-cluster working groups, the transition from emergency to early recovery and the development of a winter contingency plan. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was established by the government in close consultation with OCHA, ISDR and UNDP.
A mechanism for monitoring and reporting on returns was established under the leadership of the protection cluster, which advocated for the rights of displaced populations. Advocacy against the adoption of unaccompanied children resulted in the government’s early ban on all child adoption proposals.
The collective success of all players in the relief phase led to the early establishment of the recovery process, paving the way for preparation of the joint ERRA/United Nations Early Recovery Plan as both a fund-raising tool (postrelief) and a coordination framework.
The OCHA Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RO-AP) in Bangkok is currently supporting a National Disaster Response Adviser (NDRA), based in the RC’s Office in Pakistan. The NDRA is tasked with advancing disaster preparedness in conjunction with the government, integrating lessons learned from the Pakistan event. OCHA also supports a national humanitarian affairs officer in the RC’s Office to follow up residual emergency needs and maintain NGO liaison.