Donors discuss inclusive response to natural calamities

Humanitarian bodies highlight lessons and reflections from rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts following devastating floods of 2022.

ISLAMABAD: Humanitarian organizations, United Nations agencies, international donors and representatives from National and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities gathered here to discuss lessons and reflections from rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts following the devastating floods of 2022-23 and the way forward to improve an inclusive humanitarian response to the vulnerable communities in Pakistan.

Organized by an Italian NGO, CESVI, the event was attended by the ambassador of Denmark in Pakistan Jakob Linulf, representative of European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) Filippo Ortolani, Member DRR National Disaster Management Authority Idrees Mehsud and Director Operations PDMA Sindh Imdad Hussain Siddiqui along with representatives of various international and national NGOs.

The event served as the close out of a multimillion-dollar relief and recovery project undertaken by CESVI in Sindh and Punjab titled “Humanitarian Assistance for Vulnerable Flood Affected Communities in Pakistan”, funded by ECHO, under which over 40,000 households comprising over 250,000 individuals from flood-affected districts received various forms of aid including cash grants, shelter rehabilitation, WASH kits, livelihood support and capacity building training. The project from 2022-2024 had an outlay of around 8 million Euros.

The event also included a panel discussion participated Florence Rolle (FAO Pakistan), Idress Mehsud (NDMA), Imdad Siddique (PDMA Sindh), Charlos Geha (OCHA Pakistan), Abdul Rehman (USAID Pakistan), Sarah Lumsdo (British High Commission), and Nusrat Nasab (Agha Khan Habitat) in which panelists discussed ways and mean to further improve the aid delivery mechanism in Pakistan and create greater harmony between the various stakeholders. Disaster Risk Management was also a major component of the discussions.

In his address, the ambassador of Denmark expressed gratitude to partners for their support, emphasizing that without their help, it wouldn’t have been possible to assist the flood-affected people. He highlighted that providing clean drinking water was the biggest challenge during the 2022 floods and acknowledged the successful efforts in providing clean water to those in need. He also expressed eagerness to collaborate with the Pakistan Government in the future.

Filipo Ortolani, representing the donor of the project, commended the response of the international community during the 2022 floods, describing it as excellent. He highlighted the collaboration with international organizations and countries to build civic protection mechanisms during crises. Mr. Ortolani mentioned that this collaboration helped a significant number of people during the floods and expressed readiness to provide assistance in any future natural disasters.

Earlier in their opening addresses Farhan Ahmed Khan, Country Director CESVI Pakistan; and Ali Rauf Program Coordinator CESVI Pakistan welcomed the guests and gave an overview of the project and its achievements. Represehtative of a local NGO Partner, Lodhran Pilot Project also briefed the audience on their role in the rehabilitation activities. 

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