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DEC highlights Disaster Risk Reduction needs in Pakistan

August 3 2012 - To mark the 2nd anniversary today of the launch of its Pakistan Floods Appeal the DEC has published a report highlighting the need for improved Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Pakistan.

The report reviews the work of the DEC’s member agencies but also highlights the need for a stronger national and provincial framework to ensure the prevention of some disasters, the mitigation of those that do occur through activities such as large scale flood defences and the avoidance of their worst impacts through more effective early warning systems.

These systems must be delivered by the Government of Pakistan with the backing of international donors but the DEC member agencies and their local partners can build on their existing household and community based DRR work to support it.

DEC Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said:

'The UK public can be proud that the extraordinarily generous £71m they donated to the DEC Appeal has helped 1.8m people in Pakistan, including ensuring many people are already better able to cope with future disasters. Most of this work has taken place at a household or community level with projects such as those to strengthen livelihoods and to encourage planning by local people and organisations to prepare for future disasters. The report we are publishing spells out the huge challenge involved in delivering effective and comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction in a country like Pakistan and challenges all those concerned, including the DEC member agencies, to do more.'

The study found members of the DEC had already helped many households and communities to be better prepared for future disasters as a ‘mainstreamed’ part of their emergency aid work. Limited resources compounded by the scale of the needs meant the NGOs could not reach many of the affected communities, so agencies  would need to combine their efforts more effectively to have a larger scale and lasting impact. The results would be further strengthened by an even greater focus on women and marginalised communities in disaster preparedness, and ensuring that DRR was also part of longer term development work, the report concluded.

Recent examples of emergency response work funded by the DEC have included:

• 780,000+ people supported via health facilities
• 25,000 + people benefitting from water supply provision or improvement
• 87,000+ people provided with toilets or latrines
• 42,000+ benefiting from Cash for Work
• 244,000+ people benefiting from seeds, farming tools and livestock
• 14,000+ people trained in Disaster Risk Reduction

Further details of 2010 Pakistan floods and the response of DEC member agencies can be found in the recently published DEC Annual Report 2011-12.

The full report Disaster Risk Reduction in Pakistan: The Contribution of DEC Member Agencies, 2010-2012 can be browsed or downloaded at the DEC website.  The evaluation team was led by Dr Niaz Murtaza who is a development specialist and a visiting Scholar at the Center for South Asian Studies at UC Berkeley.

DEC member agencies had planned to spend all the funds raised for the DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal by the end of July 2012 but the majority of member agencies have substantial ongoing programmes in Pakistan, including work on disaster risk reduction.

To stay up to date with major overseas disasters, the responses of our member agencies and our work, follow the DEC on twitter: http://twitter.com/decappeal or become a fan on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DisastersEmergencyCommittee
Professional photographs of some of the DRR-related work of member agencies are available from the DEC.  The full report is available on request under embargo for 00.01 hours Friday 3 August 2012.  Once published on Friday morning it will be downloadable here: http://www.dec.org.uk/pakistan-floods-appeal-evaluations

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If you would like further information please contact Johanna Rogers on 020 7523 2460/ jrogers@christian-aid.org. 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950  

Notes to editors:

• The DEC does not generally make direct comparisons between disasters or appeals but has published a blog explaining its position and giving the appeal totals for the largest appeals in its history http://is.gd/0QDSsi

• The DEC accounts for funds it raises itself, while its members account for funds given to them as part of a DEC appeal.  Of the £71m given to the DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal £41m was given to the DEC and £30m to member agencies.

• The figure of 1.8 million people receiving DEC-funded aid is based on separate reports from each of the DEC’s 14 member agencies.  The figure does not mean that 1.8m of the more than 20m people affected by the crisis in 2010 received all the help they required.  In some instances, separate agencies will have provided different forms of help to the same individuals – for example one agency providing food and different agency providing water. 

• The DEC member agencies are: ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Plan, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.