ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all.

Policy dialogue demands immediate compensation to flood affected communities


 Islamabad: (Tuesday, June 21, 2011): A policy dialogue underlined the significance of an effective framework for disaster risk management in the country and demanded immediate compensation for the flood affected communities, particularly women, children and other vulnerable sections of society

The policy dialogue titled “Floods 2010: Governance Issues in Disaster Risk Management” was jointly organised by ActionAid Pakistan and Institute of Social and Policy Science, to mark the first anniversary of the devastating floods of 2010.

“The objective of this dialogue is to generate a policy debate on legal, institutional, financial and implementation-level challenges in effective Disaster Risk Management (DRM), particularly in the context of 2010 floods. There is a need for effective institutional framework to cope with future disasters.”  Said Jemal Ahmed, Country Director ActionAid Pakistan, in his opening remarks.

“Government must put in place appropriate systems to deal with the grievances of flood affected communities who have not received Watan cards, and ensure immediate release of second instalment to those who have received them.”

At policy level the government should prioritise women headed households and other vulnerable groups in issuance of Watan cards. All measures should be taken to help poor people cope with the aftermath of floods. He added

Participants  of the dialogue said that the Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs) lack required capacities to efficiently respond to disasters therefore appropriate steps should be taken to improve the skills and abilities of the PDMAs so that they could play a leading role in coordinating emergency response in case of future floods and other disasters.

They said presently the structure of Disaster Management Authority (DMA) does not exist at the district level, causing serious hurdles in coordination and implementation of res[ponse at the community level. They demanded the government to make District Disaster Management Authority functional. They also called for an effective national coordinating mechanism at all levels.

Participants and speakers of the policy dialogue criticised the parliament for not putting required efforts in drafting National Disaster Management Act 2010. They asked for a comprehensive review of NDM Act 2010 to avoid duplication of roles and responsibilities.

Dr Salman Hamayoun, Executive Director ISAPS said “lack of coordination in response to floods 2010 was not only among the public and civil society organisations but it was also evident in different organs of the United Nations dealing with the flood disaster.”

Member NDMA-DRR, Ahmed Kamal  shared  “existing budgetary allocation for disaster risk management was flawed as more than 99% of the funds were being spent on flood response while a very small amount was available for disaster preparedness.”  He hinted that NDMA was in the process of finalizing the national contingency plan that would soon be made public.

PDMA representatives from Punjab, Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir were also present on the occasion. They noted down the observations made by the participants and pledged to incorporate them in their future plans.