Afghanistan is one of the multi hazard prone countries of South Asia, with earthquakes, floods, droughts, landslides, sandstorms, and avalanches as the common natural disasters. Heavy rain and snow cause major problems across the region almost every year. Extreme winter conditions and avalanches are also a recurrent feature in the mountainous areas of Afghanistan that make up approximately 63 per cent of the country. Poor housing provides little protection to the households in rural parts of the country. Lack of capacity and resources within government institutions further adds to the vulnerabilities of families affected or displaced by natural disasters.
OUR CLIENT in Afghanistan in line with its “Disaster Risk Management and Disaster Risk Reduction Framework implements DRR activities with the overall aim of strengthening Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s (GIRoA’s) Disaster Risk Management capacities at the national, provincial and community level.
Disaster Risk Management (DRM) activities focus on selected disaster-prone communities across Afghanistan to enhance community level preparedness and response to disasters.
In addition, OUR CLIENT through its Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) is implementing emergency response project through which natural disaster affected and displaced population is assessed and the needs for relief items are addressed by provision of NFIs and emergency shelter. OUR CLIENT is the co-chair of the Emergency Shelter/Non-Food Item Cluster. Under the overall supervision of the Program Manager and Head of Sub office in the respective region; the Regional Cluster coordinator or Will support ESNFI cluster and the Humanitarian Assistance Programme (HAP) as specified below;HUMANITARIAN CONTEXT
Conflict, natural disasters, and the sustained erosion of communities’ resilience during close to 40 years crisis continues to drive shelter and NFI needs across different population groups in Afghanistan. These pre-existing needs are further compounded by outbreak of the covid 19 with the related containment measures, resulting in massive disruptions to livelihoods. This is predominantly challenging for people already living in poverty, those that depend on the informal sector and those in underserved locations and residing in informal settlements. Across the country, the need for shelter has been reported by affected populations as their second highest priority need after food. Emergency and transitional shelter needs remain high, particularly among new and protracted IDPs, refugees and returnees who require core emergency shelter assistance, as well as longer-term shelter to recover or find a stable and safe place to live. People’s capacity to cope with repeated shocks has continued to be eroded with those who have been displaced multiple times acutely vulnerable due to their depleted financial and emotional reserves. Poor shelter, lack of winter clothing, and other household items leave people vulnerable to disease and unable to cope with Afghanistan’s harsh winters. The high need for heating and clothing coincides with limited livelihood opportunities and heightens the risk of preventable mortality among children and the elderly.
In addition to newly affected populations, more than 4.1 million people displaced since 2012 and remain in urban and rural informal settlements, residing in sub-standard shelters and lacking access to safe water and sanitation facilities, unable to contribute to their own recovery and continue to require annual winterization support. While conflict significantly impacts on access to adequate shelter, natural disasters are a contributing factor with families often unable to rebuild their shelters in the aftermath. Those whose houses were destroyed continue to live in tents or with relatives due to lack of financial resources to rebuild their shelters.
The lack of adequate shelter exposes households to a variety of risks, including the lack of privacy, safety and security, risk of eviction, exploitation and abuse, overcrowding, poor access to services, and in some cases is linked to increase in SGBV. In 2021, an estimated 6.6 million people are in need of shelter and NFIs support; of these, 2,9 million people need emergency shelter assistance (including rent support), 2.2 million people are in need of transitional shelter, 5.8 million people are in need of shelter repair and NFI assistance and 6.4 million people are in need of winterization assistance.SCOPE OF CLUSTER
The Afghanistan Emergency Shelter and NFI cluster was established in March 2008, led by UNHCR and co-chaired by OUR CLIENT. The ES/NFI cluster continues to coordinate and support access to basic lifesaving assistance through the provision of emergency shelter, shelter repair, rental support, NFIs and winterization assistance and while ensuring adequate coordination mechanisms and response capacities at national and regional levels with various line ministries. The ES/NFI cluster has established coordination mechanisms in eight sub-national levels. To enhance coordination and response, the ES/NFI cluster also has Provincial focal points in all Provinces with the sole aim to support the regional focal points in representing the cluster, sharing information on displacement, assessments, partner mapping, and response. These national and sub national roles form the ES/NFI Cluster coordination team. This team, at all levels, must ensure the inclusion of key humanitarian partners within the Cluster, respecting their mandates and programme priorities. Together with the Cluster members, the team will identify the overall requirements in responding to natural and conflict emergencies and will endeavor to ensure Cluster capacity to meet this threshold Support national cluster coordination team by providing regular information on challenges, issues, needs and any gaps for discussion at national cluster