Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) identified pregnant and lactating mothers, vulnerable children, senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PwDs) as priority groups in all relief and rescue efforts during the recent floods.
Their (victims’) special needs were taken care of through timely distribution of milk supplements, wheelchairs, food packages, hygiene kits and other items of necessity.
This was said by Director Disaster Risk Management of Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Muhammad Amin, while speaking at the Aawaz II consultation on Floods 2022: Social Inclusion in Rehabilitation and Climate Resilience organised in Peshawar.
The event brought together more than 60 women, PwDs, transgender persons and minorities from the flood-hit districts, where Aawaz II has been working since 2020.
These districts include Charsadda, Mansehra, Peshawar, Swabi, and Swat.
Participants also came from the severely affected Nowshera district.
Arshad Mehmood, Head of Delivery Aawaz II, British Council, said the programme had always given primacy to the inclusion of the vulnerable.
“Often in disaster situations the vulnerable groups face multiple challenges in accessing timely relief or rehabilitation services due to barriers such as social exclusion, limited mobility or absence of identity cards,”, he added.
“This consultation aims at facilitating the vulnerable groups in getting their voices heard,” he said.
Dr Arjumand Nizami, Country Programme Director & International Advisor for Environment & Climate Change, Helvetas Swiss Inter Cooperation emphasized the need for effective disaster preparedness, gender segregated data of the affected and the requirement to understand exclusive needs of the vulnerable groups in post-floods relief activities.
Rashida Dohad said, “It is imperative that the needs and interests of the vulnerable are prioritized in shaping plans to support rehabilitation and increase resilience to future climate impact.”
Participants coming from diverse communities shared the challenges and damages experienced in their areas and prioritized their rehabilitation and resilience needs and interests.
The main recommendations included district administration and district social welfare office to take lead in collecting segregated data of vulnerable groups including transgenders, PwDs, women headed households and religious minorities to better respond to future disasters.
Women headed households, and unaccompanied women and children to be given relief through door-to-door services, timely relief and rescue training of PwD attendants, ensuring additional assistance appliances for PwDs in relief and rehabilitation.
It was also recommended that need based food kits and hygiene kits cater exclusive needs of women, transgenders and PwDs.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2022.
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