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Oxfam launches initiative to tackle emergencies during disaster

ISLAMABAD: The Oxfam with the support of the European Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection office (ECHO) along with other leading agencies including UNICEF and UN Women join hands to institutionalize gender-sensitive approaches and standards in emergencies. 

According to Oxfam statement, the initiative is aligned with ‘National Policy Guidelines on Vulnerable Groups in Disaster’ of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The initiative will improve knowledge and enhance coordination among humanitarian community so that needs of women, men, boys and girls are met effectively in case any disaster happens.

“As women and children often suffer the most, the agencies involved in relief operations must prepare to address the different needs of affected people with specific focus on girls and women.”

The launching ceremony was attended by representatives of ECHO, Oxfam, UNICEF, UNWomen, CARE International, Aurat Foundation, IRC, FAO, WFP and members of civil society. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Olivier Rousselle, Country Mission Head of ECHO said “When disasters strike, people are not equally affected therefore different needs have to be recognized and aid has to be adapted accordingly.

We must respond differently and adequately to the needs of women and men, children and the elderly to provide each with targeted assistance”. Explaining the initiative Mr. Arif Jabbar Khan, Country Director, Oxfam said ‘We know from our experience that disasters affect men and women differently and we must remain prepared to respond to disasters with a gender sensitive approach to ensure all needs are addressed and the aid benefits affected communities’’.

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