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Protection during Response
Day 1
Session 4.1: Protection of At-Risk Groups
(Place) – (Date)
Groups that may be at-risk
Women and girls
Older people
Persons with disabilities
Persons living with HIV/AIDS or TB
Indigenous peoples, religious and ethnic minorities
“Invisible vulnerable” (e.g. draft-age males,
adolescents and youth)
Introduction: Disasters and
vulnerable Groups
• Disasters = natural hazard + human vulnerability
• Affected communities differ in their:
o Resistance
o Resilience
o Self-reliance
• The position of groups within society vis-a-vis:
o Power dynamics and leverage
o Marginalization vs integration
o Needs and priorities
Gender and Vulnerability
Gender affects:
• Needs
• Opportunities to develop skills/capacities
• Level of risk
Gender is a cross-cutting issue with implications for all
sectors (watsan, health, education, shelter)
Upholding gender equity in all phases of disaster
response requires special attention
Gender Roles – Example Maldives
Tsunami-affected family, Maldives
Picture: ADB, at: http://www.adb.org/media/Articles/2005/6901_Maldives_tsunami/
Gender in the relief phase
• Health care (pregnancy, menstruation)
• Increased threat of sexual
• Fewer opportunities for accessing public
• Economic vulnerability - loss of homebased livelihoods
• Voice/leadership in reconstruction efforts
Gender in the recovery phase
Women may experience:
• Increased workload
• Loss of basic facilities and household goods
-> loss of income
• Change in family and gender roles
• May migrate to find work
• Reconstruction can provide income
Barriers to using a gender lens
• Gender blindness
• Women forgotten in immediate impact assessment
• Response workers claim:
• Not responsible
• Not enough time
• Not the right time
• Not enough money
• Disaster workers not trained and uncomfortable
with realities of gender inequalities
• Lack of capacity of local organizations
Gender: what is to be done
• Gender training for disaster workers
• Documentation of gender abuse in disaster
• Collect gender-disaggregated data
• Equal participation and representation in decision
making and planning
• Inclusion and practical utilization of women’s
organizations, organizing abilities
• Important to work with men to prevent neglect,
marginalization and abuse of women
Gender: what is to be done
Work through existing women’s organizations and
community groups
Recruit local women and men for assessment
teams; equal men and women on teams
Put codes of conduct in place
Heightened not reduced discussion on GBV
Seek out information from women and men
Develop gender accountability measures
Children and Disasters:
• Family separation
• Difficulty in finding food, clothes, other basic needs
and care
• Lack of emergency education
• Physical injury and mental trauma
• Children may be forced to live on the street if
families not provided with adequate support
• Vulnerable to child labour, trafficking, exploitation
(especially separated and unaccompanied
children) following disaster
Poverty and disasters:
Poor people often live in high-risk areas
Have less resources and no access/money
for insurance therefore:
disasters can accentuate and deepen poverty
and lead to reductions in food consumption,
health expenditures, and school enrollment
Forced migration
Unwilling/unable to engage in risky but
higher return activities
Sequence of Socio-economic
Poverty: What is to be done
Before the disaster:
• Measures to avoid the risk from occurring (risk
prevention), or, if this is not possible, to reduce
its impact (Investment in Mitigation; Insurance)
After the disaster:
• Coping strategies are designed to relieve the
impact of the risk once it has occurred (individual
savings or borrowing; relief assistance; recovery
and reconstruction programs)
Mechanisms and instruments for
social protection
• Microfinance
• Food Transfer
• Service Fee / Tax Waivers
• Cash transfers programs
• Public works programs
• Social funds
Assisting people with disabilities:
Example of Turkey
Turkey Emergency Earthquake Recovery Loan
• Cash transfers to earthquake victims who
suffered property damage;
• Cash transfers to survivors and newly
disabled persons who were not covered by
social security; and
• Cash transfers to survivors and disabled persons
covered by social security.
Social protection policies and
programs should:
Strengthen assets and livelihoods
Be flexible according to needs
Be implemented transparently
Be supported by communications
and outreach strategy
Include mechanisms of redress
Thank You!