Humanitarian Bulletin Pacific Issue 01 Quarter 2, 2012
In this issue
Protection Cluster Focus P.1
Vanuatu Humanitarian Team P.1
Transformative Agenda P.2
Fiji Floods – Lessons Learned P.3
Climate and Emergency Update P.5
Protection Cluster Focus: increased awareness
Following the pattern of responses over the last few years, and the recent cyclone season, the Pacific Humanitarian Protection Cluster has confirmed the need to build further awareness – amongst government, non-government and community actors of what protection means in emergencies. It is important to underline that protection covers a wide range of activities and principles that are aimed at ensuring safety, security and wellbeing but also more importantly respecting dignity and the rights of all individuals, regardless of their age, gender or social, ethnic, national, religious or other background.
The Protection Cluster Coordinator, members of the UN Gender Group and the Pacific GenCap Advisor have recently participated in two different missions to the Western Division of Fiji to assess the impact of the recent floods on several issues, including gender and gender-based violence. The findings confirmed that other protection issues must also be addressed. Such issues are among others the increased pressure on families due to the losses of personal goods and in some cases, livelihoods which can lead to negative coping behaviours such as increased substance abuse, domestic violence and illness due to high stress levels. There is a need for referral capacity for psychosocial services to assist communities to return to normalcy. These services are needed for both the affected community members as well as the first responders who were traumatised by the plight of the people they encountered and their capacity to provide adequate assistance. In addition, the need for sex and age disaggregated data collection (including data on persons with disabilities) and gender analysis is essential in order to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable are met more systematically.
The finalised assessment data will feed into capacity building activities for first responders and other stakeholders to enhance their capacity to prepare and respond to disasters more effectively.
Pacific Humanitarian Protection Cluster partners are now developing advocacy posters to target affected populations, humanitarian actors and first responders to ensure that key protection principles promoting safety, wellbeing and dignity for vulnerable people are effectively addressed during emergencies.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.