During the reporting period as part of the disaster management programme significant efforts were made to strengthen Afghanistan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) position to respond to emergencies in an effective and timely manner. In effect to this, a simulation and evaluation exercise was conducted in Kabul in December 2013 by ARCS, Canadian Red Cross Society and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The exercise was to pilot test the existing preparedness and response capacity of the ARCS. As per agreement between ARCS and IFRC, handing over process of non-food item (NFI) stocks was initiated to ARCS regional branches as part of prepositioning of stocks at the disaster prone provinces.
In an effort to strengthen and increase community resilience and sustainable development four community based disaster preparedness trainings were conducted in Kapisa and Panjsher provinces whereby 100 newly recruited volunteers were trained. The trained ARCS volunteers have demonstrated the learnings by responding to severe flash flood situation due to heavy rainfall in the central, eastern and south west regions of the country where hundreds of houses destroyed, 10,500 families affected, 94 people killed and 1,211 missing or displaced. ARCS volunteers assisted Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), International Organization of Migration (IOM), United Nations office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (UNOCHA) and other aid agencies to conduct need assessments in the flood affected regions and assist in distribution of food and non-food relief items to the affected families. ARCS assisted 95 earthquake affected families in Jalalabad with NFIs in the month of May 2013. The operation was jointly conducted by ARCS, ICRC and IFRC.
IFRC disaster preparedness and response officer, who attended the regional disaster response team (RDRT) training of trainer (ToT) in Nepal in October 2013, was subsequently deployed for RDRT mission to Philippines for three months to assist in typhoon Haiyan operation as part of shelter RDRT. Similarly, ARCS disaster response officer was deployed for RDRT mission to Bangladesh for one month to assist in cyclone Mahasen operation.