Ensuring two-way communication between humanitarians and affected people

The remote eastern province of Badakhshan is often referred to as Afghanistan’s natural disaster capital. Crammed between China, Pakistan and Tajikistan, the Province takes in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges, along with a mixed terrain of deserts, grasslands, savannahs, scrub and forests.

In 2011, it was one of the regions severely affected by a drought that left 2.8 million people across the country in need of aid. The following year, many of the same Badakhshan communities were hit by heavy snowfall that triggered deadly avalanches that killed 29 people. But many more people were affected, as some of the worst-affected areas were cut off from aid for weeks.

The response was further undermined by incoherence among aid agencies: each group used its own means of assessing communities’ needs. This lack of coordination led to disjointed and, at times, ineffective responses.

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