Pak among most dangerous countries for aid workers: Report

Pak among most dangerous countries for aid workers: Report

Agency News

Karachi, Apr 27: Pakistan is among the six countries identified as the most dangerous place for aid workers over the last decade, according to a report.

Titled ‘Leaving No One Behind’, the World Disasters Report 2018 was launched by the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) in collaboration with the Pakistan Red Crescent at an event organised at the IBA city campus on Thursday, the Dawn reported on Saturday.

The event marked the 100-year celebrations of the IFRC and its work in providing assistance in disasters and conflicts in Pakistan.

According to the report, the most dangerous places for aid workers over the last 10 years have been Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, South Sudan, Pakistan (less than 100 aid workers, including foreign workers were killed) and Sudan.

Afghanistan has seen significantly more aid workers killed than any other country.

The impact of attacks on aid workers on organisational presence at a country level, the report says, is clear when mapped over time for a single country with multiple attacks. In Afghanistan as attacks on aid workers increased and became volatile, aid worker presence reduced.

According to the report, the massive and growing gap between the funds required and the funds available for humanitarian response is a major factor behind the exclusion of the world’s most vulnerable people. This is why people are at high risk of being left behind by humanitarian response.

Only 60 per cent of UN-coordinated appeal requirements in 2017 were met and this gap is widening, the report says.

It cites the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ Global Humanitarian Overview estimates, according to which some 134 million people will require humanitarian assistance worldwide in 2018 and around 97.4 million people would be selected for international assistance under the joint humanitarian response plans, leaving a 27pc gap.

The report identifies five fatal flaws that are allowing so many people to fall through the cracks: too many affected people are 1) out of sight, 2) out of reach, 3) left out of the loop, or find themselves in crises that are 4) out of money, or deemed to be 5) out of scope because they are suffering in ways that are not seen as the responsibility of the humanitarian sector.

The report offers solutions and asks challenging questions pertaining to affected states, admittedly overburdened donors, and local and international humanitarian organisations.

It includes a strong call for more, for better and for equitable funding and action to meet the rising needs.

“In Pakistan, for instance in the drought response 2019, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has identified the monetary requirement as $96.3 million, to reach a population of 2.06 million people but that is only 40pc of the affected population of Sindh and Balochistan. So in one way or the other, we do leave millions behind,” said PRCS Sindh chairperson Shahnaz Hamid at the programme.

Exploring the relevance of world disaster response in Pakistan, Neil Buhne of UN Pakistan spoke about the challenges faced by international humanitarian organisations and the constraints faced in reaching out to the farthest.

Thomas Gurtner, head of the IFRC country office, highlighted gaps in the international humanitarian system and emphasised that the humanitarian sector can — and must — make a stronger effort to meet the most urgent needs. (UNI)