Afghanistan Emergency Response

Since, 1979, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) has longstanding experience in humanitarian relief operations assisting Afghan refugees who fled to Peshawar Pakistan, due to Soviet-Afghan war. Prior to the Taliban taking control of the country, NCA moved its field operations in Kabul in 1995. The field office in Kabul was established in 2002. NCA works with nine Afghan non-governmental organisations to implement its multi-sectoral programming.

November 2016

Zarbudin water well, Tani. Photo: Norwegian Church Aid, Afghanistan
Zarbudin water well, Tani. Photo: Norwegian Church Aid, Afghanistan

Goals for NCA’s Afghanistan Emergency Response

NCA Afghanistan’s emergency response works in tandem with its overall development objective of promoting security for sustainable peace and human dignity. Anchored in a contextually appropriate conflict sensitive design, NCA Afghanistan’s emergency response adheres to all of the humanitarian aid principles, by ensuring the provision of emergency relief in an impartial manner and with an emphasis on the concepts of linking relief, rehabilitation and development by:

  • Providing assistance to people most in need
  • Advocating for protection of civilians and their right to humanitarian relief

Scope of NCA’s Afghanistan Emergency Response

While the focus of NCA’s emergency response remains on lifesaving interventions for WASH, GBV support, Protection and WASH cluster coordination, the broader scope also involves the following:

  • Emergency preparedness and risk mitigation
  • Recovery and Rehabilitation
  • Capacity building and Accountability
  • Advocacy

What We Do

NCA’s expertise and main delivery in humanitarian response operations in Afghanistan focuses on the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in emergencies, often combined with other sectoral responses such as distribution of tents and non-food items (NFIs).

How WASH issues are addressed

Zainab aged 9 years old and Hassan 4 years old wash their hands from a standpipe which is part of a wider gravity flow drinking water system and WASH project supported by NCA, Falalij Village Daikundi. Photo: Jim Holmes/Norwegian Church Aid
Zainab aged 9 years old and Hassan 4 years old wash their hands from a standpipe which is part of a wider gravity flow drinking water system and WASH project supported by NCA, Falalij Village Daikundi. Photo: Jim Holmes/Norwegian Church Aid

Through creating and supporting WASH committees, drilling new wells, construction water points, and implementing hygiene sensitisation programmes, NCA has improved the living conditions for the targeted communities. In the last 24 months, NCA Afghanistan has received three grants to provide emergency WASH assistance to Pakistani refugees, being the majority beneficiaries, and Afghan IDPs in Khost and Uruzgan. Two of these grants have come from UNOCHA’s Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) and the third is from the Norwegian MFA.

Latrine in Khost. Photo: Norwegian Church Aid
Latrine in Khost. Photo: Norwegian Church Aid

All interventions encompass a strong Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) component to promote increased community preparedness and resilience to emergencies and disasters in Afghanistan. All of NCA Afghanistan’s emergency programmes are designed through gender sensitive lens in order to ensure the prevention and mitigation of gender-based violence. It is the duty of NCA Afghanistan to coordinate with all humanitarian actors on a unified and committed strategy to protect those affected by crisis.

Emergency shelter

NCA Afghanistan provides tents for displaced persons who do not have access to any form of shelter. NCA also maintains a stock of high quality family tents, as part of its emergency shelter response.

Strengthening disaster response capacity

Since 2013, NCA has been scaling up its emergency response. An Emergency Preparedness and Response Forum (EPRF) was established with four of NCA’s national partners and subsequently, an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP) has also been developed. NCA plans to facilitate capacity building of the Forum’s members, thus increasing the expertise in humanitarian management, DRR strategies, and gender mainstreaming in emergency programmes within Afghanistan.

Where We Work

NCA’s Afghanistan emergency response has addressed the humanitarian needs of people affected by conflict and natural disasters in the provinces of Faryab, Balkh, Takhar, Badakshan, Khost, and Uruzgan.

How We Work

NCA Afghanistan and its national partners are active participants in the following Cluster Groups: WASH, Protection, Emergency Shelter/NFI, Refugee and Returnee Task Force. In addition, NCA is a member of the Humanitarian Advisory Group. At the provincial level, NCA’s national partners engage with local authorities in such fora as the Provincial Disaster Management Committee and any relevant UN-led intervention.

Results

Water taps in Gurbuz, Khost. Photo: Norwegian Church Aid, Afghanistan
Water taps in Gurbuz, Khost. Photo: Norwegian Church Aid, Afghanistan

In 2015 and 2016, NCA’s emergency response activities reached 52,174 beneficiaries (28,216 females and 23,958 males). Approximately 106,752 beneficiaries were reached during the years of 2011-2015.

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