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In celebration of Global Earth Day, Community world Service Asia had organized tree-plantation activities in villages in Thatta, Sindh, with the communities it works with.

Cultural Activities on promoting environmental responsibility were conducted while the plantations were ongoing. Communities were also made aware of how these tree plantations help in disaster mitigation. Many children in the Phul Jhakro village took part in these planting activities. The communities understood the importance of such activities towards the protection of the planet and realized that the global community needs to stand together in doing so.

Community World Service Asia also collaborated with a boys’ school in Ahund Baradia, Thatta to organize activities on Global Earth Day on April 22nd. Students took part in a group activity divided under different topics such as “importance of plantation”, “flaws of deforestation” and “how to protect the earth” to showcase their understanding on the concerns. They also exhibited the safe village models that they had made to show the various DRR activities they have learnt through Community World Service Asia’s workshops. The model also displayed how the earth is made safer through tree plantation.

The main purpose of conducting these activities was to create awareness at different levels on environmental degradation and the benefits of tree plantation and how both of these impact climate change.

Community World Service Asia’s Capacity Institutionalization Project (CIP) demonstrates consistent accountability towards their partners through the provision of various skill trainings and workshops. Held in Islamabad, The advanced level training on financial management for development professionals organized and hosted by Community World Service Asia was designed to build capacity of staff engaged in the financial management of NGOs. The aim of the training was to coach them on modern techniques of budgeting, accounting, financial reporting and overall financial management.

Finance is an area that is often mismanaged and overlooked by many organizations; the result being, an ineffective financial structure. Finance is a major performance measurement tool which, if applied correctly, can influence the performance of the core activities of any organization. In most of organizations, financial management is only used in its’ traditional context for recording transactions and preparing basic level financial reports. While this training aimed to orient professionals on the many additional functions it has in the management of an organization.

Budgeting was amongst the main topics selected for the workshop. It was recognized that incorrect budgeting could lead to poor operations management which is why the concept of output based budgeting was introduced. Other topics included financial accounting, reporting and donor reporting. Many participants acknowledged that they had insufficient knowledge on trial balance and financial statements after which more emphasis was laid on the methods of preparing them. Participants were made to practice developing these in the sessions so that practical skill enhancement is achieved.

In addition to the sessions on creating financial statements based on international standards, financial reporting formats and templates of various donor agencies, such as The World Bank and The Asian Development Bank, were also discussed. Interpretation of financial reports for instance, ratios of donor dependency, survival of the organization and variance analysis were covered in detail in the context of its importance in achieving real time control on the operations and finance of an organization. Directly related to management of the organization, the last sessions focused on different economic safeguards for assets protection.

The training was facilitated by Noaman Ali, a certified Chartered Accountant, with more than twelve years of experience in the field of financial management, accounting, auditing and financial reporting. He has worked for more than eight years in the development sector and has also worked on public sector reform projects in the area of financial management. Mr. Ali has worked on a number of World Bank, UNAIDS, UNDP and Government of Pakistan projects.

An exhibition organized by Community World Service Asia (formerly CWS-P/A) was held at AQS Art Gallery in Islamabad on May 16th, 2015. The exhibition was supported by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration in which a total of 15 NGOs displayed handmade dresses, artifacts and other handicraft items made by refugee and the women from the host communities in refugee camps in Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan, Pakistan.

The event showcased handicrafts produced by community members from various projects. The income generated through this expo was invested back into the projects to support impoverished refugee women. One of the main purposes of the exhibition was also to provide a shared platform for NGOs and vendors, working on promoting handicrafts produced by women refugees, to engage in networking and to share their experiences and best practices among each other. The vibrant, day long exhibition was attended by donors, private sector individuals, and the refugee women and their families.

Community World Service Asia displayed products manufactured by widows and other vulnerable women participating in their Vocational Training and Market Development Program in Mansehra and Haripur at the bazaar. The projects aims to empower the refugee community with particular skills and to link these skilled individuals to the market. Since 2010, this skills development project has successfully enabled these communities to become self-sufficient and earn livelihoods for themselves and their families.

To support the rehabilitation of refugee communities in Pakistan, Community World Service Asia (formerly CWS-P/A) is implementing a Vocational Training and Market Development Project in Mansehra and Haripur as Gifts of the United States Government since 2010. The goal is to enhance self-reliance and increase income for men and women of Afghan Refugees and host community. A four-month program imparts certifiable skills training to men in welding, electrical works, carpentry, auto mechanics, auto electrician, motor cycle mechanic, plumbing and masonry. Women participate in handicraft and dress designing trades in affiliation with Skill Development Council Peshawar. Upon course completion, graduates received a tool kit designed for their respective trades, which enabled them to establish small scale businesses or more easily find employment in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

 

Community World Service Asia in partnership with The Sphere Project arranged a Sphere Focal Point Forum in Bangkok, Thailand in October 2014.

In this forum, participants from the Sphere Country Focal Points discussed challenges in promoting and implementing Sphere Standards in context to their respective work environments and regions. It was realized that these challenges revolve around five main themes essentially, capacity building, resources, coordination and collaboration, gaining commitment and working with the government.

The Focal Points worked in five different groups to discuss and present lessons learned and good practices focusing on the selected topics. As an outcome of this group exercise, five lessons learned sheets have been formulated to be shared with our readers and partners. To view these Lessons Learnt Sheets, please click here to download

Improving quality, accountability and people management: HAP and People In Aid merger concluding with the launch of the CHS Alliance

Bringing together more than two decades of experience in quality, accountability and people management, the CHS Alliance will form one of the largest and most influential networks in the humanitarian and development sector. It will be a truly global enterprise, with a membership of more than 200 organisations headquartered in 55 capitals and operating in more than 160 countries worldwide. The Alliance will benefit from the reputations, legacies and successful working practices of HAP International and People In Aid, the two organisations which merged to form the Alliance.

The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) is at the heart of the work of the CHS Alliance. The Alliance intends to establish the standard as a common reference framework for all actors who put communities and people affected by disaster, conflict or poverty at the centre of their work. Chair of the Alliance, Robert Glasser said that: “Given the broad consensus on the content of the CHS, we are proposing that this Standard be endorsed at the World Humanitarian Summit as a key framework to orient, assess and measure the quality, effectiveness and accountability of humanitarian assistance.” The CHS Alliance will continue to work with colleagues in the Sphere Project and Groupe URD and other stakeholders to support the widespread uptake of the CHS.

Laila Sheikh, the Regional Director of the Horn of Africa for Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the keynote speaker at the launch of the CHS Alliance said: “Switzerland’s commitment to standards is rooted in the belief that beneficiaries must be empowered to influence the type and the effectiveness of the humanitarian assistance they receive. Switzerland has a long tradition of supporting, as well as sponsoring initiatives and approaches that place affected people at the centre of aid delivery.

Spelling out clear accountability indicators towards affected people must automatically be paired with the promotion of standards as well as the continuous dissemination of knowledge. People in need are under any given circumstances entitled to be informed about their rights. In this regard, we believe that the CHS Alliance is an essential contribution to the empowerment of affected people.”

HAP and People In Aid have extensive expertise in the provision of services to members and partners in the humanitarian and development sectors. They have found that a mix of policy support, technical assistance, training and other capacity strengthening initiatives works best to meet the needs of individuals and diverse organisations. The Alliance will provide technical assistance and capacity strengthening in their three key areas of quality, accountability and people management. The Humanitarian Certification Initiative, an independent auditing body that will be launched in the coming months, will offer certification and external verification against the CHS.

From the moment of its launch as a Swiss Association on the 9 June 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya, the CHS Alliance will have a staff presence in Bogota, Geneva, London, Madrid, Nairobi and Yangon, and a governing board comprised of representatives from leaders in the humanitarian and development sectors worldwide.

At the launch event, the Chair, Robert Glasser, announced the appointment of Judith F. Greenwood as the incoming Executive Director of the CHS Alliance. Judith, an Irish National, will take up her position on 24 August 2015. She is currently head of the people management programme at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva.  She joined the ICRC in 2002 and has held senior management positions in Geneva and around the world, having previously worked with Concern Worldwide and the International Rescue Committee. Robert Glasser highlighted her proven ability to lead and manage diverse, multidisciplinary teams of all sizes, set effective priorities and achieve results, noting her record of having led both start-up and well established operations in over thirteen countries.

Judith said: “I am excited to be leading the CHS Alliance. The Alliance is a unique opportunity to galvanise the growing acceptance among all actors that assistance needs to be improved, and needs to be accountable to those for whom we work. I look forward to working closely with staff, members, donors and partners to further this aim.”

At the closing of the launch, the Chair called on all actors who work with communities and people affected by disaster, conflict or poverty to adopt, apply and promote the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability.

For more information about how you can join the CHS Alliance and benefit from its services, please visit www.chsalliance.org

Media contacts
For more information and to arrange interviews please contact the CHS Alliance communications team, Murray Garrard, Siobhan O’Shea and Emily Tullock, at info@chsalliance.org

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Following the Taliban’s traditional “spring offensive” in the Northern and Western parts of Afghanistan, thousands of local people have fled their homes, mainly to Badakhshan, Bagdhis and Kunduz provinces. Baghlan, Farah, Faryab, Ghor, Herat, Jawzjan have also started hosting displaced communities (IDPs) from the conflict zones, although in smaller numbers.

According to the Conflict-Induced Displacement snapshot as of June 2nd, 2015, 1,283 IDP families have been reported displaced in Badghis and around 190 IDP families in Faryab.

A total of 18,355 families have signed petitions to be considered as conflict-induced displaced in six districts in the Kunduz province, while an estimated 800 families remain displaced in the province of Baghlan.

In Jorm district of Badakhshan province, 1,200 displaced families have been reported as of June 2nd.

The World Food Program (WFP ), United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have already started distribution of food, non-food items (NFIs) and hygiene kits, in Kunduz City. Approximately 3,000 IDPs in the urban center have received assistance to date, and the response is ongoing. The IDPs staying in Baghlan have been referred to the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for assistance.

Source: https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/system/files/documents/files/afg_conflict_displacement_20150602.pdf

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) on Sunday predicted heavy rains in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), northeastern Punjab and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) during the coming week.

Heavy rains forecasted within the next 24 hours in Malakand, Makran, Kalat, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir are to be accompanied by powerful gusts of wind.

Rainfall of up to 200 millimeters (mm) may occur in these areas within the next 24 hours. The normal rainfall for Pakistan’s monsoon season is usually expected to be around 141mm, while this expected rainfall of up to 200 mm (which is 42 % above the normal range) could cause flooding.

Year       Rainfall (mm)      Range
2011      236.5                   67 % above normal
2012      185                      31 % above normal
2013      148                      5% above normal
2014      113                      20 % below normal

The trend analysis of the rainfalls in Pakistan for the last four years indicates that the average rainfall from 2011 to 2014 had gradually decreased however the current expected rainfall of 200 mm may change the trend again. This anticipated changed pattern may generate high level flooding in the target areas.

Excess rainfall in the Kabul River catchment area along with the snow melting may also cause flooding along connected riverbanks.

Moreover, the deep depression over the east central Arabian Sea has intensified further into a tropical cyclone which is likely to move north-westward in the next 24 hours. Under the influence of this system thundershowers are expected in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar, Thatta, Badin and Sujawal districts of lower Sindh in the next 24-48 hours and in southern Baluchistan in the next 36 hours.

Contacts:

Allan A. Calma
Deputy Director
Disaster Management Program
allan.calma@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 301 5801621

Muhammad Fazal
Associate Director
Emergencies/DRR/Climate Change
fazil.sardar@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 332 5586134

Palwashay Arbab
Senior Communications Officer
palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Ph: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.pmd.gov.pk
www.dawn.com

The persistence of clouds in the Arabian Sea shows an area of convection with the potential of developing a cyclonic circulation. The sea surface temperatures and the upper air analysis also point towards the development of a deep low pressure area. The numerical models are continuously indicating such cyclonic activity in the Arabian Sea 1,600 km south of the Pakistan coast in the next couple of days.

The Cyclone Warning Centre (Karachi) of Pakistan Meteorological Department is monitoring the local and regional meteorological conditions regularly. A weather advisory will be issued in the next 24 hours should any cyclonic activity occur. All stakeholders and concerned authorities are advised to keep abreast of the latest updates and the weather advisories of The Pakistan Meteorological Department in the coming days.

According to an alert issued by Met Office, the storm will be named Ashubha if it develops into a full-blown cyclone.

Contacts:
Allan A. Calma
Deputy Director
Disaster Management Program
allan.calma@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 301 5801621

Muhammad Fazal
Associate Director
Emergencies/DRR/Climate Change
fazil.sardar@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 332 5586134

Palwashay Arbab
Senior Communications Officer
palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Ph: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.pmd.gov.pk
www.samaa.tv

 

At least 11 people got killed and 11 went missing on Thursday while being washed away by flash floods in the Khuzdar Shah Norani area of Baluchistan.

As reported by Levies sources, the flood occurred in the streams and nullah due to heavy rainfall in the Kohan area of Shah Norani.

According to initial reports, residents of the area were not able to evacuate in time before the flood hit the capital city of Khuzdar district of central Baluchistan.

As many as 22 people are believed to have drowned in the water and 11 dead bodies were removed by the local residents. However, the search for the 11 missing persons is still underway.

The rains made the region inaccessible to the rescue teams who tried to access the site to make rescue efforts; more contingent levies has been dispatched to the affected area for rescue activities.

Further, a recent study suggested that as many as 2.7 million people could be affected yearly by river-floods in Pakistan by 2030; while the number of people affected by floods every year could reach 54 million globally.

Currently, an estimated 715,000 people in Pakistan are affected by floods every year. Last year, nearly a million people were affected by the floods.

Contacts:
Allan A. Calma
Deputy Director
Disaster Management Program
allan.calma@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 301 5801621

Muhammad Fazal
Associate Director
Emergencies/DRR/Climate Change
fazil.sardar@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 332 5586134

Palwashay Arbab
Senior Communications Officer
palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.dunyanews.tv
www.tribune.com.pk

The unprecedented large number of displacement due to the ongoing military response to non-state armed opposition groups (AGEs) in a number of provinces of Afghanistan has reached critical level. To avoid civilian causalities the people living in some of the villages in Imam Sahib and Gultapa districts of Kunduz province have been asked to evacuate. An estimated 18,500 families have been displaced from Gultepa, Alchin, Telawka, Bozi Qandari, and Hazrat Sultan area of Kunduz district according to the ANDMA (Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority) Report. Most of the IDPs from Qala-e-Zal, Dasht-e-Archi, Chardarah, Aliabad and some other districts of Kuduz province have been displaced to the capital city of Kunduz province (Kunduz city) and an additional 3,000 IDP families are reported to reside in non-accessible areas due to insecurity situation, as of May 11, 2015.

To date, WFP, UNHCR, UNICEF, NRC, ICRC /ARCS, SCI and a few other organizations have started the beneficiary selection process and have also been providing some food and nonfood assistance to about 2,000 IDP families in the urban center of Kunduz. As the number of IDPs in Kunduz are still increasing there is, however, still a dire need for WASH, FSAC, health, nutrition, emergency education, and more food and nonfood items.

The OCHA report from 21 May states that the humanitarian organizations that are now responding to IDPs’ needs in Kunduz have the capacity to cover the food and NFI needs of 5,000 families. This means that there is still need for Food and NFIs for the remaining IDP families. As of now an estimated 40 % of the 18,500 IDP families can be identified as eligible to assistance. As the existing health facilities are providing health services from a fixed center, there is also need for health and hygiene awareness to the community through mobile teams. Child protection awareness is also a major gap that is not covered by other organizations.

Community World Service Asia’s response:

Community World Service Asia is in contact with ANDMA, UNOCHA and IOM and has been monitoring the situation from the very beginning. Community World Service Asia has been in constant coordination with other agencies involved in the response and is proposing an intervention based on the identified gaps.

Sources: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/UNHCR%20Kunduz%20IDP%20Update%2021%20May%202015.pdf