HI workshop in Bangladesh

Protecting the most vulnerable when disasters strike

When floods, storms, and droughts strike, people are forced to flee their homes, putting them in danger's path. For people with disabilities, the consequences can be deadly. It is crucial that local people and humanitarian agencies, like HI, are trained directly in case of a natural disaster. Being more prepared for such events would save lives.

Humanity & Inclusion's teams are working to ensure that people with disabilities and vulnerable individuals are not forgotten when disasters strike through our Ready for Action (REACT) project. Launched in 2016, the goal of REACT is to enhance HI's capacity to respond to emergencies in a timely and effective manner.

Last month, two staff members from Humanity & Inclusion's headquarters in Lyon traveled to Bangladesh, a country vulnerable to natural and man-made hazards, for an emergency preparedness workshop with our local team. Together, our staff created an emergency response plan, and a plan to reinforce their emergency operations and support preparedness capacities. Outcomes included the previously-mentioned action plan, mapping of resources, and lessons-learned, as well as technical measures in case of emergencies.

Thanks to this vital collaboration, our team can share this life-saving knowledge with the local people, so they too can be ready for action!

Bhabani Rout, 45, who wears a prosthetic leg, leads an early warning mock drill in India.

Photo: Bhabani Rout, 45, who wears a prosthetic leg, leads an early warning mock drill in India.

Preparing for an emergency 

Emergency preparedness is a long-term process that requires dedicated time and resources, but it can also help improve the relevance and reach of Humanity & Inclusion's operations. Outcomes include:

  1. Strengthened hazard monitoring and early warning capacities and processes in the field and at HQ
  2. Increased capacity to assess emergency needs
  3. Strengthened capacity to implement emergency response activities 
  4. Strengthened supply chain, including contingency stock measures
  5. Integration of emergency preparedness and response into strategic programming
  6. Strengthened external coordination with INGOs, UN agencies and donors and strategic positioning
  7. Increased ability to anticipate emergency funding needs and to access emergency funds

How does the Ready for Action (REACT) project work?

The Emergency Division supports programs in the project implementation. Services include:

  • Capacity building on emergency response through capacity diagnoses and simulation exercises
  • Facilitation of workshops to launch the preparedness process and help teams develop an EPR Plan
  • Operational support to HQ and field teams in the response to emergencies and EPR plan follow-up

The projects targets HQ and field teams, with a focus on contexts that are most vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters. It also targets local partners, particularly in contexts where Humanity & Inclusion may respond to emergencies by working through local NGOs. The process involves all departments, including management, programming, technical, logistics, finance, HR and security teams, both at HQ and field levels.