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Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) Review

Afghanistan is extremely susceptible to recurring natural disasters due to its geographical location and years of environmental degradation. The country regularly experiences flooding, earthquakes, avalanches, landslides, and drought in addition to other man-made disasters resulting in the frequent loss of lives, livelihoods, property, and contributing to increasingly concerning levels of conflict displacement and high levels of poverty across the country.
 
The Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) approach was developed by the IASC Task Team on Preparedness and Resilience to enable the international humanitarian system to apply a proactive approach to emergency preparedness. Importance is placed on acting on specific early warning indicators to engage in inter-agency contingency planning and other coordinated preparedness actions to improve collective response readiness. The purpose of the ERP review is to consolidate the preparedness measures that have already been put in place, and identify gaps in the response system that need to be addressed. It is intended to be a practical review that asks and answers a set of critical operational questions. The primary aim of the ERP approach is to optimize the speed and volume of critical assistance that can be delivered immediately after the onset of a humanitarian emergency, requiring the concerted action of a number of agencies/organizations.
 
The first ERP review in Afghanistan was undertaken from February to March 2016. The national level risk register for the January to June 2016 period identified conflict displacement and spring flooding as the highest ranked risks in Afghanistan, which formed the basis for the detailed ERP review process in each region for the same period. The process has been owned by the Humanitarian Regional Teams (HRT) in each region, supported by OCHA. In addition to HRT members, invitees included those that best represented the clusters, NGOs, government and ICRC-ARCS, as key focal points for operational planning.
 
The outputs of the ERP review include a summary and recommendations paper outlining the primary risk rankings by location for both spring flooding and conflict displacement, as well as accompanying projected caseloads by risk, and maps of projected conflict displacement, humanitarian access, and capacity to respond. 
 
Key messages and recommendations are included related to preparedness actions to be considered by the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), Clusters, the Inter-Cluster Coordination Team (ICCT), and at the Humanitarian Regional Team levels.
 
Clusters have now provided a national level analysis relating to sectoral capacity to respond to the caseloads for the current period, as well as key concerns and gaps. The HCT recently agreed to establish an Emergency Operations Management Team (EOMT) to convene a core group of operational humanitarian focal points to develop and implement a common contingency plan, and be able to respond at an inter-agency level during national level emergency responses.  The ICCT also recently agreed to reconvene the Early Preparedness Sub Working Group (EPSWG) under the ICCT which would meet regularly to specifically review preparedness and contingency planning at an inter-cluster level; this group would explicitly represent the cluster but also engage directly with the OMT.
 
Humanitarian partners are encouraged to engage with relevant clusters to ensure regular updating of 3Ws, available stocks and capacity to respond in emergency situations.
 
Accompanying documents with additional layers of detail per region and province include:
 
  1. National level Risk Register for January to June 2016 period
  2. Summary and Recommendations paper
  3. Summary tables of risk outlooks, gaps/issues, sector focal points and draft work plan (Excel file)
  4. Projected Caseloads (Flood Affected & Conflict Displaced)
  5. Overview of the Conflict Displacement Risk (map product)
  6. Inaccessible areas as defined by HRT Workshops (map product)
  7. Overview of Humanitarian Response Capacity (map product)