SPO, along with its partner organizations and different community institutions, has played critical role in providing relief and rehabilitation services to the affectees of disasters, notably in the flash floods in Turbat (1998), drought in Kacchi (2001-202), heavy rains and floods in Coastal Sindh (2003-2004) and earthquake in NWFP and AJK (2005-on going).
In line with SPO’s vision and mission, the purpose of SPO’s disaster response strategic framework is to develop community institutions to respond to disasters effectively. These institutions include village organizations, citizen community boards, women’s groups and credit and savings groups. It is believed that community institutions not only manage development processes efficiently but also bring sustainability through community ownership. This is truer in the case of disasters, where badly affected communities are often the first level responders. Moreover, it has been observed that recovery from disasters becomes faster, and is sustained in organised communities. In disasters, as well as in regular programming, SPO’s focus has been working for and with grassroots and community institutions.
For the purpose of this framework, disaster response is divided into four major components: Rescue, Relief, Recovery and Risk Reduction. The rescue operations start immediately after a disaster strikes, and require specialized resources and skills.
In relief phase, focus remains on immediately responding to needs of the affected people by providing Non Food Items (NFIs), temporary shelter, emergency health services and women kits.
The third component, recovery, consists of two sub-components, rehabilitation and reconstruction to help the communities restore or improve the pre-disaster living conditions. SPO’s expertise lies in working at the grassroots in the recovery phase to help community institutions rebuild shelters and livelihoods mechanisms.
The fourth component is disaster risk reduction which comprises of prevention, mitigation and preparedness to increase resilience in communities, including their capacity to recover from a disaster.