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NDMA establishes Gender and Child Cell.

Islamabad, August 31, 2010 (Frontier Star): The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has established a Gender and Child Cell (GCC) in Islamabad. Chairman NDMA, Gen. Nadeem Ahmed, announcing the establishment of the Cell said that its purpose is to facilitate, both at policy and technical level, NDMA's immediate, short and long term interventions for mainstreaming gender and child concerns in early recovery, rehabilitation and preparedness. The NDMA organized a Consultation on "Separated, Unaccompanied and Missing Children of Flood Victims", with the objective to design an effective identification and tracking system for their reunification. Chairman NDMA said that the floods of 2010 in Pakistan have posed the gravest humanitarian challenge for the country, affecting 75 districts. The official figure of the affected population is around 15 to 20 million in all provinces of Pakistan, including AJK and Gilgit - Baltistan. Some 52% are women and adding the number of children, approximately 65% fall in the vulnerable category. The prevailing socio-economic conditions along with the flood situation have exacerbated the living conditions of women, men, boys and girls residing in the flood-affected districts. The larger portions of the affected population are women and children and the enormity of the crisis has posed many challenges in addressing their needs. The Chairman, NDMA appraised that the biggest number and most vulnerable of affected population is taking shelter on canal banks and embankments. Catering for their needs is most challenging, both in numbers and resources available. Additional direction for the needs of gender and children is required. He emphasized that quantifying the affected children is really important so that measures can be taken during the relief phase and then in the early recovery phase. He also added that we have the social responsibility to ensure that the vulnerable groups get their legal rights. The consultation was attended by representatives of Ministry of Social Welfare and its provincial departments, UN agencies, International NGOs, NGOs and NADRA. The group deliberated on the improved ways to collate data, bridge the coordination mechanism and the missing support in terms of psychological, legal help and tracing and handing over of the children. Among the recommendations, referral systems and awareness-raising were agreed as the most immediate need.

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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Date:Aug 31, 2010
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