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Afghanistan is exposed to multiple, predictable and recurrent natural hazards which are exacerbated by ongoing climate change and protracted years of conflict. The most common natural hazards are floods, earthquakes, droughts, landslides and avalanches, affecting more than 250,000 people annually. Major emergencies in recent years include: (a) droughts in 2011; (b) extreme cold temperatures in 2012; and, (c) an earthquake measuring 5.7 magnitude damaging or destroying 3,758 homes in Nangarhar and Kunar provinces located in eastern Afghanistan in April 2013.
Afghanistan’s situation is exacerbated by poverty, poor living conditions and farming (rain fed farming, low crop diversity and constraints in off-farm livelihood support) as well as livelihood practices. The country’s high level of poverty, lack of livelihood and income generating opportunities, as well as chronic health problems, adds to the country’s vulnerability toward managing disaster-related risks. Chronically impoverished and conflict-ridden communities are so vulnerable that even small-scale natural hazards can have devastating effects on individual’s lives. With extremes in climate and tough geo-physical conditions, the inherent vulnerabilities of the communities are high.
Recognizing that natural and man-made disasters can wipe out decades of progress in poverty alleviation and sustainable development, MRRD considers Disaster Management as an essential component of its mandate in alleviating poverty and empowering community. MRRD’s Ministers has been designated as Vice-Chair for the High Commission of Disaster Management along with other line ministries as members for High Commission of Disaster Management. Social Protection Directorate (SPD) is one of the civil service directorates in MRRD. The Social Protection Directorate (SPD) was established in solar year 1384 (2005), and works under the direct supervision of MRRD’s Deputy Minister for Programmes.
It is mandated to respond to natural, environmental and other calamities and disasters and to mobilise and facilitate resources for those affected. It acts as the co-ordinating body for early recovery and mitigation of disasters in co-operation and collaboration with different programmes and directorates of MRRD. SPD has four units in name of
1. Emergency Response Unit (ERU),
2. Reintegration Unit (RU)
3. Food Assistance Unit (FAU)
4. Reporting Unit (RU)
SPD is working towards alleviating human sufferings generated due to the disasters with the help of internal and external stakeholders. It strives for reducing the risk of disasters for rural afghan.