Pakistan: update on the integrated relief and reintegration support strategy
Millions of people in Pakistan are still living without the most basic necessities and services as their homes, livelihoods and service infrastructure (schools, health facilities etc) have been washed away. Although the WHO supported disease early warning system (DEWS) has been successful in the containment of outbreaks, the potential for serious outbreaks remains.
WHO, UNICEF and WFP launched a “Survival Strategy” in Sindh as a coordinated effort between the Health, Nutrition, WASH and Food Clusters to ensure a coherent approach towards improving the health and well-being of the flood-affected population.
The strategy, called joint “Integrated Relief and Return Support Strategy”, was launched on 17 September to cover relief activities for six months and early recovery activities for 12 months. The plan seeks US$ 200 million to fund 94 health sector projects run by WHO (about 50% of all projects) and Health Cluster partners.
The pilot phase included a few initiatives such as a simultaneous immunization campaign and nutrition survey, integrated health and WASH investigation and response to alerts of communicable diseases, combined food deliveries with hygiene promotion and health messages, etc.
In November the survival strategy initiative looked into new ways of integrated approach with identifying and tackling hot spots in Sindh. This led to joint planning for the protracted emergency and the early recovery phase and the realization that other sectors should be part of the “survival strategy initiative”. Currently the “survival strategy group” in Sindh has expanded to include the education, shelter, protection, agriculture and community restoration clusters and is bringing on board FAO, UNHCR, IOM and UNDP. All agencies are working hand in hand to secure a minimum package of services, ensuring access to health, water, food, education, shelter and protection to the internally displaced people and returnee population.
The Health Cluster benefitted from CERF and USAID funds in April and June 2010, which were allocated to Health Cluster partners to enable them to be in the field in preparation for the floods in KP. These two funds enabled the Health Cluster to mobilize and maintain teams on the ground.