Section 2: How ActionAid responds to emergencies

Section 2: How ActionAid responds to emergencies


This section explains how ActionAid’s emergency response is structured and the roles that different parts of the organisation play. It describes the types of emergencies that ActionAid is mandated to respond to, and the system we use for categorising emergencies according to their impact. It is designed to provide context to the subsequent sections, which describe in detail what is required at each stage of an emergency response.

Key Points

  • Emergency response is guided by ActionAid’s Policy on the security of communities in emergencies, which expects that ActionAid must respond to all emergencies that affect the lives and livelihoods of the communities we work with.

  • Alert levels are used to categorise emergencies and determine the scale of response.

  • Our standard operating procedures (SOP) guide response in red and orange alert disasters.

  • Primary responsibility for response lies with the ActionAid member or country programme in the affected country.

  • Emergency response must take priority over other programmes.

  • International Humanitarian Action and Resilience Team (IHART) provides support on emergency preparedness (in 24 priority countries), and response and resilience building in all countries. In case of emergencies, IHART co-ordinates the International Secretariat support to the affected member/ country programme.

  • Upon request of member/country programme, EFAST member(s) can be deployed within 48 hours to fill specific skills gap(s).

  • An Emergency News Officer (under RACE) can be deployed to provide immediate communications support and feed daily updates to ActionAid’s communications network.


2.0

ActionAid’s emergency response structure

ActionAid’s Policy on the security of communities in emergencies commits the organisation to respond to disasters that affect the communities ActionAid works with. In these situations, whatever the scale of the disaster, an ActionAid response is mandatory, and must take priority over existing programmes.

ActionAid is a federated organisation, with authority and responsibility delegated to global affiliates. This means that the primary responsibility for responding to emergencies lies with the ActionAid member or country programme in the affected country. Member/country programme staff, together with ActionAid partners, will lead and deliver ActionAid’s emergency response.

Continue Reading…

2.1

ActionAid’s commitment to emergency response

ActionAid is mandated to respond to emergencies that happen in countries where ActionAid has an operational presence, if the communities that ActionAid works with are affected. This is set out in ActionAid’s Policy on the security of communities in emergencies which states:


Both in its own strategy and through external linkages and commitments, ActionAid has committed itself to playing a significant role in emergency response work. ActionAid emphasises its solidarity with people living in poverty and exclusion and, in so far as possible, it strives to do all it reasonably can to ensure that the communities it works with are secure from the threats posed by emergencies.

- ActionAid’s Policy on the security of communities in emergencies

Continue Reading…

2.2

ActionAid disaster alert levels

ActionAid uses a system of alert levels to categorise emergencies and determine the scale of appropriate response.

GREEN means the situation is normal.

In YELLOW alert emergencies, the response is delivered by the member/country programme alone, with support from IHART as requested. Additional support from the wider federation is not required.

In ORANGE alert emergencies, IHART provides significant support to the member/country programme, and additional support will be provided from other parts of the organisation as required.

In RED alert emergencies, the emergency response becomes the number one priority for the entire organisation and IHART plays a coordinating role.

These alert levels are described below; subsequent sections of this handbook will explain in detail the roles that different parts of the organisation are expected to play for each of the alert levels. Annex 2 summarises the organisation’s standard operating procedures (SOP) during red and orange alert disasters.

Continue Reading…