2013-06-18 | News
Improving rapid needs assessments in Armenia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan

Representatives from United Nations agencies, government and civil society organizations from Armenia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan are taking part in a two-day workshop on rapid needs assessments in disaster response.

  “Initiating a timely needs assessment after a disaster ensures humanitarian aid reaches the most affected population,” said Fawad Hussain, one of the workshop facilitators who just returned from a needs assessment mission in Syria. “Equally important is to ensure that all humanitarian actors involved in a given operation develop a common understanding of where are the survivors, what they need and for how long.”

 The workshop participants are coming from countries that have witnessed first-hand massive response operations that involved hundreds of humanitarian actors.

 The workshop will introduce an assessment approach developed by the international humanitarian community – Multi-Cluster Initial Rapid Needs Assessment (MIRA). MIRA is a result of an in-depth review of 10 years of best practices in assessments throughout the world. This approach builds a strong level of coordination and cooperation within and among sectors such as food, health, and shelter from the first days of a crisis.

 Led by OCHA, MIRA process guides overall strategic response to disasters. This assessment approach has been tested and proved to be crucial to humanitarian response in Pakistan, Guatemala, Philippines and Syria. Last year, OCHA rolled out the approach in Tajikistan.

 “By the end of the workshop, each country delegation will get a head start on a country-specific assessment plan that will lay the foundation for a more rapid, focused and coordinated response to potential emergencies in their countries,” said Marcel Vaessen, Head of OCHA Regional Office for Caucasus and Central Asia.”

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