Youth driving change

Green Hope UAE conducts capacity building workshop on HFA and DRR

Children and youth are amongst the largest groups in civil society. They are also amongst the most vulnerable to disasters and their consequences. Disasters have far reaching impacts not only on the immediate survival of young people but also in the long term. This is particularly accentuated in the global south where the future of children and youth are at stake when they confronted with disasters and calamities.

Children orphaned as a consequence of disasters face a bleak future of gross exploitation and hardships. Thus any disaster risk reduction (DRR) plan must take into consideration the unique needs of children and youth.

We, children and youth, are the future generations and need to be a part of the dialogue for a sustainable future, which also includes our voices in the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action, and a special focus on building disaster resilience for children and youth. Advocacy and outreach need to be key elements in the implementation of the HFA, since it is imperative that young people are aware and are a part of the process.

Youth Workshop, NIMS School, Sharjah UAE

Green Hope United Arab Emirates (UAE) conducted a youth workshop for high school students in the city of Sharjah on 29 January 2015. The New Indian Model School (NIMS) hosted the event and scores of high school students actively participated. The primary objective was to build a culture of disaster resilience amongst youth, who, quite often, are at the greatest risk. We had presentations on the Hyogo Framework for Action with special focus on its priority areas 1 and 3. This workshop aimed to make disaster resilience a local and regional priority, through education and awareness raising. We also wanted to show our solidarity with the “Safe Schools” programme in our region.

Our message to the assembled youth was simply to “be prepared”. We urged them to develop an ethic of prevention and preparedness. We reiterated the need to make the right choices and decisions about our environment, society, infrastructure and even our socially responsible behaviour within school. The decisions that we take or ignore makes us more resilient, or conversely, more susceptible to disasters. We also conveyed that reducing food wastage and building reserves must be part of the planning for disaster risk preparations .

Green Hope UAE is a youth led organization , founded by 14-year-old Kehkashan Basu, an Indian resident of Dubai. It was founded in 2012 after Kehkashan returned from Rio+20, with the objective of providing the young people of the region a networking platform and raise awareness, build outreach and conduct ground level community driven projects on all aspects of sustainable development.  Green Hope UAE now has over 800 members, some as young as 7 years old. They regularly conduct workshops, which they call “environment academies” and through them, the core group trains young people on engagement and advocacy.  This enables them to build a culture of sustainability as a way of life amongst the children and youth of the region.


Kehkashan Basu 
Global Coordinator for Children and Youth (UNEP MGFC) 
Youth Ambassador World Future Council
Volunteer – World Youth Foundation
Founder President Green Hope UAE
A World at School Global Youth Ambassador

The story of the Nigeria oil pipeline breaks: a disaster risk reduction approach

The prevalence of oil pipeline vandalism in Nigeria has recently emerged as one of the veritable problems to human life and security.  Beyond the economic loss of  oil, pipeline breaks that runs into billions of dollars, and the massive land degradation  caused by oil spills, thousands of lives have been lost in the past decade due to oil pipeline explosions.  These breaks and their effects have fast become an alarming disaster to the communities living around the right of way of oil pipelines and indeed to the nation at large. This documentary  explores the causes of oil pipeline vandalism and its effect  on the Nigerian state and describes briefly how the Nigerian Government introduced a structural intervention by  implementing a disaster risk reduction approach to reducing the menace of oil pipeline explosions and related emergencies.

See video: The story of the Nigeria Oil Pipeline breaks: A Disaster Risk Reduction approach.

Integrating early warning response capabilities and enhancing disaster resilience in the United Arab Emirates

Early warning (EW) is an essential element in disaster mitigation as it contributes to flexibility, reduces danger and protects the country’s economy.

Case Study

Developing a framework to integrate early warning response capabilities and enhance disaster resilience in the United Arab Emirates.

HFA Priority

HFA Priorities 2 and 3


Early warning (EW) is an essential element in disaster mitigation as it contributes to flexibility, reduces danger and protects the country’s economy.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) defines it as a system that provides information in a timely and effective way via selective institutions. This allows individuals who are vulnerable to disaster risks to take the necessary measures to avoid or minimize their risks and prepare effective responses. 

The four major elements of EW systems, are: risk Knowledge; monitoring and warning; dissemination and communication; and response capabilities.

It has been proven through analyses of past disasters that the link between these four elements is weak, which leads to weakness in the effectiveness of the system. The focus was on the development of technology and less on the members of at risk communities. The lack of institutional cooperation is also one of the main challenges to effective EW systems.

There is therefore a need to encourage researchers to propose am EW framework for disasters in the United Arab Emirates. For such a framework to be effective it must involve members of the community as well as increase institutional cooperation between government agencies, the private and local sectors. The focus must now be on the potential scenarios, evacuations and the training of evacuation experts who can perform efficiently when a disaster strikes.


The problem is the lack of awareness in the communities and in the schools about disasters such as earthquakes, floods and local storms.


Abu Dhabi –United Arab Emirates

How was the problem addressed?

Field exercises were carried out on the ground, which included eviction procedures throughout Abu Dhabi.

The exercises were carried out by the police, ambulance, civil defense, education sector, tourism and culture institutions, as well as in the factories.

What were the main challenges and how they were overcome?

It was difficult to coordinate the participation and maintain ongoing communication before and during and after the exercise scenario.

What are the lessons learned?

Participants in the exercises did not know places such as disaster assembly points during disasters particularly in the factories.

What could have been done differently?

More schools could be covered to increase awareness and the readiness of community members for disasters.


There was an increase in the levels of disaster preparedness among members of communities. 

Measuring success

The evacuation processes were timed to how long the processes were. There was cooperation and coordination among the participants.  

A school form was designed and provided to schools to assess the exercises in the schools.

The indicators were the length of the evacuations and the extent of cooperation between the parties.

Relevance to HFA

The Hyogo Framework for Action HFA stresses the need to activate early warning through community involvement by increasing community awareness.

In the case of Abu Dhabi the development of disaster awareness in communities was followed by the implementation of effective early warning systems (HFA Priority 1).

The actions taken need to be publicized widely so that communities grasp the importance.

Potential for replication

The continuous emergency and evacuation operations can increase awareness in the wider UAE community.


Abdullah Ali Saghiry al Hamoudi,

Ph.D.Researcher (United Kingdom)on theactivation ofa regulatory frameworkfor theearly warning system for disasters in the UAE.

Telephone +97 150 238 6690/
Dr. Zeeshan Aziz – PHD programme supervisor:

Telephone +44 74 0001 2759 /+44 16 1295 3822


How a small Samar town survived deadly storm surges

A coastal town in Samar province successfully weathers Typhoon Ruby by capitalizing on organized response as well as on timely, specific and localized early warning information. (HFA Priority 2 and 5)

Read more: How a small Samar town survived deadly storm surges

See videos: 

Training needs assessment on DRR, CCA and integration

Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) underwent a systematic in depth assessment of training needs in 2007 that was followed by step-by-step implementation of different capacity building actions for more than 5 years.  ASDMA then moved ahead with another training needs assessment (TNA) (2013-2014) that focused on integration of disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA).

Case Study

Training needs assessment on disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate change adaptation (CCA) and integration.

HFA Priority

HFA Priority 4: Reduce the underlying risk factors.

HFA Priority 3: Use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels


Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) underwent a systematic in depth assessment of training needs in 2007 that was followed by step-by-step implementation of different capacity building actions for more than 5 years.

ASDMA then moved ahead with another training needs assessment (TNA) (2013-2014) that focused on integration of disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA).

The findings of the TNA initiated the design and methodology of training linking DRR and CCA within a state context and in collaboration with state (ASDMA), the Government of India, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), district disaster management authorities (DDMAs) and collaborations with technical institutions.

The recent TNA creates pathway for the next five years of training that keep state projections (in the Assam State Action Plan on Climate Change) in focus; and plan of the State Disaster Management Plan (SDMP) aligned to the seven key areas of the Hyogo Frame Agreement 2 (HFA2).


Assam, located in the northeast region, highly prone to floods (Brahmputra river passing across the state) and earthquakes (Seismic Zone V), struggles with different socio-economic issues such as poverty, migration, flood plains location, and flash floods due to urbanization etc.).

In 2005, the Government of India passed the Disaster Management Act, which resulted in national and state level disaster management authorities, including ASDMA in Assam (2007).

This positive change creates platform for different actions at state and district level for disaster preparedness, response and mitigation in Assam. 

The committed team of ASDMA initiated different actions, but due to challenges geographical location, and the socioeconomic situation of Assam, it was difficult to reach out at different phases of disaster response with limited resources. Capacity building, especially training for various stakeholders, was identified as key for district and state level preparedness.

Due to Assam’s isolation and different levels of advancement, training programmes were initiated which resulted in methodologies of TNAs on DRR. Such assessments are crucial especially for Assam due to not only its unique geographical location, multi-hazard location and high level of at-risk communities, but also due to its different communities – Assam has a large proportion of tribal populations that are highly differentiated in terms of ethno-lingual characteristics as well as economic responses to their habitats.


Assam (India) – 27 districts, surrounded by six state and two national boundaries.

How the problem was addressed?

The problem was addressed through the systematic TNA on DRR (2007- 2008) followed by implementation of a training programme. The TNA on DRR and CCA (2013-2014) came after with the initiation of design and methodology for training programmes that promoted and strengthened DRR and CCA integration.

The TNA process and its systematic implementation happened due to ASDMA’s committed team and collaborative efforts with different technical institutions including:

·       UNDP;

·  All India Disaster Mitigation Institute            (AIDMI);

·       National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA);

·      District Disaster Management Authority (DDMAs);

·       Doctors for You;

·       Academy of Trauma;

·       Assam Engineering College;

·       Industrial Training Institute;

·       Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati;

·       Colombia University;

·       Space Application Center,

·       Indian Space Research Organization;

·       National Remote Sensing Center;

·  North East Institute of Science and Technology.

The first systematic TNA conducted internally by the ASDMA team and its findings was implemented with the above-mentioned institutions.

Implementation of the ToTs was followed by district level training programmes across 27 districts in Assam state with post-training follow up and linking with different capacity building actions. These actions, carried out win collaboration with more than 15 technical expert institutions from national and international bodies, included the Assam Shake Out (2011, 2012, 2013); celebration of the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) state-wide; city-wide emergency management exercises in Guwahati, Silchar, Nagaon, Dibrugarh, and Jorhat; school and hospital assessment, mock drills as well as disaster management planning.

The systematic TNA and commitment helped to overcome Assam’s challenges. The challenges include the situation of Assam – geographical, political, disaster frequency (manmade and from natural hazards, as well climate-related extreme events.

The initial efforts (2008-2012) were focused on disaster management and risk reduction. Climate change, however, brought even more challenges to Assam. Due to investment in ongoing training efforts slowly and gradually the stakeholders and practitioners moved ahead in terms of better understanding, moving beyond typical disaster management to risk reduction efforts and reaching out to hospitals and schools in large numbers across Assam. At national level very few institutions/ states reached out to every district with different actions.

These efforts bring Assam to the necessary link between DRR and climate change. T his resulted in recent TNAs on DRR and CCA with support from The Government of India-UNDP project with technical support from AIDMI. The process includes capturing voices (through search conferences at district levels) from local to state level and also incorporation of national and international processes (state and national action plans on climate change (SAPCC), the state disaster management plan (SDMP), and incorporation of HFA2 priority areas. The TNA also includes non-training requirements that effect capacity building areas of climate sensitive departments at district and state level. The TNA emphasized taking existing and planned DRR actions closer to the CCA measures.

Key lessons learnt from TNA on DRR and CCA

1.  Based on the experience, it was decided to link the TNA results (trainings) with one of the following areas:

·       Uncertainty observed and predicted in Assam state (utilizing SAPCC and SDMP findings).

·       Adaptive capacity: targeting institutions in different training programmes and post actions which can result in knowledge and resources to enhance capacity to adapt to climate change, particular in Assam – for example institutionalizing community based flood early warning systems to help vulnerable people cope with floods.

·       Training and post training action should not only encourage effective disaster response but also link with poverty and vulnerability reduction e.g. access to risk transfer mechanisms, and formation of institutional disaster management plans (school disaster management plan).

2.     The integration approach is highly recommended for such assessments going forward into implementation of a five-year training programme. The approach is simple, faster, economic and measurable and will build the integration of climate change adaptation and mitigation into existing efforts by ASDMA.

3.     New risks and the aggravation of existing risks posed by climate change need to be more comprehensively addressed in DRR training related work that covers different aspects related to implementation, skills development, ongoing procedures, early warning systems etc.

4.     The collaboration is key to overcoming the challenges posed by climate change. It will help to give communities a broader understanding of their vulnerabilities, while at the same time expanding effectiveness by working with partners in the fields of development, environment, poverty reduction, financial planning and health.  

5.     The TNA on DRR/CCA conducted with high institutional commitments as a past experience was positive and implemented across the state with different collaborative efforts. The recent TNA findings are in the planning (pilot phase initiated), however, such exercises could be done more effectively with clear possible financial planning that includes the contribution of partners. This is especially important when dealing with climate change adaptation and mitigation with a focus on filling knowledge related needs and gaps.


The findings of TNA (both 2007-08 and 2013-14) resulted in different training actions and collaborative efforts with different technical institutions by ASDMA in Assam. Some key results are as follows:

1.     ASDMA with different institutions conducted a wide range of training and capacity building programmes for various stakeholders involving government officers, teachers, children, doctors, civil society organisations etc. A total 1,818 training programmes involved 54,7062 participants have been covered.

2.     Citywide five emergency management exercises were conducted to build capacity and test the emergency management level among different stakeholders.

3.     The recent TNAs that incorporate CCA and DRR incorporate the processes and findings of HFA2, SAPCC and SDMP of Assam.

4.     The findings of recent TNAs were converted into actions; the first steps were to design and conduct ToT on linking DRR and CCA for climate-sensitive departments at district level.

Measuring success

Training programmes were implemented across 27 districts of Assam. Multi-hazard preparedness approaches also linked with post training actions including mock drills, institutional disaster management plans and celebrations of IDDR, and advocacy for risk reduction measures.

Training programmes evaluation and reviews have been conducted by ASDMA. The indicators are mostly based on the outcomes of institutional plans on disaster management, mock drills, and the formation of relevant team/ committee.

Some of findings from recent TNAs are identified in the development and methodology of trainings on integration. This will be tested with officials from climate-sensitive departments.

Relevance to HFA

Large numbers of people from different communities are being trained with a focus on different components including awareness, sensitization, implementation of actions, designing of plans etc. Such efforts reflect HFA Priority 1 – priority at local level; HFA Priority 4 reducing underlying risk factors and HFA Priority 3, use knowledge, education and innovation. These efforts contribute directly at national level from a state that faces natural and manmade disasters frequently.  

The efforts could not be done effectively without the HFA framework and different campaigns initiated by UNISDR and relevant institutions. Similarly the Disaster Management Act (2005) contributed at national level by encouraging different states and experts to contribute effectively to sustainable development.

For further effectiveness, the framework should incorporate climate change component excellently which inspire to address uncertainty, adaptive capacity and poverty and vulnerability reduction.

The initiative is relevant to HFA2 Priority 1 on understanding disaster risks as well as HFA2 Priority 3 on investing in economic, social, cultural, and environmental resilience, as well as HFA2 Priority 4 on enhancing preparedness for effective response, and building back better in recovery and reconstruction as discussed in the Zero draft documents of the WCDRR.

Potential for replication

The recent TNAs on DRR and CCA is in the process of replication by agencies in other states of India.

Contribution by

Assam State Disaster Management Authority, Government of Assam


Integration of MISP into the disaster risk reduction and preparedness action plans of provincial/district disaster management authorities

The International Planned Parenthood Federation / SPRINT project is advocacy for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and inclusion of Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) into the national disaster risk reduction and management policies and programmes of government.

Case Study

Integration of [1] MISP into the disaster risk reduction and preparedness action plans of provincial/district disaster management authorities.

HFA Priority

Priority 1: Ensure that disaster risk reduction (DRR) is a national and a local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation.

Priority 5: Strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.


The [2] IPPF [3] SPRINT project is advocacy for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and inclusion of Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) into the national disaster risk reduction and management policies and programmes of government.

From 2013-2014, [4] Rahnuma Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP) was successful in getting the provincial and district disaster management authorities of Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Punjab, Baluchistan, Sindh, FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) to include the MISP in their standard operating procedures (SOPs) and risk reduction action Plans.


Pakistan is a particularly disaster-prone South Asian country due to the number of natural disasters that have killed, injured and affected millions in addition to inflicting huge economic costs. Pakistan itself has 28 million people affected by conflict and disasters.

In 2009 more than three million people in Pakistan were forced to flee their homes in the country’s northwestern areas as a result of political insecurity while forced displacement still exists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu Kashmir and FATA.

Calamities such as floods particularly hit Punjab and Sindh while hill torrents affect the hilly areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan and Gilgit Baltistan. In 2005, the Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) earthquake and the 2010 floods badly affected Punjab and Sindh, two of the agriculturally richest and most populated provinces. These two catastrophes illuminated how disasters exacerbated gender discrimination, gender-based violence (GBV) or sexual violence (SV), maternal and child mortality.


Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Punjab, Baluchistan, Sindh, FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) – Pakistan.

How the problem was addressed?

The SPRINT Initiative in Pakistan, with support from its member associate Rahnuma- Family Planning Association of Pakistan, has been proactive since 2013 in advocating for SRH and MISP inclusion into the DRR and disaster risk management (DRM) plans at national and local levels.

The initiative is based on recognition of the vulnerabilities of women and young during emergencies, particularly in the remote parts of crisis affected Gilgit Baltistan, Punjab, Baluchistan, Sindh, FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu Kashmir. These vulnerabilities include:

·       Inaccessibility;

·       Lack of SRH services for pregnant and lactating mother and adolescents;

·       Sexual and gender Based Violence;

·       Rapid HIV/ STI transmission,

Rahnuma FPAP through the SPRINT Initiative, successfully integrated MISP into the SOPs and DRR action plans of provincial and district disaster management authorities in these provinces.

Primarily the lead was taken by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), through its member associate Rahnuma FPAP, which has been constantly liaising and advocating for MISP and inclusion of SRH components and service delivery into the SOPs and action plans. Initially, approaching the local, district and provincial governments and making them understand the relevance of MISP and SRH during crises was difficult.

SRH is the least prioritized issue during disasters and is often neglected. However with orientation on MISP through workshops and sensitization meetings that explained the importance of having a contingency plan and SOPs for responding to the SRH needs of vulnerable groups like pregnant and lactating women, young girls and adolescents, the process has led to a positive outcome.

It was felt that advocating and liaising with governments could take time and sometimes delay the desired outcome and policy changes due to firm administrative procedures. SPRINT therefore realized that it was extremely important to train and sensitize government officials on MISP and SRH during crises from the initial stage or inception of the project. Capacity building of local administrators and government officials on importance of MISP at disaster risk reduction and preparedness phase is something for which SPRINT now strongly advocates.


Due to constant advocacy with national and local governments, integration of MISP and SRH into the action plans and SOPs of national Disaster management authorities (NDMA) and provincial disaster management authorities (PDMA) has become possible.

A 2014 situational assessment on SRH by SPRINT Pakistan rveled that the government awareness of SRH and the importance of MISP at the preparedness phase is extremely high, particularly in FATA and Punjab provinces. Constant advocacy in Pakistan has also led to the government institutions like the National Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Network (NHEPRN), the Health Service Academy (HSA), and the Pakistan Nursing Council taking an active role in the Reproductive Health Working Group managed by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and SPRINT Pakistan. There have been more than five MISP trainings in the country though the SPRINT project in 2014 which included various technical partners including government and other civil society organizations.  

Measuring success

SPRINT conducted a rapid assessment of SRH and MISP implementation in Pakistan, and it could be seen that the awareness among the district and local government especially in FATA and Punjab was very high with governments acknowledging the need for capacity building on MISP and RH components usage during emergencies.

SPRINT and UNFPA have also trained more than 20 government officials from NDMA, PDMA, NHEPRN etc., while more than 154 persons from international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and Civil society organizations have now been trained on MISP and SRH during emergencies as a process of emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction.

Relevance to HFA

DRR is a national and a local priority with a strong institutional basis for Implementation along with the building and strengthening of capacities on MISP. This ensures maximum collaboration between partners on emergency preparedness (HFA Priorities: 1 and 5)

The most common link between HFA or the Making Cities Resilient campaign and this SPRINT’s initiative is ensuring the participation of local and national governments along with various stakeholders in integrating SRH into DRR plans and policies. The training of various partners, especially national and local level government officials, to strengthen their understanding of MISP is core in terms of ensuring emergency preparedness.

Potential for replication

Advocacy for the inclusion of SRH and MISP during disasters into the already existing DRR Plans at national and district levels have now been replicated and in progress through the SPRINT initiative in Bangladesh as well.   The starting point is through integration of SRH and MISP into the curriculum of doctors and nurses in colleges and universities. The efforts aim to build capacities and orient future service providers on MISP implementation. The capacity building of government officials, local partners and front line service providers through MISP trainings has been core to SPRINT DRR and preparedness efforts.

Contribution by

Nimisha Goswami , South Asia Regional Manager, The SPRINT Initiative

(Sexual Reproductive Health Programme in Crisis and Post-Crisis Situations)

International Planned Parenthood Federation – South Asia Regional Office

IPPF House, C-139, Defence Colony New Delhi – 110024, India

e-M: T: +91-11-2435 9221/2/3/4/5/6 (230) F: +91-11-2435 9220 W:

To view Photos of Sprint South Asia (Pakistan)

SPRINT Publication:



[1] The Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for Reproductive Health is a priority set of life‐saving

activities to be implemented at the onset of every humanitarian crisis. The  MISP  is  an international standard as  outlined in the  Sphere Humanitarian Charter  and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response.


[2] The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. It is a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals.


[3] The SPRINT Initiative is a Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Programme in Crisis and Post-Crisis Situations. It is an Australian Government funded initiative, managed by the International Planned Parenthood Federation.


[4]Since 1953, the Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP) (member association of IPPF) has helped women, men and young people access critical sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) services, including family planning. They were instrumental in establishing a separate Ministry of Population Welfare, as well as for introducing the first ever policy on population control in South Asia. FPAP is now known as Rahnuma (one who shows the path and provides direction) to reflect its holistic approach towards development in Pakistan.

Implementing the Minimum Initial Service Package for Reproductive Health in the Aftermath of the Zamboanga City Crisis

The SPRINT Initiative provided an emergency response grant of 50,000 USD to the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) to implement the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) among the communities in Zamboanga City displaced by short-term armed conflict in 2013. 

Case Study

Implementing the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for Reproductive Health in the Aftermath of the Zamboanga City Crisis

HFA Priority

HFA Priority 1: Ensure that disaster risk reduction is a national and a local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation.

HFA Priority 5: Strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.


The SPRINT Initiative provided an emergency response grant of 50,000 USD to the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) to implement the MISP among the communities in Zamboanga City displaced by short-term armed conflict in 2013.

As a local organization delivering sexual reproductive health (SRH) services, FPOP had added value as they have an extensive network and are able to assess and respond rapidly.   Young people can be engaged in SRH service provision and form a strategic part of capacity building and implementation.

Continuous Support from SPRINT in MISP training pre-disaster and involvement in multiple SRH humanitarian responses has contributed to significant growth of FPOP’s Humanitarian Programme.


On 9 September 2013, fighting broke out in coastal villages of Zamboanga city between a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which spread to the nearby island province of Basilan.

·       SRH needs continue and increase during crises.

·       The risk of sexual violence may increase during social instability.

·       STI/HIV transmission may increase in areas of high population density.

·       The lack of family planning services increases risks associated with unwanted pregnancies.

·       Childbirths also incur higher risks in conflict crises.

·       Lack of access to emergency obstetric care increases the risk of maternal deaths.

·       Additionally, adolescent SRH needs are of particular concern in crises.


Zamboanga City, Philippines

How the problem was addressed?

The SPRINT Initiative provided an emergency response grant in the amount of $50,000 USD to FPOP to implement the MISP for Reproductive Health among the displaced population in Zamboanga City for a duration of three months – October to December 2013.

Following an on-the-ground assessment by FPOP in the weeks following the outbreak of violence, FPOP submitted their proposal to provide potentially lifesaving SRH information and services to people sheltering in the “Grandstand” (Joaquin F. Enriquez, Jr. Sports Complex), the largest evacuation centre (EC), on Cawa-Cawa Boulevard, and other designated centres. The populations of Grandstand, Cawa-Cawa, and some of the other ECs are predominately Muslim, with many from the Badjao and Tausug tribes.

Project activities consisted of reproductive health medical missions (RHMMs) for SRH service provision, distribution missions (DMs) for provision of RH Kits (clean delivery kits, dignity kits, hygiene kits), and health information sessions (HIS) for information and sensitization on a range of SRH topics and services.

Upon SPRINT’s funding of the response, FPOP assembled a team of staff in Zamboanga City. Additional important objectives were coordination of reproductive health in the project area and planning for comprehensive reproductive health services through baseline data gathering and documentation of services provided.

In addition to staff, at least 30 youth volunteers were recruited and trained to assist with project activities. These youths were oriented on the MISP and project implementation and formed a strategic part of capacity and implementation.

Completing the list of internally displaced persons (IDPs) was difficult in the early stage of the project. Partial lists by local authorities proved to be inaccurate. Shipping of supplies for the medical missions was sometimes delayed by typhoons. In cases when help from armed forces was required for shipment, more priority was given to arms and ammunition causing delays. Among the challenges was the threat to the security of the team in the conflict area. This led to a refocusing certain evacuation centres and sometimes, medical teams were kept indoors due to shootings.

The cooperation of local organizations and officials plus the aid of external groups and government agencies facilitated implementation of the project. There was sufficient support in terms of provision of information, data and resources. The team saw that the project could have benefitted from tighter coordination between and among the agencies involved.


At the close of the project, a total of 3,159 people had been provided with SRH assistance, including 638 pregnant women, 520 lactating women, and 2,001 women of reproductive age served through 10 reproductive Health Medical Missions across 13 evacuation centres.

During these missions, 539 family planning services and 1,846 maternal and neonatal health services were provided. A total of 9,657 male condoms were distributed in 12 distribution missions covering 10 evacuation centres. 2,606 blue kits were given to women of reproductive age, 518 black kits to pregnant women, and 266 orange kits to lactating women. The overall impact on the community was the increased timely access to life saving SRH services.

Measuring success

SPRINT developed a standardized Post-Emergency Review Protocol and Tool that was adapted for use in evaluating FPOP’s Zamboanga City emergency response project in December 2013. Data collection methods included documentation of quantitative performance indicators (including service statistics) based on the project proposal, semi-structured interviews with FPOP staff, and focus groups with coordination partners, SPRINT staff members, and project beneficiaries.

Key recommendations post review included:

-        Extend the reach of MISP training for response staff within partner agencies;

-        SPRINT resource mobilization for medical equipment for FPOP medical missions;

-        Preposition clean delivery kits (Kit 2A) at the FPOP national office.

Relevance to HFA

HFA Priorities 1 and 5

SPRINT works to build an enabling environment so that policy and funding is increasingly supporting in SRH in crises and strengthens county coordination teams (e.g. the Philippines Reproductive Health Working Group) to respond effectively during a crisis.

Capacity building with training on the MISP and reproductive Health (RH) commodities incorporates risk reduction into emergency preparedness. The results have institutionalized HFA principles into SRH programming in the six priority countries of SPRINT, including the Philippines.

Potential for replication

This practice was replicated during the emergency response in Implementing the MISP in the Wake of TS Haiyan. The experience and lessons learned from the Zamboanga experience greatly assisted in the planning, coordination and implementation of the MISP. Additionally, the trained youth volunteers that were involved in previous responses were able to take on increasingly important roles as needed in the TS Haiyan response.

Recommendations for replication:

·       Delivering SRH Services as a Local Organization Has Added Value;

·       Young People can be Engaged in SRH Service Provision;

·       Continuous Support from SPRINT and Involvement in Multiple SRH Humanitarian Responses Has Contributed to Significant Growth of FPOP’s Humanitarian Programme.

Contribution by

Dr. Subatra Jayaraj, SPRINT ESEAOR Regional Manager

The SPRINT Initiative, International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region


T:+60342566122, F:+60342566386

Documentation to share

Photos, Video and Post Emergency Review on Zamboanga available at the link below:

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The making of district disaster management plans

The case study demonstrates how effectively the HFA 1 can lead to the incorporation of its five priorities at all levels. A policy initiative of India that made disaster risk reduction (DRR) and disaster management (DM) planning a national priority, has resulted in Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) revamping its DM plans that lay special impetus on DRR into local (district) level developmental planning by conducting risk assessments (HFA Priority 2). This focus on Priority 2 will pave the way for reduction in underlying risk factors (HFA Priority 4) in these districts. The focus on the need for cooperation and coordination in the preparedness and response plans also ensures that HFA Priorities 3 and 5 are appropriately addressed in the state of Assam in particular, and India in general.

Case Study

The Making of District Disaster Management Plans

HFA Priorities

The case contributes to all five priorities of action.


State of Assam – India.


The State of Assam is one of the most severely flood affected states in India since many rivers flow into it from the hills of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and from the mountain nation Bhutan. This cause severe floods in most parts of Assam.

The mighty River Brahmaputra in Tibet, whose waters are known for their destructive might, enters the plains in the north-eastern part of Assam from the hills of the state of Arunachal Pradesh. This causes large-scale damage to public infrastructure, private property, sedimentation and erosion of agricultural fields along with the loss of lives of animals and humans. The inundation also causes a rise in water borne diseases to both humans and livestock.This situation is a major challenge to both state and district administration in leading an effective emergency response.

Besides flooding, other major hazards, which include storms, hailstorms, lightning, road accidents, animal depredation, also have an immense impact on the districts. The effects of these hazards is compounded because of large-scale vulnerabilities that exist due to the poor economic strength of households, the lack of a disaster mainstreamed development focus and a limited scale of development. In addition to all these challenges, the district disaster management plans of several districts were not well prepared to play a role in risk mitigation, resilience building or even responding effectively to disasters.

What was done to address the problem?

The worst floods of 2012 were a tipping point. The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) decided that the District Disaster Management Plans (DDMPs) of all 28 districts of the state should be audited with the classification of plans into Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3. Type 1 referred to the most limited in scope, while Type 3 referred to the most comprehensive. The audit of all the plans was conducted between April and August 2013. Four plans were classified as Type 1. It was then decided that three of those four plans should be redrafted to cover all forms of hazards and make an assessment of vulnerabilities and capacities before preparation of active plans at district level.

Who was involved and what role did they play?

Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), which is the state’s lead agency for managing disasters was formed in 2007 and was the key stakeholder that initiated the proceedings for the redrafting of Type 1 DDMPs. ASDMA placed a disaster management specialist consulting organisation, the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat to provide technical support in the process to make DDMPs. Besides this, ASDMA played a pivotal role in leading state-district coordination and monitoring the project during the process to make the plans in three districts.

Apart from AIDMI, the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) was the key local agency that was involved in providing facilitation support to the technical support agency, AIDMI, within the district. DDMA played a key role in coordination meetings with Deputy Commissioner and the district administration that included senior officers and the heads of various line departments such as Water Resources, Public Health Engineering, and Forests, among several others. DDMA also facilitated the holding of one-to-one consultation meetings with line departments who were also involved in providing a greater depth to the challenges faced in the delivery of services from their end. DDMA also facilitated the selection of sample villages that could be ideal for the conducting of assessments during the exercise where meetings were held directly with the leaders of the local democratic institution, the Panchayati Raj Institution, and with village community members.

What were the main challenges and how were they overcome?

The prerequisite to the making of the plan was the conducting of a field assessment exercise, called Hazard, Risk, Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (HRVCA). However, since some of the field assessments were made in very remote areas of the districts to make assessments comprehensive. Travel to these locations was in some cases extremely tough and time consuming with field personnel required to travel by boats to reach land masses separated by rivers, and even walk long distances to reach target locations.

One of the districts that had been hit by ethnic violence in the past proved to be a risky location from requiring the team to turn back. Both scenarios limited the available time in the field in some cases. However, the field visits in such locations were identified in advance and scheduled for an early start in the day along with Panchayat (cluster of villages) Presidents of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), and later on holding meetings with the community and ward members in villages.

One another key challenge was to ensure that local villagers made it in time for the community meetings with the field team. This challenge was addressed to a considerable extent by making direct telephone calls to the Panchayat Presidents and community leaders to ensure the community was mobilised and available in time to take part in the process. This approach was particularly useful as in some cases the circulars were not even delivered to them.

Apart from this, the risk of visiting sensitive field locations was alleviated by coordinating with the district police, sharing the team’s travel plan and reporting to the nearest police stations upon arrival in the Panchayat. All these initiatives played a key role in overcoming the challenges and reducing anything detrimental to field assessments.

What are the lessons learnt?

As a result of the exercise, it was learnt that it is necessary to make telephone communications with the local Panchayat Presidents at least a couple of days prior to the exercise to ensure timely arrangements, availability and active participation of the community for the meeting with the field team. Also, the circular must be sent to the Presidents of these rural locations at least a week in advance to ensure that they are received.

Panchayat Presidents and the community leaders must also be contacted before finalisation of sample locations to assess their availability to participate in the meetings that requires active community involvement and basic arrangements at the local level for the holding of the meeting.

What could have been done differently and why?

While the selection of the sample field sites was done, telephone communication prior to the selection of the Panchayat as a sample site was not done which led to few scenarios where the community didn’t participate actively because of limited or no efforts by the President. As a result, the field team had to adapt its approach in the field by holding interviews with community members rather than conducting group discussions.

What was the result of this approach/intervention?

The approach followed a complete process for the preparation of the plan and a report on the HRVCA was prepared that clearly dealt with a range of aspects to assess vulnerability and the capacity of the district that included social, economic, environmental and institutional aspects. This formed the basis for making plans for each district, and particularly to focus on making a plan for disaster risk mitigation and resilience building. Apart from this, separate plans were drafted for preparedness, response, recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation.

What were the key elements of success?

Before the drafting of the plan was initiated, there were certain key elements that were expected to be included. Before the advent of the India’s Disaster Management Act (2005), all disaster management plans in the country were responses plan that contained contact details of all emergency response officers. In a major shift, the focus was placed on making a plan that deals with aspects of climate change and ecosystems. The ‘Climate Change & Ecosystem Sensitive Risk Mitigation and Resilience Building Plan’ was prepared that focuses on preventing, minimizing and containing the impact of disasters, along with risk mitigation for man-made disasters through preemptive risk reduction measures. This plan also ensured the integration of disaster risk management (DRM) with district development plans. The plan addressed factors that have been having negative effects on the ecosystem, based on the HRVCA study.

Another key success factor was the preparedness, response plans that needed incorporation of factors that will ensure an effective and efficient response to any disaster. Thus, the Incident Response System (IRS) was introduced in sync with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines that elucidate the roles & responsibilities that are demarcated. A system has been drafted that will ensure selection of officers for relevant positions whose capacity building can be done during the preparedness phase (as per the preparedness plan), while also being available for response. In order to ensure that the IRS is a success, it was also ensured that clear guidelines are introduced for the placing of intellectually capable officers into specific positions.

Was the success/impact measured? What indicators were used to measure?

The success of the plan at the drafting stage was measured an exhaustive review of the plan by the ASDMA in consultation with the DDMAs and with some heads of key line departments. Their comments on gaps or improvements to make the plan executable were incorporated into the plan. The indicators used to assess the success were the incorporation of factors to assess vulnerability and the capacities of people and habitations in terms of: social capital; trust in public institutions; inter ethnic/religious group relationships; environmental wellbeing and damage assessments; economic resilience; and livelihood situations. Departments were assessed according to institutional assessments in terms of: physical infrastructure; access to financial resources; challenges in procurement and; availability of required manpower for operations. However, at the implementation stage, the plan is yet to be tested since it has only just been drawn up.

How have the results contributed to HFA progress in the country? Did HFA play a role in enabling the initiative?

In line with the HFA, there were five key priorities promoted by the plan. Before the designing of the project for the making of DDMPs, all the HFA priorities were referred to and played a crucial role in the design of the entire plan. As a result, the plan now contributes to the HFA 1 that ensures DRR is a local priority of not just the state, but also the district that leads developmental interventions locally while also being first responders in the case of disasters. DRR was made a part of the planning which has now been done department wide, responsibilities have been decentralised and stress has been laid on community participation in risk reduction and response. The plan also contributes to HFA 2 which focuses on identifying, assessing and monitoring disaster risks, as well as enhancing early warning by conducting micro level assessments with both community and line departments.

The plan also contributes to HFA 2 as it promotes the building of a culture of safety and resilience at the community level by planning the formation of village disaster management committees to lead DRR, and focus on the public awareness by the committees and also through media management by the district administration. The HFA 2 was pushed in the state through the Climate Change & Ecosystem Sensitive Risk Mitigation and Resilience Building plan. While this plan focuses on reducing the vulnerability of the environment due to disasters as well as susceptibility to disasters due to damage to the ecosystem, it also addresses factors such as risk transfer and better land use planning. Finally, the preparedness plan for effective response also contributed to the progress of the HFA in the districts of the state of Assam.

Can this initiative be replicated?

The approach can be easily replicated across the world because documentation gives a detailed insight that can be followed. At the same time, a number of tools have been made that can be used for making effective and exhaustive field based assessments at the community level as well as with line departments through one-to-one consultations. However, it has to be noted that there will always be a need for adaptation of the process, the tools (designed questionnaires) and the focus of the tools depending upon which part of the country or the world the process being implemented.

Contribution by:

Assam State Disaster Management Authority, Government of Assam


The Dutch Delta Programme

The Dutch Delta Programme: national flood risk management (FRM) implements strategies that aimed to protect the Netherlands against flooding, while anticipating climate change and socio-economic developments up to 2100.  It consists of a multi-governmental approach, stakeholder participation, and adaptive strategies that deal with uncertainty and link with other agendas/policy fields. Adequate institutional arrangements (legal and financial) guarantee future-proof implementation.  FRM is a three-layered approach that has been developed in which protection (against floods), prevention (damage) and disaster management (casualties) are integrated (“multi-layered safety”).

Case Study

The Dutch Delta Programme: national flood risk management (FRM) policies anticipating climate change.


HFA Priority Action

All priorities of action (1,2,3,4,5), especially # 1.


FRM is of vital importance for the Netherlands, as 60% of its territory is flood prone. Present FRM policy strongly relies on protective measures (dikes, dams, barriers). Hence, flood awareness is almost absent (OECD, 2014). However 100% protection can never be guaranteed. In the rare event a flood does occur, flood proofing of urban areas (including vital services), public awareness and adequate disaster management should reduce damage, fatalities and large-scale societal disruption.

This process of FRM improvement started without a disaster and is a momentum-generating event. This requires the commitment of involved authorities, acceptance by stakeholders, linked agendas, multifunctional measures and adequate institutional arrangements.


The Netherlands

How the problem was addressed

Flood risk assessments (fatalities, damage) were performed on a regional (dike ring) scale. The national ministry of Infrastructure and Environment coordinated this effort, in cooperation with knowledge institutes and water boards. Based on these assessments, the national and regional authorities agreed on new flood protection standards. The flood defenses have to comply with these standards in 2050. Parliament agreed on the resulting acceptable levels of individual risk (everywhere in the Netherlands the individual risk of drowning will be 10-5/yr or less) and economic damage. 

To reduce the consequences of a potential flood, the national, regional and local authorities will implement measures to improve flood proofing of urban areas (especially vital services, like energy, telecom, water supply, hospitals) and strengthen disaster management (evacuation plans, public information). An app was launched to increase public awareness ( (“can I be flooded?”).

The new flood protection standards result in differentiated protection levels that differ from present standards. The main challenge was to translate the technical information of flood risk assessments and new standards to administrative and political decision makers. This challenge was tackled by the strong involvement of regional decision makers during the entire process, who were assisted with technical expertise and examples from their own areas. This required time, the strong commitment of all parties and political leadership. The (independent) Delta Commissioner directs this process regarding progress, acceptance and uniformity.


1) Updated flood protection standards: a rolling multiyear flood defense improvement plan will implement this before 2050;

2) Administrative agreement between national, regional and local authorities (and parties responsible for vital services) to make the urban environment and vital services flood-proof before 2050;

3) Agreement between the Minister of Safety and Justice and regional disaster management organizations to improve flood related disaster management (public communication, evacuation).

Measuring success

When the flood defenses meet the new standards in 2050 the individual flood risk will be at least 10-5/yr everywhere in the Netherlands; economic risk will be reduced by a factor of 20, the probability of 1,000 fatalities due to a flood will be reduced by a factor of 45. In addition, in 2050, vital services will be flood-proof and disaster management / evacuation plans will be improved.

Relevance to HFA

The results have significantly contributed to HFA goals: flood risk is the dominant natural hazard in the Netherlands. A large-scale flood might disrupt the country for a long period.

The strategies included in the Delta Programme will improve FRM in the coming decades to maintain the Netherlands as a safe and attractive habitat for present and future generations. In addition the links with other agendas (urban development, nature, aging infrastructure) has created added value and improved acceptance of the measures.

The HFA played an important role by introducing risk-based policy development, by highlighting the contribution of disaster management, and by creating opportunities to exchange experience and knowledge.

Potential for replication

All delta-regions around the world face similar challenges related to the interaction between water related threats (floods, droughts, salinization, subsidence) that may increase due to climate change, and pronounced socio-economic developments.

The approach of the Delta Programme (long-term vision, adaptive strategies linking long-term challenges with short-term decisions on investments (aging infrastructure), multi-governance approach, links with other policy fields (agriculture, urban development, nature), institutional arrangements) can also be adopted in other delta-regions like Vietnam (Mekong), Bangladesh.

Contribution by

Jos van Alphen:

Carel de Villeneuve:

Corsmas Goemans:

Rebuilding after Typhoon Haiyan


Rebuilding after Typhoon Haiyan

The Typhoon Haiyan Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP) is the Philippine Government’s Plan to build back better, faster, and safer in the areas devastated areas by Typhoon Haiyan. In less than one year, the government produced the CRRP adopting the Cluster Framework Approach, which pursues a consultative and participatory process among national and local government agencies, the private sector, development partners, civil society organizations and communities.

Title of case study

Rebuilding after Typhoon Haiyan: Using the Cluster Framework Approach in the Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (Philippines)

Which priority of action does the practice/case contribute to

This case contributes to the 3 priorities of action in the HFA:

· 1. National and Local Priority;

· 3. Knowledge and Education;

· 4. Vulnerability Reduction.


In November 8, 2013, the Philippines was struck by the strongest and fiercest typhoon that ever made landfall in recorded history. It affected around 1.5 million families, destroyed 1.2 million houses, and left 6,300 people dead. It devastated 171 cities and municipalities in 14 provinces and six regions located within the 100-km storm track. The typhoon hit some of the poorest provinces in the country. As a result, the people of the affected regions have been relegated to even worse poverty. Considerable interventions are required to build back better and bring the affected regions up to the targets envisioned under the national development plan.



How the problem was addressed?

To unify and coordinate the various rehabilitation and recovery efforts, the government appointed a Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR).

The PARR mobilized the Clusters composed of various national and local government agencies to develop the CRRP. The Infrastructure Cluster led by the Department of Public Works and Highways is responsible for rehabilitating and improving infrastructure to support recovery and rehabilitation as well as the enhancement of disaster resilience of affected communities.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development heads the Social Services Cluster, which facilitates the delivery of basic services such as education, health, as well as social protection, while strengthening capacity to cope with future hazards and disasters.

The Livelihood Cluster led by the Department of Trade and Industry is in charge of providing inclusive and sustainable business and livelihood. The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) spearheads efforts to relocate affected families living in hazard prone areas to safe areas, and to develop sustainable disaster resilient settlements.

The main challenges are:

1. Magnitude of the destruction is massive and widespread;

2. Varying capacity of local and national government agencies and the affected communities to respond, recover and rehabilitate;

3. Massive coordination required in the rehabilitation and recovery phase;

4. Crosscutting policy and operational issues.

Lessons learned include the following:

1. Consultative and participatory approach to rehabilitation and recovery planning;

2. Strengthened multi-sectoral partnerships and enhanced coordination;

3. Better information dissemination before, during and after disaster;

4. Enhanced transparency and accountability systems.

What could have been done differently and why?

1. Stronger authority and mandate for the PARR to be able to address the complex issues in the rehabilitation and recovery.

2. Relevant and readily available baseline data (i.e. population, infrastructure, and other demographics).

3. Harmonized post-disaster needs assessment reports (national, local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as basis for rehabilitation and recovery planning.


The Government produced a Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan, which articulates the over-all strategic vision and integrated programs and projects for the affected areas.

Measuring success

Key to the speedy development of the CRRP are:

1. Better coordination of government agencies through the Cluster Framework Approach;

2. Cooperation and support of stakeholders; and

3. Typhoon Haiyan rehabilitation and recovery is a priority of the government;

The impact/success was measured using the following indicators:

1. Timeliness – The CRRP was crafted and approved in less than one year from the time Typhoon Haiyan hit the country;

2. Comprehensive – The CRRP covers short- to medium-term multi-sectoral programmes and projects for 171 affected cities and municipalities in 14 provinces covering 6 regions;

3. Funding Support – The approved funding resource for the rehabilitation and recovery is one of the biggest allocation for a Philippine government intervention;

4. Consultative and participatory – Through the Cluster Framework Approach, a series of discussions were undertaken to ensure that the rehabilitation and recovery plans of the national government agencies, affected local government units, interventions from private sector and development partners, and assistance from civil society organizations are integrated in the CRRP and customized to the unique situation of each city, municipality, and province.

Relevance to HFA

This case supported the government’s efforts in achieving three HFA Priorities of Action:

1. National and Local Priority;

· 3. Knowledge and Education;

· 4. Vulnerability Reduction.

The CRRP Planning process has become a benchmark for future disaster rehabilitation and recovery planning.

The HFA and Making Cities Resilient Campaign raised the level of awareness among government agencies and affected communities on DRR, which resulted in local government units driving the rehabilitation and recovery planning at the local level.

Potential for Replication

The Cluster Framework Approach can definitely be replicated in every disaster rehabilitation and recovery planning because it involves basic elements of multi-sectoral coordination, and consultative and inclusive planning process.

The CRRP has provided a substantive contribution to international best practices in planning for post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery. In fact, it was utilized in the subsequent production of Global Facility Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) Disaster Recovery Framework.

Contribution by

Under Secretary Lesley Y. Cordero, Office of the Presidential Assistant for Recovery and Rehabilitation

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