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  • Women in Nepal

    Adolescent Girls

    Cooking Fuel Saves Lives

    In complex emergencies, the humanitarian system tends to address issues of concern by focusing on individual sectors, such as health or food. However, the Women's Refugee Commission has found that when it comes to cooking fuel, an integrated approach is essential. Recognizing the cross-sectoral nature of cooking fuel, the Women's Refugee Commission and the InterAgency Standing Committee Task Force on Safe Access to Firewood and alternative Energy in Humanitarian Settings (SAFE task force) developed a framework outlining the key fuel-related challenges and solutions across eight sectors of humanitarian response. This comprehensive and holistic approach to all eight sectors is necessary to ensure that displaced women and their families have safe access to appropriate cooking fuel. Below is information on the camp coordination and camp management sector.

    The camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) sector is meant to improve living conditions for refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) living in camps. It aims to ensure that they are provided with assistance and protection and that any gaps in services are identified and ad- dressed. Camp managers are also responsible for working with refugee leaders, host governments and local communities to mitigate potential concerns or incidents regarding access to land and natural resources.

    Shelter actors are typically responsible for overseeing the camp site selection and planning process, and for ensuring that shelter materials—usually wood poles, tarps and rope—are provided to beneficiaries when camps are being established. In many regions, they also coordinate the composition and distribution of non-food items, such as cooking pots and buckets for carrying water.

    Camps for displaced people are often located in environmentally fragile areas, which can be particularly negatively impacted by a sudden influx of new residents. The environment and natural resource management sector works to ensure that these potential impacts are mitigated as much as possible from the earliest stages of response, including during the site selection process before the camp is even established. Environment workers also oversee environmental management and rehabilitation projects, such as forest conservation, tree planting and the establishment of green belts and woodlots in areas surrounding camps.

    The UN World Food Programme (WFP) and its implementing partners provide food assistance and fight hunger and malnutrition in humanitarian settings, whether through direct distribution or in exchange for work.

    In addition to establishing health clinics and providing care, health actors undertake education campaigns on the prevention and management of health concerns, such as hand washing and sanitation.

    The SAFE task force combined traditional, school-based education and the information, education and communication (IEC) sectors into one.IEC is a process of raising public awareness to promote positive behavior change through different kinds of learning, including messaging campaigns, demonstrations, dissemination of printed materials, radio or drama and other creative mechanisms. IEC is frequently associated with health activities (promoting breastfeeding, for example), but can be used to raise awareness and spread information about a wide variety of topics. Schools and other learning environments for children and young people are also key venues for awareness raising and information sharing. In many displacement settings, school feeding programs are used to encourage school attendance, reduce burdens on families and improve child nutrition.


    The Living Ain’t Easy, Urban Refugees in Kampala

    This report, based on interviews with 281 refugees and service providers, highlights the constraints and opportunities to improve the livelihoods of urban refugees in Kampala, Uganda. The report is a part of a larger one-year study to understand the economic coping strategies, protection concerns and the local economic environment of urban refugees.

    ABC Libya on Gender 2011

    Experience from past conflicts reveals that important differences between men and women often go unrecognised by the humanitarian community. In the midst of the urgent humanitarian response, the particular protection and assistance needs of women and men differ. The ability to access food, shelter, health, clean drinking water and sanitation facilities are different for men and women. Failing to address the differentiated needs of men, women, boys and girls can increase disparities between women and men, and further marginalize vulnerable groups. Taking into account the different needs of women, girls, boys and men makes our humanitarian response more effective and equitable.

    Take these 3 immediate actions to ensure that women, girls, boys and men get access to and benefit from humanitarian response:

    Unequal in Exile: Gender Equality, Sexual Identity and Refugee Status

    Promoting gender equality as well as equal rights for sexual minorities has been problematic even in the most advanced of countries.  [T]he very idea of gender equality, let alone protection [for refugees] under the law for sexual minorities, is elusive, unrealistic, and potentially risky.

    Dale Buscher, senior director for programs, writes about issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex refugees and the responsibilities of the international community to protect this marginalized group.

    An Uncertain Future? Children and Armed Conflict in Central African Republic

    In order to advise policy-makers at a critical juncture after the re-election in January 2011 of President François Bozizé of the Central African Republic (CAR), the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (Watchlist) and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) joined forces to conduct a four-week field mission to CAR to research and report on the situation of children affected by armed conflict. We found evidence that at least four of the six grave violations monitored under UN Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005) are still being committed against children in CAR: the abduction of children, recruitment or use of child soldiers, attacks against schools, and the denial of humanitarian access to children.

    Bright Lights, Big City: Urban Refugees Struggle to Make a Living in New Delhi

    As part of a year-long study on urban refugee livelihoods, the Women’s Refugee Commission undertook a field assessment trip to New Delhi, India, from late February to mid-March 2011. The assessment focused on refugees‘ economic coping strategies, protection risks associated with those coping strategies and potential market opportunities. Key stakeholders from the service provider, donor and refugee communities were consulted and the findings reflect an amalgamation of the many voices and perspectives gleaned through the interviews, project site visits and focus group discussions.

    No Place to Go But Up: Urban Refugees in Johannesburg, South Africa

    As part of a year-long study on urban refugee livelihoods, the Women’s Refugee Commission undertook a field assessment trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, in March/April 2011. The assessment focused on refugees‘ economic coping strategies, associated protection risks and potential market opportunities. This study focused on Somali and Congolese refugees in the inner city and Zimbabwean refugees and poor South Africans in Alexander township.

    We Have No Choice: Safe Access to Firewood in DRC

    The Women's Refugee Commission and the World Food Programme conducted an assessment in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on access to cooking fuel. This report covers their findings and recommendations.

    Beneficiary Report: Family Planning Among Iraqi Refugees in Jordan

    Baseline Study: Family Planning Among Iraqi Refugees in Amman, Jordan


    Baseline Study: Family Planning Among Somali Refugees in Kenya

    Baseline Study: Family Planning Among Somali Refugees in Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya