The Asia Pacific Urban Community Resilience Hub, is pleased to announce the winners of the 1st Urban Community Resilience Small Grant Initiative: Pakistan Red Crescent and Mongolian Red Cross.
In September, Asia Pacific National Societies were invited to submit proposals for the 1st Urban Community Resilience Small Grants, an initiative to leverage community-based resilience, funded by British Red Cross. The Urban Hub Small Grants selection committee received a number of innovative urban resilience proposals, and after careful deliberation two clear winners emerged.
Pakistan Red Crescent Society: Equipping Emergency Response Forces in 7 Districts of Karachi and Going Digital
The megacity of Karachi in the province of Sindh Pakistan, is home to an estimated 16 million people, and experiences a variety of natural and manmade hazards. From earthquakes, tsunami, and cyclones, to critical infrastructure and conflict - Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) have been scaling up resilience at the urban community level.
Building upon joint work with German Red Cross to improve urban resilience through preparedness, mitigation and response actions, the PRCS project aims to expand district coverage to all seven districts of Karachi, with the establishment of additional Emergency Response Force (ERF) structures in the city.
ERFs function as critical preparedness and response nodes in the city, managed by the PRCS Emergency Operation Centre. In each, staff and volunteers are equipped with basic training on First Aid, light rescue, firefighting and rapid assessments. Karachi's complexity requires tightknit coordination – to be achieved also through newly developed EOC software and new mobile app developed under the project.
Throughout PRCS will achieve all interventions in a well-coordinated manner with city departments including the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Karachi Metropolitan City Firefighting Department, Meteorological Department, Civil Defense department, Scouts Association, 1299 Rescue Service.
Mongolia Red Cross Society: Urban Livelihood Programming: Small Business and Start-Up Support for Rural-Urban Migrants
Currently, one third of Mongolians are pastoral herders whose livelihood is dependent on livestock production. Climate change in recent years has exacerbated extreme winter, known as “dzud”, and livestock mortalities lead to spiked exodus levels of internal rural to urban migration in recent years.
Former herders migrating to urban areas seeking alternate employment typically settle on the outskirt of the city in locations with higher exposure levels to flash floods, electrical hazards, and structural fires. Often migrants face further socio-economic challenges due to lack of training and skilling beyond herding.
Through the Small Grants project, the Mongolian Red Cross Society aims to support those most vulnerable with livelihood alternatives to herding via small enterprise and business management training, along with disaster risk reduction training, to allow for enhanced safety measures at the household level. Following the training, selected two groups of participants including 30 families, shall be awarded with seed funding to implement their projects and start their own small enterprises.
MRCS will work closely with the following partners: National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), International Organization for Migration (IOM), National Federation of Business Incubators (MFBI), Livelihoods Centre, IFRC and Relevant local Red Cross branches and local authorities including the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and its agencies, Agricultural Agency, Statistics office and other necessary agencies will provide necessary information and ensure community engagement and accountability.
This project builds upon former Mongolia Red Cross work with British Red Cross “Silent Emergencies” project, where three Red Cross branches established herder community groups and trained on sustainable livelihood methods such as business planning and marketing and awarded small grant to start their own small enterprise in 2019.