UNDP Zambia was among the countries that attended the UNDP Crisis Response Package (CRP) training held in Istanbul Turkey from 20th to 26th May 2018.  The main objective of the training was to enhance UNDP country office capacity to design, implement and monitor timely crisis and post-crisis livelihoods responses that promote a rapid return to sustainable development pathways. Critical cross-cutting issues, such as gender equality, environmental and social sustainability, private sector partnerships, and knowledge management and innovation, play a key role in the roll out of the CRP.

Crises erode development investments, challenge the capacities of vulnerable groups, and frequently overwhelm national authorities. They hamper poverty reduction efforts and stop or reverse progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. In the context of humanitarian situations, UNDP as a development actor engages in early recovery activities, preventing local and national capacities from deteriorating further, and beginning to build foundations for longer-term recovery - even while humanitarian efforts are still unfolding. It is important to note that, just as emergency relief activities are crucial to saving lives by responding to the most urgent human needs, integrating an early recovery approach within humanitarian operations is crucial to the first efforts of a community to recover. It prepares the ground for an effective ‘exit strategy’ for humanitarian actors and contributes to ‘durable solutions’ by establishing the base on which nationally-led development occurs after a crisis.

In responding to crisis, UNDP is guided by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 which was adopted at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. In addition, UNDP adopted its new Strategic Plan 2018-2021, which clearly emphasizes the importance of integrated solutions for resilience and recovery, and places UNDP as a pivotal actor to promote innovative solutions, knowledge management, private sector engagement and to support the implementation of the SDGs in all development contexts. UNDP believes that the focus on recovery and recovery planning after a crisis should begin as early as possible.  But the principles of early recovery are also relevant prior to a crisis.  Before a crisis, UNDP’s development perspective focuses on capacity development and national ownership which helps ensure that nations, communities and people are more resilient to recurring or predictable crises and are better prepared when faced with a crisis such as drought, floods or hurricanes. At global level, UNDP leads the Cluster Working Group on Early Recovery (CWGER) which focuses on four main lines of action:  (i) Providing direct strategic and coordination support to Humanitarian Coordinators (HCs), Resident Coordinators (RCs), Deputy Special Representatives of the Secretary-General, Humanitarian Country Teams (HCTs) and Cluster Lead Agencies at the country level; (ii) Defining and coordinating early recovery work that is not covered by other clusters (e.g. governance, non-agricultural livelihoods);  (iii) Providing initiative and guidance on the integration of early recovery in the work of other clusters, and inter-cluster coordination of early recovery; and (iv) Influencing the global policy agenda on humanitarian financing, civilian capacities, and strategic planning to strengthen the potential for, and impact of early recovery within international crisis response and recovery efforts.

At the country level, UNDP helps to integrate early recovery approaches into the humanitarian response through programmatic interventions, advisory services and coordination of the early recovery working group and mainstreaming of early recovery in other disasters. UNDP works with the affected country and its humanitarian and development partners (e.g. local authorities, civil society organizations and the private sector) to design and implement programmes needed to help people move from humanitarian assistance to development. It undertakes capacity building of national and local authorities to enable them to take over the coordination of programmes from humanitarian actors, many of whom are international agencies and organizations. UNDP also play a role in assisting countries and their people to prevent crises as well as recover from them. This includes supporting disaster risk reduction (DRR) interventions, particularly in countries affected by recurrent crises.

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